OneHockey celebrated Easter weekend by making history, crowning its first-ever tournament champions on European soil.
The first OneHockey European Challenge Trophy concluded on April 17 in Presov, Slovakia with championship games at Crown Ice Arena, Presov Ice Arena and Srsnov Arena host facilities, all of which were transformed into festive OneHockey stadiums.
“We couldn’t wait to show them what we were made of — and we did just that,” OneHockey CEO Sebastien Fortier said. “There is a lack of truly fun youth hockey tournaments throughout Europe — and we plan on changing that problem real soon.”
Teams from Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine as well as OneHockey select squads from the United States and Canada competed in 2004, 2005 and U-16 age groups during the four-day tournament.
The festivities kicked off with an opening ceremony hosted by Fortier and OneHockey Europe division director Sami Sumkin and featured a spectacular closing ceremony dinner on Easter Sunday evening for hundreds of hockey families who spent a beautiful holiday weekend in the city of nearly 100,000 residents in Eastern Slovakia.
“I want to thank Vlad Tkac and his son, Daniel,” Fortier, who was officially welcomed to the “Heart of Europe” by Slovak Ice Hockey Federation President Martin Kohut, said. “They are like family to me now. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a tournament here. I also want to send a big thank you to the cities of Kosice and Presov, who were a big part of the success for this event as sponsors.”
Fortier is thrilled with the expansion of OneHockey on the international stage. Plans are in place to include kids of all ages.
“My dream has come true — and it’s so exciting,” Fortier said. “We expect to host several tourneys each year all over Europe starting very soon.”
OneHockey’s European Challenge in Slovakia was a success and the organization already has plans to return this summer August 3-6 in Presov and Kosice, Slovakia. Tournaments will include AAA 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002-03 as well as a U-16 division.
For more information contact OneHockey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Kevin Conway/Special to HockeyClan