16 • Jan. 4, 2012 • Issue 15 • Volume 145
Memoirs from a Hockey Canada Alum
Nick Murray An Opinion
Another World Junior Hockey Championship is never over and next year Canada will go for gold once again in Ufa, Russia. For anyone who’s ever travelled, you know that you’re bound to be cultureshocked when entering a foreign country. One of the biggest shocks is the difference in food. For instance, I went to Torino for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and by the third day I was so tired of eating pastries for breakfast, I hunted down a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch from the Molson Canada House. However, for competing athletes, it’s extremely important to get a good meal while competing, and 20 years ago that wasn’t the easiest thing to do. How did they manage? Well allow me to share with you some stories that my father shared with me. My dad’s name is Mike Murray. He was with the Canadian U-20 World Junior team from 1983 until 1992 when Hockey Canada relocated its head office to Calgary. During his time with the team, he worked as the public relations manager until being promoted to general manager in 1989. From the great Canada-Soviet brawl in 1987 (the one where they shut off the arena lights), to Canada winning on home ice for the first time in 1991, he’s seen it all first hand, and here are three stories he shared with me for this food issue. “In late 1987, the team was in Ottawa getting ready to fly out to Finland for training camp to get ready for the 1988 tournament in Moscow, USSR,” Murray recalled. (The hockey world associates the year of the tournament with the year that it finishes. For example, the tournament this year in Alberta started in 2011, but is called the 2012 tournament because it passed through New Year’s and ended in January.) “Before leaving for the airport,” he said, “ Ken Hitchcock, [current St. Louis Blues
head coach, and then assistant coach] sent defenseman Greg Hawgood and forward Rob Brown across to the St. Laurent mall with $150 to stock up on junk food. Hitchcock then filled his duffle bag with chocolate bars, chips and licorice, alongside his skates and hockey gloves.” Canada won gold that year and today Hitchcock (whose weight has fluctuated over the years) looks great. “That same year,” he said, “the USSR was still under Communist rule and food was scarce. Hockey Canada packed up metal trunks filled with Kraft Dinner, pasta sauces, jam, peanut butter, [more] chocolate bars, granola bars, crackers, etc. The team doctor, Mark Aubrey, was able to bribe the kitchen staff at the hotel and was allowed to make pre-game meals for the team, which was a lot healthier than what was provided by the host committee.” “The first morning at breakfast, we asked for some orange juice and were served Fanta Orange soft drink, which was the closest thing to orange juice in those days.” The final story he told me was about one Christmas dinner. During the World Junior Championships, players sacrifice their Christmas holidays to play in the tournament. So to make them feel at home, the host committees put on a Christmas supper for the teams. “When the World Junior Championships were held in Helsinki in 1990,” he recalled, “the Canadian players were totally shocked to hear that their Christmas dinner that year, being put on by the Finnish host committee, was going to be reindeer,” Murray said. “The only reindeer that the players had ever heard about belonged to Santa Clause. They were treated to other dinners including reindeer stew, reindeer steaks and reindeer sandwiches. In the end, everyone enjoyed the taste of reindeer.” Yes, Canada once again won gold that year as well.
brunswickansports Defence woes continue for women’s basketball
The women’s basketball team continued to struggle over the break at the Reebok Classic. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan Sean O’Neill The Brunswickan One would think that playing games away from the AUS region and its opponents would be a good thing for UNB’s women’s basketball team as it picks up the pieces from a disastrous first half of the season. The Varsity Reds have gone 1-5, been outscored in their six league games by an average of 80-67, and whether it’s in transition, guarding the ball, zone, help-side or rebounding, the team has shown little improvement in any area without the ball. UNB travelled to Concordia for the Reebok Classic and faced teams from around the country to see if any improvement was made before the resumption of the AUS schedule. If the question is, ‘did the defence improve?’ the answer in the first game against the host and Quebec conference’s
first-place Concordia Stingers was a twoletter word that starts with ‘n’. The Reds gave up at least 17 points in each quarter, losing 77-56. The Stingers nailed 12 three’s and shot 40 per cent from field as opposed to two triples and 35 per cent for UNB. Forward Claire Colborne led the team with 21 points, but scored 13 from the charity stripe, while shooting 4-12 from the field. Emma Russell added 12 points, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Thompson Rivers, who are 3-5 in Canada West, was next up for the Reds. UNB led 68-64 with five minutes left in the game, and then the Wolfpack closed the game on a 21-2 run as the UNB crashed to an 85-70 loss. For the tenth game in a row, UNB allowed at least 70 points on the defensive end. Colborne scored 21 points in the loss, and Russell also added 16 before fouling out. Thompson Rivers’ Diane
Schuetze had 29 points and 11 boards to power the Pack. The Varsity Reds finished the tournament on a winning note as it defeated the Western Mustangs 70-56, snapping their losing streak in the process. If UNB can hold the rest of its opponents to 27 per cent shooting, then the rest of the season should be a breeze. Russell had a double-double of 14 and 12, Colborne again led the team with 17, and Rachel Cleary came off the bench and contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Awaiting UNB in its first weekend back in AUS action is a trip to Antigonish for a weekend set against the StFX X-Women. StFX currently resides in the sixth and final playoff spot in the league, but are only two points up on the Reds. This weekend could go a long way in determining whether UNB will play postseason ball this year.
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