Chilled Blues: Ice Hockey Players Refreshed And Raring To Go
Men’s Ice Hockey President JAASON GEERTS reviews the progress in Switzerland before the real action begins in February.
The men’s varsity ice hockey blues traveled to Zuoz, Switzerland for their annual pre-Varsity training week and tournament. The Blues train on a gorgeous outdoor rink surrounded by the Alps and owned by the elite Swiss boarding school, the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz. This storied tradition owes in part to a former Blue and PhD graduate who teaches history at the school.
The Blues history in the region stretches back to 1885 when the Cambridge and Oxford Ice Hockey clubs played their first match in St Moriz – the start of a fierce rivalry that is as strong as ever, some 128 years later. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, the advantages of the experience are a total immersion in the sport with on-ice sessions two to three times a day, high altitude training, and expert coaching led by Cambridge professor Bill Harris and Franz Strum, the former coach of the Austrian junior national team.
The camp is also timely as the blues strive to build on the successes from the season thus far. Cambridge is currently 1-2 after a narrow loss to Oxford in the first match of the season, a defeat to the powerhouse London, and a crushing victory over Cardiff before Christmas.
Overall, the week was a tremendous success and culminated in a second place finish in the tournament with championship game going to a shootout against Le Pliaf, a Swiss men’s team.
Notable performances were had by Kyle Maggard with goals in every game the Blues played, captain Thor Richardson, Jake Harris, stellar play by goaltender Carl Mazurek, and Jaason Geerts who scored two goals in his first game despite having a badly injured elbow.
The week was outstanding in terms of team bonding, developing individual skills, and solidifying team systems, all of which will serve us well in our Varsity Match March 9 in Peterborough. Tickets will be on sale in the coming weeks.
The Blues next action is an away game against the London Dragons at Lee Valley on Saturday, February 3.