Cranbrook is being well represented at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.
A total of six individuals with connections to Cranbrook have headed for Spain as members of the Canadian men’s and women’s hockey teams.
Forwards Kevin King and Elgin Pearce, goaltender Kris Lazaruk (University of Calgary) and defenceman Luke Paulsen (University of Manitoba) are all Kootenay Ice alumni representing Canada in Spain.
King (2006-07 to 2010-11), Pearce (2009-10 to 2012-13), Lazaruk (2006-07 to 2007-08) and Paulsen (2009-10 to 2011-12) all spent time with the Ice in the past decade.
“At the beginning of the season I had no intentions of being on this team, I did not think I was on the radar,” Lazaruk told Lance Doucet, sports information assistant at the University of Calgary. “It feels like icing on the cake for my final season. It is going to be a special couple of weeks.”
Additionally, Todd Johnson (University of Regina) is team leader for the Canadian men. He spent the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons with the Kootenay Ice as an assistant coach.
The Canadian men opened preliminary action Feb. 3 with a resounding 11-1 victory over the Republic of Korea at Granada Sport Palace.
King registered a hat trick for the Canadians, while Pearce chipped in with a goal. Paulsen added an assist and Lazaruk turned aside all eight shots he faced in 29:14 of crease time, splitting duties with Ryan Holdfeld (University of Saskatchewan).
The Canadians face Sweden Feb. 5 before wrapping up preliminary action Feb. 7 against the Russian Federation.
On the women’s side of the equation, Daley Oddy is suiting up for Canada after posting 11 goals and 23 points with the St. Francis Xavier University X-Women of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference within Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
“I am very excited to start playing with the team. From our first practice, it is easy to tell that we have a very skilled and fast team,” Oddy told St.FX Athletics and Recreation Tuesday.
“I know that I am very lucky to have an opportunity to play for Canada in Spain, and I expect to make lots of memories with all the new people I have met.”
The Canadian women opened preliminary action Wednesday, defeating Kazakhstan 7-1 at Mulhacen Pavilion.
Oddy tallied a goal and an assist in the victory.
Oddy and the Canadian women play their next preliminary game against the Russian Federation Feb. 8 at Mulhacen Pavilion.
The 2015 Winter Universiade runs from Feb. 4 to 14 in Granada, Spain, featuring nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports include alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short-track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating and snowboarding. The lone optional sport is freestyle skiing.
The Canadian men and women both brought home gold medals in ice hockey at the last Winter Universiade, hosted Dec. 11 to 21, 2013, in Trentino, Italy.
In order to be eligible to compete at the Winter Universiade, athletes must be at least 17 years of age and no older than 28 as of Jan. 1, 2015.
More than 2,500 athletes from more than 50 countries will compete in the games.
The 2015 Winter Universiade marks the 27th edition of the games.
The 28th Winter Universiade is scheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 8, 2017, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 29th Winter Universiade will be hosted by Krasnoyarsk, Russia, in 2019.