Greater Victoria bantams to compete in Russia

Tretiak Cup squad will also include players from Japan, Czech Republic

If English communication proves to be a challenge, Craig Didmon may just have to rely on the language of hockey when he coaches a pair of international players in this year’s Tretiak Cup (Aug. 2-7).

The Moscow-based tournament, which pits 2004-born players from across the globe against each other, will feature a squad of mostly of Victoria-area bantam players coached by Didmon. But after an ad was posted seeking a couple of other players, Didmon got a response from Maxim Kosten of the Czech Republic and Yuji Sawabe of Japan.

“I think they’ll have to get comfortable and adapt. They’re a very good calibre…I think having an international flavour on the team is going to be another learning experience and an added bonus too,” he said.

Players will get a chance to visit the Kremlin and take in a Russian Circus, but other than some sightseeing the trip promises to be a competitive tournament against mostly-European competition.

“It’s a AAA tournament and we are one of the two teams representing Canada,” he said, noting that a team from Ontario will be heading over as well. “We’re going to have to adapt to the bigger rink and it’ll be foreign for them. We’ve got to put all the distractions aside and hopefully get down to business.

The top four teams in the round robin will move on to a four-team playoff round.

Vladislav Tretiak, the former Russian goaltending star for whom the tournament is named, will hand out trophies at the end of the tournament, meaning the Island squad may have a chance to meet a living hockey legend.

The trip is the start of a busy month of August for Didmon, who will leave for Iceland at the tournament’s conclusion in order to coach atom and peewee players on a 10-day tour through northern Europe.

He’ll be back on the Island on Aug. 18, just enough time to get ready for Victoria Grizzlies training camp, which opens Aug. 21.

“It’s just a matter of getting my energy rechanneled and then get going,” he said.

To keep tabs on the bantam boys, following the Victoria Grizzlies on Twitter (@VicGrizzhockey)

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read