“These young people live their NHL”

“These young people live their NHL»


Some people were recognized at the grocery store and others had trouble getting to their seats at the Videotron Center because they were constantly stopped by fans wishing them good luck or who wanted to take pictures with them: the Ukrainians have been living a dream since they landed in Quebec.

“These kids are currently living their NHL. It's a dream for them,” said coach Yevgeny Pysarenko, Thursday morning, at the end of Team Ukraine Select's last practice before its highly anticipated debut Saturday morning, at 11:45 a.m., against the Bruins Junior. from Boston.

“At the beginning, all we wanted was to get a team on the ice to allow them to come and experience hockey in Canada. We didn't expect there to be so much media attention. It's bigger than we expected. 

The enthusiasm for this training was felt all over the city. 

“We went to the Videotron Center yesterday [Wednesday] and they were the stars. Getting to our seats was really long. Everyone stopped them and wanted to take pictures,” laughed François Robert, who hosts two young Ukrainians in addition to taking care of the organization of off-ice activities during their stay.

The young defender of the Quebec ace Léon Lepage had the chance to train with the Ukrainians on Thursday. After practice, he was presented with a team jersey.

Balm on a wound

All this attention is nothing negative, however, according to Pysarenko. For these young people, living a star life for a few weeks is only a balm on what they are going through at home.

« They are happy, they smile and they enjoy it. They live the hockey life in Canada because hockey is everywhere here: on TV, on outdoor rinks. They live a dream and forget the bad things that happen at home. ”

The example of young Mykyta Staskevich, captain and talented striker of the team, perfectly illustrates this point.

“His dad is at the front and things are stirring. The first time I saw him in Romania, he barely smiled. Eventually, he became a leader in the team and he was named captain. Just for him, it was super positive,” says Quebecer Sean Bérubé.

This star life will reach its climax on Saturday when the Videotron Center is expected to be packed for the Ukraine match.

“There is never had so many people during our matches so we will have to stay focused on playing and not look in the stands. At the end, we will be able to watch,” said young Zahar Kovalenko.

“It will be difficult as a player to play in an arena as big as this, but I hope for a victory. It won't be an easy match, but we want to win,” added captain Staskevich.

Different hockey

Those who have seen them play are already whispering that they will have a very exciting team to watch and who play a different style from what we are used to. , here.

A simple visit to their practice on Thursday morning provided some insight. For a little over an hour, the young Ukrainians multiplied the exercises focused on skating techniques. At some point, all the players began pirouetting on the ice, after a whistle from the coach.

“That, I thought was weird! It was the first time I had seen a team pirouette on the ice and I didn't really understand. I thought it was stretching. I didn't quite understand, so I didn't! ”

The author of this quote is Léon Lepage. The defender of the As de Québec M13 AAA Élites trained with Team Ukraine Select on Thursday at the invitation of Sean Bérubé. 

Beyond the pirouettes, the young hockey player was impressed by what he's seen.

“They're fast and they pass the puck well. I think they will go far at the pee-wee tournament. ”


8 h

Eagles of Mexico c. | Greenwich Wings | Skating club | BB 

9 h 15

Comets Jr. of Utica v. | Romania Wolves | AA

10 h 30

Vasas Budapest c. | Express South Shore 3 | BB

11 h 45

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. | French College of Longueil | AA-Élites

13 h

Owls of French-speaking Switzerland c. | Durham West Lightning | Female

14 h 15

Foreurs de Val-d’Or c. | Beauce-Etchemin group | BB

15 h 30

Zurich Lions v. | Carolina Hurricanes Jr. | AA-Elite

16 h 45

Montreal Canadiens c. | Los Angeles Kings Jr | AAA

6 p.m.

Champlain of Quebec Northeast c. | Wolf of Grenoble burners | BB

19 h 15

San Diego Oilers vs. | Chiefs MHA | AA

20 h 30

North Shore Winter Club c. | New England Prospects | AAA


Halifax Mooseheads Jr. 4

Edmonton Oilers 5 


Shawinigan Cataracts 10

Moncton Wildcats 1


Rams of French-speaking Switzerland 3< /strong>

Bedford Blues 4  


Fury SEFHA 1

Stars 55 de Mauricie 0 


National Montreal West 2

Korea Zenith Ice 7 


Washington Little Capitals 0

Intrepid of the Outaouais 4 


Barons of Mauricie-Nord 2

Stars of Austria 1


< p>Express 2 de Rive-Sud 5

Rangers de Laval-Est 3


Blizzard Séminaire Saint-François 

Select from Japan 


Knights of the Czech Republic

Lions of Lac St-Louis 


Pioneers of the Northwest

Rams from French-speaking Switzerland