Saturday, December 27, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Euro Tour 2nd tour, is over and Russia after winning the first one in Finland, goes undefeated and wins the second tour in Moscow today. In other news World Junior Hockey is about to start, which is pretty much the best tournament to watch, its in Canada who is on the verge of winning 5 straight gold medals. Russia has been in the finals 3 of the four times, unable to beat Canada. This should be another exciting tournament to watch. I am as we speak watching classic world junior games on ESPN and the game they are showing is my favorite game of all time in Halifax, Canada. Both Russia and Canada were loaded with talent. Ovechkin made his debut as a 16 yr. old in this tournament. Canada up 2-1 going into the third period, Russia storming back to win. Since then its been Canadian domination of the gold, and Russia seems to be only second best with silvers, is this they year this changes? Will see. I am looking forward to watching this with family and Brendan :)
Friday, December 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
For those of you that are familiar with the champions league format in soccer, there is also one in hockey in europe in the past few years clubs from russia have won the tournament, but this year the tournament gained official standing, sponsorships, TV coverage and contracts. It's goal is to become the premier standard for club competition in europe... It has had fantastic online and TV coverage all for free with an easy to follow website, here is the link if anyone is interested.
Bit of history as recorded on the CHL website:
Almost ironically, the original idea of a European cup was inspired by football's FIFA European Cup. It came from IIHF president Günther Sabetzki and the first pan-European club team tournament was announced at the 1965 IIHF congress in Finland.
The 31-year history of the European Cup proved two things beyond a show of a doubt.
First, the tournament provided ample evidence of why the CSKA Moscow (Red Army) team was universally considered the world’s premier club outside the NHL. But the downside of that dominance is that it also showed that it’s hard to sustain interest in a competition in which the outcome is almost a foregone conclusion.
Beginning in 1968-69, the Soviet champions got involved, and the competition might as well have been renamed the CSKA Cup, because CSKA Moscow won the championship 19 times in 21 years, often pummeling their overmatched opponents by double-digit margins. While this certainly affirmed the breathtaking skills of CSKA, it didn’t exactly make for competitive hockey when the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
The purpose of the European Cup, after all, was not to stage a hockey version of the Harlem Globetrotters versus the hapless Washington Generals. But CSKA was often so much better than their opponents that the only thing missing was the “Sweet Georgia Brown” theme music as CSKA played keep-away with the puck and scored at will.
CSKA’s toughest competition often came from other Soviet clubs. When the Red Army won its second European Cup (1969-70), the finals were essentially an IIHF-sanctioned derby between CSKA and Spartak Moscow at the legendary Luzhniki Arena. Some 28,000 spectators witnessed the two final games, and were treated to some outstanding hockey.
Unfortunately, few teams outside of CSKA were even interested in trying to compete in the tournament. The prize money was minimal and the cost of travel was high. It was a constant struggle to find willing teams and to ensure that games took place as scheduled..
On a yearly basis, games were either postponed or simply canceled for logistical reasons. Teams often forfeited games willingly rather than travel to away games. They also double-booked dates at their home arenas– the European Cup games rarely took priority. Unfortunately, many potential participants actually considered their eligibility for the European Cup to be a drawback – not a perk – of winning their national championship.
It wasn’t until 1973-74 that all scheduled pairings and games were actually played, after interminable postponements. How interminable? The competition didn’t get finished until September 1975, two full years after the first game was played! The competition ended, as per usual, with a CSKA Moscow championship.
Likewise, the 1977-78 schedule still had not been completed by the time the 1978-79 competition was slated to get underway. In order to catch up, the IIHF declared that the winner of the 1978-79 finals – CSKA Moscow, naturally – would be credited as the winner of the previous year’s tournament as well. CSKA’s 3-1 won over HC Poldi Kladno is believed to be the only time a team has ever won two championships with a single victory.
In the inaugural 1996-1997 season, the EHL had 20 clubs organized into five divisions. That grew to 24 teams and six divisions the following year but contracted to 16 teams in four divisions by 1999-2000.
The inaugural winners, TPS Turku, were not a big surprise to anyone. But the second winner, VEU Feldkirch – which beat Russia’s Dynamo Moscow in a 3-2 final – were an unexpected champion.
The IIHF decided to suspend the EHL after 2000 and study ways to boost visibility and interest around Europe. For instance, the IIHF consult with European broadcasters starting from the 2001-2002 season. An international club competition, in the tradition of the previous European Cup, was staged by the IIHF for the 2000-2001 season, but there was no official EHL season.
The IIHF European Champions Cup was created into become a stepping stone to an extended European club competition. This time around, the tournament was limited to the champions from the different leagues and the tournament was conducted in whirlwind fashion with a bigger prize budget to reward the championship team.
Participation in this tournament was determined by the current IIHF national team rankings. The top six European countries were eligible to send their reigning champions to compete in the ECC. The six teams were divided into two divisions of three teams each. After a two-game round robin, the winners of each division face off for the championship. The winners divided 45 percent of the prize money.
The prize money itself grew substantially. By 2007, the total purse was 800,000 Swiss francs (about $640,750 U.S.), with the second-place team splitting 25 percent, the third- and fourth-place finishers getting 10 percent and the fifth- and sixth-place teams dividing 5 percent. The victor also received the Silver Stone Trophy, the prize formerly awarded to the EHL champion.
The final final tournament was played at the New Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, from Jan. 10-13, 2008. The competing teams were then-reigning Russian Super League champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk, 2006-07 Czech Extraliga titleholder Sparta Prague, Elitserien’s Modo Hockey Örnsköldsvik, SM-Liiga victor Kärpät Oulu and Slovak Extraliga winner Slovan Bratislava.
Throughout the tournament’s brief existence, Russian teams dominated from the outset, with a Russian Super League team winning every tournament. and this year was no exception. Metallurg won the 2008 Silver Stone Trophy, defeating Sparta 5-2 in the championship game. The previous tournament victors were Russian Super League teams Avangard Omsk (2005), Dynamo Moscow (2006) and Ak Bars Kazan (2007).
The stage is now set for the Champions Hockey League.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Yes the EuroHockey Tour has started again, the tour consists of four tournaments through out the hockey season in 4 countries to help the teams prepare for World Championships and Olympics, and last years winners Russia is off to a great start winning the first tournament Karjala Cup in Finland. I am probably the only one on this side of the ocean that follows this, in contrast this tournament is a celebrated event in europe, giving less known players a chance to make an impression on the coaches, represent their country and get some great experience. Bykov's men look good so far. Here is a bit of a photo archive
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The widest accepted prayer labyrinth in the Church was the eleven-circuit labyrinth, which is more symbolic of Christ's cross with its four quadrants, and grace being symbolized by the never-ending path to the center and back, allowing the pilgrim to walk the path at his own pace, stop for prayer and meditation as needed.
By the 17th and 18th centuries however, prayer labyrinths had lost much of their spiritual meaning. Some clergy and other believers now associate them with New Age mystical practices.
With the practice of walking the prayer labyrinth becoming popular again in contemporary Christianity, particularly in the Emerging Church movement, many Christian denominations from across the theological spectrum are again adopting the practice of walking the prayer labyrinth. Some churches opening their labyrinths to any pilgrim in need of contemplation and prayer. It should be noted that the prayer labyrinth is not a maze in the popular sense, and rather has one path on which one cannot get lost, serving a powerful symbol of individual life journeys and pilgrimage in faith.
So all this to say there is a great online option if you want to spend some quiet guided time in prayer check it out!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
School has started and the faces were very happy and eager as I visited the youth in the hall ways on the first day of school, despite the complaining and the pained faces that I saw in my office before the school start... So thats good. This week we have also been busy planning the schedules and finalizing training for Jr. and Sr. sponsors and that has gone very well. We have an amazing bunch of Sr. and Jr. sponsors again this year and I am very excited to have such a great bunch of people joining me on this journey. I have always had a lot of help (angels) in the background helping getting the snacks going, making sure we have enough rides, baby sitting for sponsors kids, and that continues. I am very lucky to be where I am, we are truly community minded community, it is such a privilege to be able to serve in this great company of people... Anticipation is building... And this year Jessica is going to be able to come to Sr. Youth nights which is sweet/amazing!!!