The Russians are coming, according to District of Clearwater councillor Ken Kjenstad.
About 30 players and officials with the Russian women’s hockey team are expected to spend several days training in Clearwater before the upcoming women’s world hockey championships in Kamloops (March 28 – April 4).
According to Wikipedia, the team’s nickname is “The Big Red Machine.”
The team is expected to arrive Sunday evening, March 20 and will use the Sportsplex and the weight room at Clearwater Secondary School for training.
It is not yet clear whether the practices and training sessions will be open to the public.
On March 22 the Russian team will go on a bus tour of Wells Gray Park.
A special feature will be an exhibition game with local players on March 23 at 5:15 p.m.
Practices in Kamloops will begin on March 24.
The Russian women’s team will have its first game of the championships, which will be against Finland, on March 28.
The Russians will play Canada on March 29 and the United States on March 31.
Many local businesses have stepped forward to help with the visit, said Kjenstad. Two of them will receive complimentary tickets to the game against Canada.
Hosting the Russian team is a good opportunity to demonstrate the community’s hospitality, the Clearwater council member felt.
Last year the Americans defeated Canada in the final to win the women’s world championships. Other teams expected to be in contention this year include Russia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
The Russian women’s hockey team is presently ranked fourth in the world.
Anyone with any questions about the Russian team’s visit should call Kjenstad at 250-674-3379 or District of Clearwater at 250-674-2257.