October 9 will be the Canadian Hockey Day in Iceland when Canadian and Icelandic hockey players, including Canadian Sarah Smiley who is on the Icelandic national women’s hockey team, two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion goaltender Sami Jo Small and her husband, gold medal Paralympian sledge hockey player Billy Bridges, will present the sport to Icelanders.
Icelandic hockey players. Courtesy of Birna Baldursdóttir.
The event is part of the annual Iceland International Ice Hockey Cup Tournament which will take place October 5-10 in Egilshöll in Reykjavík, a press release states.
This is the first time that the tournament includes a full women’s division. Canada will be represented by 57 female hockey players.
The Iceland International Ice Hockey Cup Tournament has been providing a unique hockey experience for nine years.
“The charitable component of the tournament began in 2008 after Iceland’s banking collapse with a bunch of guys from New Jersey who love Iceland (‘The Great Iceland Hockey Bailout’),” wrote Deirdre Norman, whose organization The Women of Winter (TWOW) is the driving force behind the Canadian women’s participation.
“So far, [CAD] 25,000 [ISK 2.8 million, USD 24,000, EUR 19,000] in cash and hockey equipment has been donated to youth hockey organizations in Iceland and the Iceland Red Cross,” she added.
“TWOW is responsible for coordinating the women’s division, for creating ‘Canadian Hockey Day in Iceland’, for bringing donations of gear, and for bridging Canadian and Icelandic hockey programs,” Norman concluded.