BRAMPTON, ON. — On Tuesday afternoon at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, the Brampton Beast, had a special announcement regarding a very historic moment in ECHL and hockey history. The Beast revealed that they will be hosting a game vs the National Ice Hockey Team of India on October 9th, 2015 at the Powerade Center. This is the first time in ECHL history that one of it’s developmental clubs will be hosting a game vs an international team.
The City of Brampton has one of the largest Indian communities in all of Canada. Both the Brampton Beast hockey club and the National Ice Hockey Association of India are hoping that this monumental moment in hockey history is the beginning increased interest in the sport in India. It is also hoped this opens up opportunities for people around the world to have the right to play Ice Hockey and enjoy the experience of playing the sport we all love, no matter where they are.
In the entire country of India, there is only one hockey rink located at an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level. It is beyond tough for some people to adjust to playing in places like Denver and Calgary, let alone at a rink that is at a level that can lead to high altitude sickness. Despite hockey being played in India since 1908, it being one of the most populated nations on earth, funding and opportunity to build more rinks simply has not been there until recently. In 2009 head coach Adam Sherlip decided to take things a step further and start moving India into a developing hockey nation.
Head coach Sherlip will be bringing a total of 10-12 players to Canada for this opportunity. He described his team as being “very excited” and that they “could not believe” that they will be coming to Canada for this opportunity. The Brampton Beast will be helping the Indian national team with an open try-out for Canadians of Indian decent to help fill out the roster. The players that make the roster will be recognized as Team India National Hockey Players. In addition, the Beast may be looking for billet families so that the players from India will experience life here in Canada, something they will never forget.
The Indian national team will be using sticks from former NHLer Donald Brashear’s company, BRASH87. The game will be played at the Powerade Center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada on Friday, October, 9th at 7:15 pm. The game between the Beast and Team India is a fantastic opportunity for hockey fans to tune in, experience a truly monumental game in hockey history and to see these players have an experience of a lifetime while supporting the growth of hockey all around the world.
Here is what Head Coach Adam Sherlip had to say: