The Felcsíki Ice Skating Rink will be the host of a prestigious international tournament, as university teams from countries such as Canada, the United States of America and Slovakia will be coming to Szeklerland.
The World Cup of College Hockey was first organized in 2018 as the common initiative of the European University Ice Hockey Association (EUHA), the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and Russia Student Hockey League (RSHL). Its objective is to offer college athletes a new opportunity to compete at a national level, and to offer them a chance to meet one another.
The joint team of the Szeklerland Ice Hockey Academy and Sapientia University of Transylvania, Sapientia U23 joined the EUHL in 2019, and it had the opportunity to organize tournaments on home ground as well. The experience gained during the organization of the two EUHL Sekler Cups was one of the main reasons why the European college teams’ association proposed Szeklerland as the host of the next World Cup of University Hockey. Honored by this proposal, the management of the Academy and Sapientia seized the opportunity, and took the necessary steps for the organization process to begin.
The tournament will take place between April 14 and 19th in 2023. The World Cup will feature four matches per day, held at the Felcsíki Ice Skating Rink. Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Romania will be participating. That is, five of the top ten nations in the current adult men’s world ranking will send a university team to Karcfalva. The teams will compete in two groups, with the qualifying rounds based on their results.
In addition to the diplomatic and professional aspects of the tournament, it will also have important implications for the region, as it will provide an opportunity to showcase the region – not only in Europe, but also overseas. The majority of the delegations travelling to the tournament will also be able to get to know Szeklerland’s great potentials.
The representatives of EUHA and ACHA, who visited the region, have stated that the event should be about more than playing hockey; it should provide space for the interaction of different cultures, sporting philosophies and national cuisines.
At this pivotal moment we hope that the expectations of Paul Hebert, head of the American University Hockey Association will be fulfilled:
‘I believe it is a great place to organize the World Cup. I hope there will be enthusiastic supporters too. I know we are living chaotic times. We would have liked to come earlier, but because of the coronavirus pandemic this was impossible. But we really hope that the planned tournament will take place here, as the infrastructure and the environmental aspects are ideal. We like what we are seeing, and feel we can trust the people living here,’ claimed Paul Hebert.