Concordia Stingers Men’s Hockey in Italy ahead of 2023 Season

The Stingers in action against Klagenfurt AC. Photo courtesy of EC-KAC/Florian Pessentheiner.

The Stingers face off against two professional European teams during training camp.

For the second year in a row, the Concordia Stingers Men’s hockey program took the trip across the Atlantic Ocean en route to Italy, where they faced off against two professional ice hockey teams.

Upon their arrival in Cortina, Italy, during the final week of August, the Stingers hit the ice at Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio for their practice sessions.

After a multi-day training camp, the Stingers traveled south to Stadio Odegar di Asiago for their matchup against Asiago HC, an Italian ice hockey club that is part of the International Central European (ICE) Hockey League.

Known as one of the higher-skilled hockey leagues in Europe, the ICE Hockey League consists of teams from Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Slovenia. Several former National Hockey League (NHL) players are currently in the league, including Asiago HC head coach Tom Barrasso, who is a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

The tough game resulted in an 8-5 loss against Asiago HC, though the Stingers continued on with their training camp. Their next and final opponent would be against Klagenfurt AC, an Austrian ICE Hockey League club.

Klagenfurt AC finished fifth out of the 13 teams in the ICE Hockey League standings in 2023, meaning it would be another tall task for the Stingers.

Some members of the Stingers taking in the view of the Alps in Italy. Photo courtesy of Stingers Men’s Hockey.

Despite losing 7-1 at Klagenfurt, the Stingers and Concordia as a whole should be proud knowing the competition they played against. For a university team, it is an amazing experience to have traveled across the ocean to go up against teams that have professional players on their rosters.

The Stingers should also come out of their Italian training camp feeling optimistic for the upcoming regular season. With many of their key players returning, combined with a trip to last season’s U Sports national championship quarterfinals, the Stingers men’s hockey program has the veteran leadership on their roster to make a run back into the national championship tournament during the 2023-2024 season.

The Stingers will come home to begin the official preseason on September 15. They will play host to three non-conference games against Saint Mary’s University and Saint Francis University. Once they wrap up the preseason at McGill, the Stingers will begin their regular season on October 5.

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