Golden Bears take in Swedish hockey experience, on, off the ice
Sweden native and California Golden Bears director of hockey Peter Torsson jumped at the chance to compete in his home country when his Bears’ 14U team was invited to participate in the Gothenburg Ice Hockey Cup.
The Gothenburg Cup takes place over the New Year’s holiday and is the largest youth hockey tournament in the world for players 14 years old. This year, a total of 48 14U teams competed from around the world, with the Golden Bears the only squad representing the United States.
After adjusting to the nine-hour time difference, the Bears settled in for a grueling schedule of 11 games in five days. The team finished their week in Gothenburg with a record of 5-5-1.
Unfortunately, a final 8-2 victory over Mölndal still left the Bears a half point shy of the final championship round. The Bears had a number of standouts, but were led by captain J.T. Halliday, who tallied the most points, and goalie Leo Kaplan, who was stellar between the pipes, keeping his teammates close in every game.
Players and coaches alike headed home impressed by the high level of competition they had faced.
“The tournament itself is a great experience for the kids, competing against some of the best young players in Europe,” said Torsson. “But upmost and foremost, the cultural experience and international friends made is an experience that will last a lifetime.”
— Sophie Kaplan