Swedish native and Director of Hockey for the California Golden Bears, 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 New Year’s and is the largest youth hockey tournament in the world for players fourteen years old. This year forty-eight 14U teams competed from around the world, with the California 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 eleven games in five days. The team finished their week in Gothenburg, Sweden 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, with coach Torsson commenting, “The tournament itself is a great experience for the kids, competing against some of the best young players in Europe. But upmost and foremost, the cultural experience and international friends made is an experience that will last a lifetime.”