TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Both the Canadian and U.S. team captains are predicting a competitive ice war this month in the ninth annual CAN/US Cup hockey spectacular.
“I think it’s going be a completely different game this year because there are different skaters and different skating abilities on both sides,” American captain David said. “It should be a really close game this year.”
Canadian captain Andrew said his team is feeling confident about a win this year after last year’s outcome in favor of the Americans. One of their defensemen is freshly arrived from the North, he said.
“He still has some Canadian stink on him, and we’ll definitely be looking to deploy that on the Americans this year,” he quipped.
The puck for the free game will drop at 6 p.m. May 12 at the Blazers Ice Centre, 8000 S. Interstate 35 Road, in Oklahoma City. Up to 1,500 people now attend the friendly bragging-rights match that began in 2009. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for those wanting prime bleacher seating.
The family-friendly atmosphere will include a kids rink with a net; a “Sidney Crosby” dryer for taking shots at the appliance’s open door; photos with players and squadron mascots; and 8-year-old players on ice during intermission. Full concessions will be open.
The annual match-up is a fundraiser for the 552nd Air Control Wing Airman’s Fund, which aids Airmen and families in financial emergencies and other needs.
The U.S. leads the series 6-2. While hockey is known as “Canada’s game,” the 552nd ACW Canadian Detachment lists about 40 members. The American side draws from a roster 100 times that size.
Nonetheless, Andrew said every Canadian on the team is “highly skilled.” If they look less than top notch on May 12, it’s “because we’re also very polite, being Canadian, and we’re just trying to match the adversary. It’s in their rink, and we don’t want to embarrass them too much,” he said.
The cup’s Facebook page can be found by searching for “552 ACW Can /Am Cup.”