U.S. Tinker hockey team halts Canadian Detachment’s winning streak

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  • By Jacob McGuire, Staff Writer

It had been three years since Tinker’s United States Air Force team beat the base’s Canadian Detachment in the annual CAN/US Cup hockey game. That all changed on May 3.

Led by forward Kamil Bigos, the U.S. team ended the Canadian’s winning streak, with a 4-2 victory. 

The Canadian Detachment started off quick, winning the opening face-off and having an early breakaway from forward, Royal Canadian Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Al Meinzinger. However, nothing came of it.

With 8:40 remaining in the first period, the Canadians struck first, coming off MCpl. Ryan Driscoll’s stick, a member of the 552nd ACW Training Squadron, assisted by Sgt. Matt Mochoruk, a member of the 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron.

The Americans would score the next three goals.

The first with 1:30 left in the first period, courtesy of Bigos. Then another from right wing, Capt. Jason Stewart, 552nd Operations Support Squadron, right before the first intermission.  The third goal came 11 minutes into the second period, from Senior Airman, Austin Hunt, 552nd maintenance squadron, who found the net off a rebound from a Bigos’ shot.

Team Canada answered with a goal from Capt. Eric Emanuele, 552nd Training Squadron, with 14:15 left in the game. Emanuele’s goal put the Canadians within a goal, but it was short-lived.

The Canadian Detachment pulled goalie Tim Luedtke to get the offensive advantage, but it only left an open net for Oklahoma City native Drew Mandelkow, who scored to take the 4-2 lead, and eventually the game.

“Team USA played a great game,” Meinzinger said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”

Col. Geoffrey F. Weiss, 552nd ACW commander, mimicked Meinzinger’s comments.

“The game was very enjoyable to watch,” he said. “We too, look forward to next year.”