The Trinity Western University men’s hockey team began a two-week goodwill tour of China on Tuesday.
The tour, to include several games in Beijing and Tianjin, is in honour of the 25th anniversary of TWU’s working relationship with Chinese universities.
One of the major events will be a winter sports festival an Chengde, featuring 50 teams from Europe and Asia competing in three events, including hockey, inline hockey, and bandy, which is an 11-on-11 variation on ice hockey on a rink the size of a soccer field, using a ball instead of a puck.
“This is an absolute trip of a lifetime,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “The experience will certainly be one of a kind. The hockey should be really good and we can’t wait to take in all the opportunities that await us. This is also a fantastic chance for TWU to continue to build itself within China and, with the Winter Olympics coming to Beijing in 2022, hockey is certainly a growing sport in the country.”
He said it will be a good bonding opportunity for the team and a chance to springboard them into the second half of the season.
The Spartans finished the first half of the regular season with a 10-3 record and sit second in the BCIHL standings.
The team will be back home on Jan. 9.
Previously, TWU has sent men’s and women’s volleyball teams and the men’s basketball team to China on similar goodwill trips.