(Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)

(Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)

By Laura Booth - March 10, 2015

Originally appeared here in Calgary Sun

For hockey-loving children in Israel, the chance to head to the rink, lace up a pair of skates, and throw together a game of shinny is rare.

The only rink and hockey school in the entire country exists in its northern most city, Metulla, and is called the Canada Israel Hockey School (CIHS).

So when a group of 20 hockey players from Israel arrived in Calgary Tuesday, after a week in Vancouver, they were both thrilled and shocked at how obsessed this country is with the sport.

“Whenever they get to go into a new arena, it’s a whole new experience ... they just get so excited by every experience,” said CIHS volunteer and North American liaison Mitch Miller.

“To walk in and see a pro—shop here, to see all the hockey stuff, to see a vending machine that sells laces — they go crazy.”

The CIHS team of girls, boys, Arabs and Jews will spend five days in Calgary, taking in as much hockey as possible. Read More