On December 21 both of our Richmond Royals Pee Wee teams have an opportunity of a lifetime! Both of our Pee Wee teams have been asked to host games against a team from the Ukraine called Druzhba 78. The first face off will be at 12:00 at SNP against our Royals PeeWee AA team. At 6:40 pm our PeeWee A team will have an opportunity to face off against the same team also at SNP. The boys will share a meal and watch movies together in between games. Please cheer all of these boys on as they reach out to each other for games of good will!
Please read the following email to learn more about this fantastic experience for all of these players.
From: Beate Brandl
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:43 PM
To: Michael Couture
Subject: Re: Ukraine Hockey team
Thank you for your e-mail. I am amazed how wonderful your organization is. Within a few days we have games scheduled and you are in action as well. Too bad we live in the Annapolis area as it seems that you have a fantastic organization in Richmond. My son plays on the Tri-City Bantam blue team and we just played your Bantam team about two weeks ago and took home a bad loss......But even with the loss, it was good hockey..........
I will send you a bunch of info on the team. The team is world renowned as their coach is one of the best youth coaches in the world.
Ivan has coached Ovechkin, Zubrus, Zyuzin and about 10 other current NHL players. I will send you some pictures and info on the organization and the team.
Ivan can use equipment for all ages.....small and large as long as a child can play in it.......it is worth gold to him......
Ivan and his organization has been blackmailed in the last few years by local governments in the Ukraine to extort money from the Pro-players here in the US. Ivan refuses to cooperate and therefore his club has been robbed, his coaches beaten and arrested and he is currently in the US on a political visa protecting him from prosecution in the Ukraine. The government believes that the huge salaries of the Pro-Players should be shared with them and Ivan has been like a father figure to all his players. Most of them lived with him for several years. The government believes that they have made these players and that they are entitled to their share of their salary.
If you read some of the items I will e-mail to you, it will make more sense. Ivan came to the US to attend an award ceremony and while in the US two of his coaches where arrested and his team manager beaten until she was severely injured.
Ovechkin and Zubrus paid for the 20 kids to fly over here as a Christmas present for Ivan. Peter Bondra, Alex Ovechkin and Dainius Zubrus are all helping me to organize this trip to make it an wonderful experience for the players and host families.
The team will arrive in MD on Dec 13th and will stay until the 30th of December. They will play against the JR Hurricanes, Jr Flyer's, Navy, Tri City, Team Maryland and now Richmond Royals......They would like to play against as many teams as possible and they are looking forward to meeting the local kids and creating friendships and lasting connections and memories.
The team will be participating in the Crabtown Tournament as a Pee Wee team in the AA Division and we are also entering an Bantam AA All Star (American) Team into the Crabtown tournament. If you know of any Bantam players of AA capabilities, who might be interested in participating, please let me know as I am trying to assemble the roster. The Crabtown tournament is from Dec 27-29th, 2009 in Laurel MD at the Gardens Ice House.
Please call me with any questions and any help would be greatly appreciated.
"Success is taking the talent that God has given you and using that to
elevate other people. It's not about accumulating things unto
yourself." --Dr. Ben Carson, M.D.
If you have any good usable hockey equipment your kids aren't using anymore and is taking up space in your house, please consider donating it to these kids! Mike Couture is your point of contact and he will be available for donations at
RIZ on Thursday Dec. 16 from 5:30p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
SNP on Saturday Dec. 17 from 4:10 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
And the Lil' Rink on Friday Dec. 18 from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.