ANGOLA, Ind. – Four members of the Trine University ACHA D2 men's hockey team have been chosen to represent the United States and travel to Russia to compete in the Student Hockey Challenge.
The Student Hockey Challenge in Russia is hosted by the Student Hockey League and is designed to bring teams from Russia, Europe, Asia and the USA together to promote high-level ice hockey competition, cultural enrichment and international relations between students and staff from around the world. The event will take place Tuesday, October 1 through Sunday, October 6 in Barnaul, Russia.
The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) finalized its roster for the challenge in August, with four members of the Trine University men's ACHA D2 hockey team making the cut. Senior forward Joe Laskero (Orland Park, Ill.) is joined by juniors forward Christian Wirth-Karbler (Westland, Mich.) and defenders Jake Hatten (Granger, Ind.) and Nicholas Ludeman (Heymarket, Va.) in making the trip.
The group has been the core of a Thunder team that has made two straight trips to the ACHA D2 national championships, in just its two seasons of existence.
The 22-member Select Team roster, including the four Trine athletes, met for a mini-camp in late August. They will play an exhibition game against ACHA D1 Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 28 before departing for Russia on Sept. 29th and returning home on Monday, Oct. 7.
As in past trips, cultural and educational enrichment activities will be planned. In the past teams have toured Red Square, toured architectural and historic sites in the area, visited Russian national parks, dined at restaurants offering traditional Russian fare and attended seminars presented by staff of participating teams regarding the relationship between academics and athletics in the various countries.
Additionally, teams interact with each other off the ice, providing an opportunity to make international friends and gain a better understanding of the lives of their counterparts. The educational and cultural value of the trip is obvious and clearly valuable in a world that has many international challenges.