UPDATE (Nov. 29, 2012) - On Nov. 28, Maccabi USA announced that University of Michigan alums Billy Jaffe and Eric Nystrom will serve as head coach and assistant coach, respectively, of Team USA’s squad for this renowned event.
By Ben Fleck -
From Aug. 17-19, 2013 Jewish ice hockey players will compete for a chance to represent the United States at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, and have the chance to learn from a former Red Wing at the same time.
The three U.S. teams – boys born between 1995-97 and 18+/40+ divisions – will be under the direction of Mathieu Schneider, who played four seasons with Detroit. Schneider played 21 seasons in the NHL, acquiring 223 goals, 520 assists, and 1245 penalty minutes in 1,289 games. The Jewish Virtual Library says that Schneider is the all-time leading Jewish scorer in NHL history.
Tryouts for the three teams will be held in Warwick, Pa. at The Rink at Warwick. This will be the first time since 1997 that the Games will include hockey.
The United States will not be taking any female hockey teams to the 2013 games; the Maccabiah Games do not host women’s ice hockey. However, women are encouraged to participate in the tryouts because this can help create more teams and levels for future Maccabiah Games.
Athletes that make the team will depart for Israel July 10 for a mandatory Israel Connect Program, which includes training and tours throughout Israel prior to the start of the games.
The Maccabiah Games began in 1932, and have grown in many ways. Since 1953, the Games have been held every four years in Israel, always the year following the Olympics. In 2013, more than 7,000 world-class athletes from more than 50 countries are expected to participate in the 19th Maccabiah.
Past U.S. participants in the Maccabiah games include:
- Swimmers Jason Lezak, Mark Spitz and Lenny Krayzelburg
- Gymnasts Mitch Gaylord and Kerri Strug
- NBA basketball players Dolph and Danny Schayes and Ernie Grunfeld
- Tennis star Brad Gilbert
- Soccer U.S. National Team members Benny Feilhaber and Jonathan Bornstein and World Cup soccer player Jeff Agoos
- NHL and Stanley Cup winner Mike Hartman
In 2013, the US expects to bring a team of 900+ to Israel.
The Games run from July 17-30, 2013.
For additional information please contact the Maccabi USA office or Phil Pulley and Devra Schorr, USA Ice Hockey Co-Chairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.