State ATM Corporation's representative team wins 45th International ATC Hockey Tournament
State ATM Corporation's representative team won the 45th International Air Traffic Controllers Hockey Tournament, held from 2 to 7 April on ice arenas of Yubileyny Sports Palace in Sankt-Petersburg. Another team of the Russian ANSP - SnowBalls – leapfrogged its Canadian colleagues from Toronto YYZ Hogs team for the second place.
Due to ATCOs health care reasons, all games of this unofficial world championship were played according to the rules of world veteran championships, i.e. without any hip checks and clap bombs. The winner was determined using a ten score system. Every game had 3 periods of 12 minutes each. 10 points could be scored in each period. One point was awarded for the first puck, the winner of each period was awarded two points (or one point in case of a draw), the last roll-in was scored one more point, and two points were scored for a win of a match (one point in case of a score draw; five points in goalless draw).
At the Tournament Opening Ceremony, Mr. Igor Moiseenko, State ATM Corporation’s Director General, wished all its participants and guests “team spirit, fair play, positive emotions and outstanding victories, as well as great impressions and memories of Russia”. Mr. Nikita Danilov, Deputy Director General of the State ATM Corporation, was the opening ceremony Guest of Honour. Mr. Evgeniy Novozhonov, Director of “North-West Air Navigation» branch, and Mr. Alexey Gusarov, Olympic champion, the keeper of the Stanley Cup, dropped the ceremonial first puck.
This year 17 teams participated in the championship, they were divided into four divisions featuring Russian geography – Lake Baikal, Volga River, Ural Mountains, Siberia. Originally, each participating team had to play four matches without a play-off; the champion was defined by total points scored. Russia was represented by three teams – SnowMen, SnowBalls and Bears; Czech Republic and Slovenia sent one ice team each; others were from the Unites States and Canada. The first Russian team - SnowMen – scored the most points (40) winning gold before the end of the top competitors matches. The second Russian team – SnowBalls –stood on the second place of the victory podium lagging three point behind. “Sky navigators with hockey sticks” from the Marple leaf country took the bronze.
It is noteworthy that this was not the first time for Russia to host such tournaments. In 2000, ATC hockey players were greeted in Moscow. At that time, the State ATM Corporation’s team won its first championship title. Nowadays, Russian ATCOs hold the title of eightfold world’s champions after gaining revenge from their overseas colleagues. Congratulations to our sportsmen and Igor Mitronin, the Head of ATCOs Sports Club!