During an everyday hockey conversation with a parent, the Atom Terriers head coach, James De Santo, was asked if he’d consider taking a team to Beijing, China in the summer of 2017 to play in the 2nd Annual, CCM Beijing Invitational Hockey Tournament. It didn’t take him very long to answer with a resounding, “YES!” And so the planning and preparation began. Joining coach James on the journey would be his two Terrier assistant coaches, Brian Bell and Dave Chirrey, along with 6 of his current Terrier players.
The Tournament ran from July 24th to 31st, 2017, but many of the participants extended their stay and took advantage of the unique sights and cuisine that the country has to offer. Most of the players and their families had the opportunity to experience a great deal of the Chinese culture and see such sights as Tiananmen Square, The Royal Palace, The Great Wall of China, The Terra Cotta Warriors along with a whole host of other amazing sights.
The tournament itself had divisions ranging from Minor Atom to Peewee and hosted over 12 nations from around the world. Coach James’ squad faced off against teams from China, Hong Kong, Russia, USA, Canada and Thailand. The team had a great experience and got to see first hand how other countries play the game. Their efforts, time and dedication paid off with a well deserved bronze metal finish.
This was undoubtedly the experience of a lifetime for the Terrier players and families. Everyone was fortunate to have the time and commitment of Coach James and his assistants behind them. In fact, The Mississauga News got wind of the trip and published an article this summer about their experience: https://www.mississauga.com/sports-story/7515183-mississauga-hockey-players-get-the-most-out-of-trip-to-china/.