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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 18, 2013, 09:23 PM

Concordia Men's Hockey team has foreign flavor

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Concordia Men's hockey team may be one of the most diverse teams in the region.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Hockey is a game reflective of the people that play it, it's unique because it blends players from different backgrounds and ethnicities; and in an area like Fargo-Moorhead that has people of varied heritages all around, it makes the Concordia men's hockey team a pretty special group.

"Here we go boys, here we go!!"

On the outside, the Cobbers would appear to be your average college hockey

team, prepping for a playoff run, but a closer look reveals there's

nothing average about this team.

(Teammates talking to one another in a different language)

That might sound like gibberish to you, but for Concordia head coach

Chris Howe he understands it perfectly. Howe has put together one of

the most diverse teams in the region, and maybe all of Division 3.

Howe: "It's a lot of fun and you might as well do it, the world has become smaller, the hockey world you go to those places and find some good

players."

Howe has two players that hail from Russia, one from the Czech

Republic, one from Sweden; making for a fun locker room.

Chris Neamonits/Goalie (CANADA): "Definitely have a lot of guys from all over the place; Canada, Europe; it's good because everybody brings something new to the table, you can talk to someone and everyone has different stories."

Dave Velich (CZECH): "That happens every day; on the ice; we swear sometimes in our language and have fun in the locker room that's for sure."

Adam Sundquist(SWEDEN): "To have someone else from Europe like Dave Velich;

it helps me a lot, we have the language barrier together; sometimes we

say some funny stuff, maybe not always the right stuff we're saying

and everyone's laughing."

The language barrier doesn't stop with the players....

Howe: "I'll say something and I'll get a blank stare and I'll say Adam

did you understand and he'll come after and say is that what you

meant?"

Sundquist: "He started talking English and I was like Oh my god and I

was like how is this going to be and I just said yeah."

The international flavor of the Cobbers is not restricted to Europe, Concordia regularly dresses 9 Canadians for each game and Chris Howe believes this can be the start of a pipeline to bring some great hockey players into the F-M Area.

Howe: "It's already started Dom I've been getting more calls from

different people and when I've talked to these players they recognize

Division 3 hockey it is exciting because it brings a whole new element

to your team."

Neamonitis: "Hockey is a worldwide game, for every part of the world you can pick up keys to success so I think it's a plus for us."

Sundquist: "Hopefully a lot of friends to me that are younger that me

know that I am here have a dream and want to come here and play."

Howe tells me that he'd like to expand and try to get into Finland sometime soon...all told the Cobbers have 13 international players on their roster...they start the playoffs on Saturday."

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