Steindor Igason has two assists in 10 games in his first KIJHL season.

Revelstoke Grizzlies’ Steindor Igason off to play for Iceland

Revelstoke Grizzlies' forward Steindor Igason off to play for Iceland in Division IIB of World Junior Hockey Championships in Spain.

The main event of the World Junior Hockey Championships is over, but for the Revelstoke Grizzlies Steindor Igason, they’re just beginning.

Igason, who hails from Iceland, will be representing his country in Division IIB of the WJHC, which gets underway on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Jaca, Spain. They will be facing off against teams from Australia, China, South Korea, Serbia and the host country.

“It’s pretty good hockey,” Igason said. “I think it’s better hockey there than here. I think it’s because you’re playing for your country. It is softer there because of IIHF rules, but it is faster there.”

Unbeknownst to many, the WJHC actually features six divisions. The top division, which Canada plays in, is the one that gets all the attention. Below that, there are five other divisions, where countries from all over the world compete for a chance to move up a level. Division III, the lowest one, features teams from South Africa, Mexico, Turkey and other non-hockey countries.

Despite the island country’s name, and the Mighty Ducks movie series might have you believe, Iceland has little hockey tradition. With a tiny population of only 321,000 people, and only 611 registered hockey players in the entire country, Iceland has bounced between the bottom divisions of the WJHC for most of its hockey history.

Igason, 19, plays defence for team Iceland, though he has been playing forward for the Grizzlies this season. This will be his fifth time at the U20 World Championships. Last year, his team finished fifth in the six-team division, avoiding relegation to Division III.

He expects to be either the captain or assistant captain on the team and his goal is to lead his team to first place and a move up into Division IIA.

“We have a pretty good team now. My buddies play in the States, so we have pretty good guys from there,” he said. “My home team is doing great in Iceland. Half the team is from my old team, so I think we’re going to win, hopefully.”

Igason got into hockey on roller skates before moving to the ice. He liked the sport enough to keep it up. He played junior hockey in Iceland before moving to Canada last spring and trying out for the Kamloops Storm. He made the team out of the main camp and started the season there until he was dealt to the Grizzlies for Aiden Silzer-Hooker.

He said the calibre of hockey here is better than in Iceland. “It’s way more physical and way faster hockey,” he said. “It’s way bigger here than in Iceland so you have to be better.”

Iceland opens the tournament this Saturday, Jan. 11, against South Korea. Igason will be away for two weeks before re-joining the Grizzlies for the final month of the season.

 

 

Just Posted

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Casual memberships now available through the Kootenay Carshare Coop

The Kooteany Carshare Cooperative is now offering a new casual membership. Waving… Continue reading

Sister Says playing Saturday at Revelstoke Summer Street Fest

Canadian siblings bring their soulful indie-pop sound to Grizzly Plaza

Ministry denies request for air quality monitoring in Revelstoke

Revelstoke City Council’s request that an air quality monitoring system be re-established… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke and CSRD reach fire protection agreement

A new fire protection agreement has been negotiated between the City of… Continue reading

UPDATE: Air quality improves slightly

Breathing conditions are improving, though still not ideal

Evacuation alert for Dark Lake Valley area

There are 21 properties are affected

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Troops heading to Lumby/Cherryville to lend a hand with wildfires

Canadian Armed Troops expected to be in the area by the end of the week

Thieves target tires and rims in Shuswap

Salmon Arm RCMP report two recent incidents, a van used in one theft was stolen in Surrey

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

25-year-old Edmonton man pronounced dead on Shuswap Lake houseboat

Sicamous RCMP deem death to be non suspicious, BC Coroners Service investigating

Most Read