Troops in Europe to settle score at historic Olympic hockey rink

Anton Soltis, center for the Stuttgart Mustangs, skates away with the puck after a near miss on goal during the 25th Armed Forces Alpine Classic Hockey Tournament, Feb. 18, 2017. Stuttgart is one of 10 teams competing in the 2019 tournament at Garmisch.


By MARTIN EGNASH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 13, 2019

Ten hockey teams from military communities in Europe are set to compete in the Alpine Classic Hockey Tournament, in Garmisch, Germany, starting Thursday.

The tournament, which formerly went by the name The Armed Forces Alpine Classic, will consist of 56 games over three days, culminating in a final match on Saturday.

The teams this year are the Stuttgart Mustangs, Wiesbaden Vikings, Bayern Rangers, Baden Bruins, Naples Knights, SHAPE Shields, Geilenkirchen Flyers, Aviano Ice Dragons, Vicenza Lions and UK War Birds.

The longtime rival Vikings and Rangers are strong favorites to win the tournament. But players and coaches expect a lot of action over the next few days.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of great hockey action,” said William Watson, the tournament director.

Matches will be held on the famous 1936 Olympic Games hockey ice rink and are largely for bragging rights for U.S. troops and civilian staff stationed at various bases around Europe.

“It means so much to these players to win this tournament and have bragging rights for the year,” Watson said.

Twitter: @marty_stripes

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