Ice Hockey Blues on camp in beautiful Zuoz

Jaason Geerts 5 February 2014

Of all ice hockey venues, the open air rink in Zuoz, Switzerland ranks among the most exquisite and majestic in the world, with panoramic views on all sides of the idyllic grandeur of the Swiss Alps.

It is here that the men’s Blues hold their annual training week and tournament, a tradition which dates back to 1923.  
Astounding scenery aside, the Zuoz experience is not for the faint of heart.  This week-long immersion in the sport features three on-ice sessions a day at high altitude.  

The focus of the camp begins with developing individual skills such as skating, passing and shooting, and advances to cover positioning and team systems extensively. These develop and equip each player with the necessary skills and knowledge, as well as the confidence that his teammates will be in the right place and in sync.  

The week ends with a five-game tournament featuring local teams, which is an opportunity to find effective line combinations and generate on-ice chemistry, as well as to adapt to various game situations. The Swiss style of play is non-physical, but technically excellent and well-coordinated.

The week was a success and the Blues won in the consolation final in a shootout against the St Moritz All Stars, thanks in large part to the goaltender Mike Kang.   

By the end of the seven days, the Blues had found their chemistry, learned to play more consistent hockey, and, importantly, drawn even closer together as a team.  These elements will surely better position them to do battle against Oxford in the Varsity Match on 8 March in Oxford.  Tickets will be on sale soon – check our Facebook group for more information! The Blues are next in action in an away game against Warwick on Saturday 8 February.

As an ice hockey venue, Zuoz is as surreal as it gets.  For an ice hockey player, the only finer experience is a repeat Varsity victory.