Archive | Ice Hockey RSS feed for this section

Free Skating in Almaty, Rok

18 Nov

OK, so we take it all back – there is some good value to be had In Kazakhstan after all. Halyk Arena opened its doors this week, offering free ice skating to Almatinians until the end of the year.

Back in 2011 this very blog berated Kazakhstan for being a rip-off, but now we’ve been forced to reassess that opinion as free skating arrives in its commercial capital, Almaty.

Skating fans should head for the 3,000 capacity Halyk Arena, one of the main venues for next January’s Winter Student Games, or Universiade (The Olympics for university students) in Almaty, to take advantage of a freebie spin on the ice.


Sunkar, the games’ mascot, gets ready to take to the ice at the Halyk Arena 


The newly-built facility was launched this week and is Kazakhstan’s first sports facility to have struck a naming rights deal. The nation’s biggest bank, Halyk Bank, has paid an undisclosed fee for the right to have its name attached to the stadium for three years.

One of the aims of holding the games is to promote winter sports among the population, so it was good to see loads of kids joining Sunkar, the mascot of the Almaty games, on the ice at the arena opened its doors earlier this week.


Sunkar and his young friends on the ice

The free skating offer is on Friday evenings (20.00-22.00), and all day on Saturday and Sunday and runs until 31 December. Skates can be hired, for a fee, at the rink.

The Universiade starts on 28 January and runs until 8 February. Halyk Arena will host the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament.


Kazakhstan: Barys Astana Hockey Star’s Agent Speaks Out

17 Apr

The agent of Barys Astana captain, Kevin Dallman, has spoken out after the Astana defenceman hit the headlines in his natvie Canada last week with specualtion over his future role at Kazakhstan’s sole representative in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Europe’s answer to the NHL.

Dallman’s agent said that his client’s contract is due to expire on 30 April and terms had been agreed for an extension, but the star’s wife, Stacy Dallman, is pregnant and the couple has not yet decided where to have the baby. This refutes allegations made in the Canadian press about why the Dallman’s had left Kazakhstan.

The Toronto Sun carried a story on 11 April that reported Stacy Dallman had been refused a Kazakhstan visa apparently because of a controversial blog she wrote about Kazakhstan, Adventures in Kaziland, while living in Kazakhstan. This post in particular seems to have got someone’s back up.

According to the agent, we will have to wait and see what happens after the ice hockey world championships in May when the final word on whether Dallman  will be playing in Kazakhstan next season will be given.




Kazakhstan: Bloggers Beware as Hockey Star’s Wife Refused Visa

12 Apr

Stacy Dallman, wife of Barys Astana ice hockey team star Kevin Dallman, is reporting on her blog Adventures in Kaziland, that she has been refused a Kazakhstan visa after living in the country for four years.

Her blog took a look at life in Kazakhstan and didn’t flinch from criticising problems such as the endemic corruption in the country. After pressure from her husband’s agent, she was forced to remove a post from her blog in March 2012.

If you are wondering where the last post went…. well….Kevins agent made me delete it! Well the agent is blaming it on the team, the team is blaming it on the owner of the team, the owner of the team is blaming it on the president of the country. I’m not quite sure if the president of any country would have enough time on his or her hands to worry about one little blog that less than 100 people read per day…but that’s their story and they are sticking to it.

What’s got into Astana that it’s running scared of a blogger getting 100 hits a day? Have recent moves to stifle dissent within the country now been extended to foreigners?

With its new three-party parliament Kazakhstan likes to present itself as a democracy, but it takes more than a sham parliament  to make a true  democracy with a functioning civil society.

Not only has Kazakhstan lost a critical blogging voice, but Barys Astana has also lost its star defender as  Kevin Dallman’s contract, which had another three years to run, has now been terminated.

Stacy Dallman signed off with the following

I’m done.

No more blogs about Kazakhstan.

I leave behind some of the most intelligent, discerning young people who are poised to become the next leaders of a historically repressed country that I am confident has the desire and ambition to overcome it’s problems.

My expulsion from the country only verifies each and every point that I have witnessed over the past four years spent in Astana.

Kazakhstan: Under-tens Hockey Brawl

14 Dec

Ice hockey is a sport that is well-known for fights on the ice, but a recent match in Kazakhstan saw the rough and tumble spread out of control with a group of nine-year olds giving it all they were worth. Click here to see the brutal brawl between the juniors from Burabay and Astana.

Ice hockey is a sport that is growing in popularity in Kazakhstan and pro team Barys Astana competes in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Eurasia’s answer to North America’s NHL. Barys are currently fourth in the standings for the Eastern conference.

Kazakhstan’s Ice Queens Mauled in Switzerland

18 Apr

Kazakhstan’s women’s ice hockey team have been taking a mauling at the world championships in Switzerland. Despite being the top team in Asia and ranked 8 in the world, the team has found itself seriously out of its depth in Switzerland.

On 17 April Canada downed the Kazakhs 7-0. The scoreline could have been worse but for the valiant efforts of 20-year-old goalie Daria Obydennova who blocked 64 shots on goal. It was an exhausting weekend for Daria – on Saturday she made 52 saves as the Kazakhs lost 5-3 to Finland.

Kazakhstan won gold in the seventh Asian Winter Games, held in Almaty and Astana earlier this year, after beating China 4-1 in the final. The scale of the task facing the Asia’s ice queens is put into perspective, however, with the fact that Canada has some 85,000 registered players whilst Kazakhstan has just 86.

There’s still an outside chance that Kazakhstan could progress to the quarter-finals if it can mange to overcome Switzerland on Tuesday 19 April. There’s hope for the Kazakhs as Canada trounced the hosts 12-0 earlier in the week.