Tag Archives: Ice Hockey

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: 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.