NORAD Canadian Hockey takes Alberta hockey tournament
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The North American Aerospace Defense Command Canadian Forces Hockey Team won the 2007 Prairie Small Base Regional Hockey Championship Feb. 22 after three days of competition at the Canadian Forces Base in Wainwright, Alberta.
The majority of Team NORAD practiced and played exhibition games locally in Colorado Springs, Colo., where NORAD is headquartered, but there were a few challenges for coach and player, Canadian Forces Lt. Col. Larry Zaprozan.
"The core of the team is from Colorado Springs,” Zaprozan explained, “But we integrated NORAD players from other bases in the United States.”
In all, five players from U.S. bases in Alaska and Oklahoma were also part of the team, but did not have the opportunity to play with the 13 players from Colorado Springs until the first game of the three-day competition, which began Feb. 19.
Zaprozan said it was a challenge to bring players together, especially when they did not have the opportunity to practice with nearly one-third of their team.
"It was great to take these bunch of guys and kind of make them into a team and succeed,” said Zaprozan. “I am really proud of everybody for playing their roles so well. As the coach and captain of the team, it could be difficult sometimes if they don’t play their roles.”
NORAD is the bi-national command charged with defending the airspace over the United States and Canada. It is based in Colorado Springs, Colo., but has elements throughout both nations.