Goalie Broda came up huge

Walter Edward “Turk” Broda was born in 1914 and very quickly as a youngster fell in love with hockey. He grew up wanting to be a defenseman, but had lots of difficulty as a skater. When his Brandon, Manitoba, school organized a hockey team, Broda had high hopes, which were soon enough dashed because of his poor skating. At the time, coaches usually selected the chubbiest kid to play goalie, so Broda had shots fired at him every day in practice.

Akim Aliu: advocate for diversity in hockey

In June 2020, a group of nine current and former NHL players established the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA), an organization dedicated to social justice issues in the world of hockey. One of the two co-chairmen of the HDA is Akim Aliu, a 31-year-old former NHL defenseman of Ukrainian origin, who shook the sport in November 2019 by exposing his encounters with racism.

SportsShorts

Chmelevski notches point in NHL debut
Alex “Sasha” Chmelevski produced an assist and two shots on goal in San Jose’s 5-4 shootout win over Anaheim on February 5. Chmelevski was credited with the secondary helper on linemate Matt Nieto’s opening tally. The assist was the 21-year-old Ukrainian’s first NHL point in his debut game with the Sharks. He was selected by San Jose in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Chmelevski totaled 27 points in 42 games with San Jose’s AHL team in 2019-2020. He is slated to spend the bulk of the current season back with the San Jose Barracuda, seeing occasional time with the parent club as an extra forward on the taxi squad.

SportsShorts

SOCCER

Kovalenko signs multi-year deal with Atalanta
Atalanta FC (Bergamo, Italy) announced on February 1 the transfer of FC Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Viktor Kovalenko, and Shakhtar also confirmed that the 24-year-old footballer (he turns 25 on February 14) will continue his career in Italy, but the clubs did not disclose the details of the agreement. According to the Transfermarkt website, the transfer amount was 700,000 euros, contracted for four years and six months until June 30, 2025. Kovalenko, a graduate of the FC Shakhtar Academy, made his debut in the premier team in the 2014-2015 season. He played 200 official matches for the club in all tournaments and scored 32 goals. As part of Shakhtar, he won 10 trophies: he won the Ukrainian league and cup four times, and the Ukrainian Super Cup twice.

Ukrainians contend for best save in UEFA Champions League

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Dynamo Kyiv’s Ruslan Neshcheret, 19, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Anatoliy Trubin, 19, are among eight contenders for the title of best save in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). An online vote is being hosted on Instagram (www.instagram.com/championsleague), where viewers can vote for their favorite goalkeeper of the UCL group stage. The direct website link for the vote is: www.instagram.com/p/CJnv4DxDVUx/.

Ukrainian pro sports updates: baseball

The inscription on his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque says it all: “Considered by many to be the nonpareil umpire of the Post-War Era. A model of consistency with invariable accuracy both behind the plate and on the bases.” Nestor Chylak was an umpire in the American League from 1954 through 1978. He was immensely respected by league management, managers and players for his abilities at keeping the game moving and never being the center of attention. His posthumous election to the Hall of Fame was the ultimate testament to his superior umpiring achievements. At the time he was the eighth umpire inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. (Currently there are 10.)

Sitch men’s soccer starts strong, but falls to seventh place in 2020-2021 standings

WHIPPANY, N.J. – The Chornomorska Sitch men’s premier soccer team is in seventh place for the first half of the 2020-2021 season of the highly competitive Super Division of the Garden State Soccer League (GSSL), which is based in New Jersey. After 10 matches played, Sitch has four wins, one tie and five losses, with 13 points.

Ukrainian Sports Hall of Fame announces 2020 class of inductees

HORSHAM, Pa. – The Ukrainian Sports Hall of Fame announced the inductees for the class of 2020 on November 24, 2020. The 2020 class of inductees includes seven professional athletes; the creation of a new category, recognizing all current and former Ukrainian professional hockey personnel whose name is listed on the Stanley Cup (currently there are 54); nine Olympic and world athletes; eight amateur athletes; 11 individuals recognized as “Builders” of Ukrainian sport; and one in the “Teams” category; and four in the newly created “Legacy” category. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 induction ceremony will be held with the 2021 class of inductees in mid-2021.

Ukrainian pro hockey update:
Trio of Ukrainian defensemen stars shine in NHL campaign

At the conclusion of every National Hockey League game there is a spotlight shown on the game’s three top performers, known as the three stars. In reviewing the abbreviated 2019-2020 NHL season, Ukrainian style, yours truly has taken the three stars tradition a step further with his selection of the three most outstanding Ukrainian players of the year, who all happen to be defensemen.

Third Star – Adam Pelech, New York Islanders

Second Star – Jamie Oleksiak, Dallas Stars

First Star – Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

Ukrainian Pro Sports Update: Paralympics
Ukrainian Romanchuk sets unofficial world record

The Fall 2020 issue of Sports Illustrated featured Ukrainian Daniel Romanchuk in its Scorecard’s Faces in the Crowd section. The 22-year-old Paralympian, who has spina bifida, was acknowledged for setting an unofficial world record for a wheelchair racer with his time of 1:13:57 seconds, covering 26.2 miles at the virtual New York City Marathon in October 2020. This achievement came on the heels of his becoming the youngest winner of the Boston Marathon’s wheelchair division in 2019, which he followed up with additional victories in London, Chicago and New York.

Romanchuk was using the virtual race as a training run, but unexpectedly went off on a record pace on a straight, flat surface. The official world record was 1:20:14 seconds, set by Swiss Heinz Frei in 1999.