Thrilling 2019 Imjin Classic decided in final seconds of Overtime

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Article / October 29, 2019 / Project number: 19-0151

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By Denis Armstrong, Army Public Affairs

Ottawa, Ontario — The 2019 Imjin Hockey Classic did little to settle the rivalry between two of the Canadian Army’s best hockey teams, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the Royal 22 Régiment (R22eR).

The annual hockey summit was anyone’s game. Underdogs the Princess Patricia’s played hard and avoided the dreaded shootout by scoring in the final seconds of overtime for a nail-biting 6-5 win at the 7th annual Imjin Hockey Classic on Saturday, October 26 at TD Place Arena in Ottawa.

The R22eR, also known informally as the Van Doos, came into the game as favourites, having won the cup in both 2018 and 2017. The PPCLI quickly turned the tables by scoring the first two goals. While the Van Doos made a game of it and forced overtime, the PPCLI  emerged victorious and have bragging rights until next year.

After the game, the Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre said the level of play was impressive, given that many of the participants had not played together before.

Hosted by the Canadian Army and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the annual Imjin Hockey Classic commemorates the sacrifice and esprit de corps of Canadian troops who fought in the Korean War. The Classic is inspired by the championship game played in 1952 by members of R22eR and PPCLI on the frozen Imjin River in Korea during a break in fighting.

At the reception following the game, Lieutenant-General Eyre, who had previously served as Deputy Commander of United Nations Command in Korea, was presented the Presidential Order of National Security Merit Guksun Medal by the Deputy Commander of Combined Forces Command, General Byung Hyuk Choi. The honour recognizes “outstanding meritorious services in the interest of national security.”

Dignitaries attending the reception included Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Mr. Maeng-ho Shin; Senator Yonah Martin; the South Korean Defence Attaché, Colonel Keunsik Moon; President of the Korean Veterans Association, Mr. Bill Black; and, soldiers who played in the 1952 game including Claude Charland of the R22eR.

Also attending in ceremonials were R22eR Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Marc Caron; senior serving member R22eR, Major-General Hercule Gosselin; PPCLI Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier-General (Retired) Vincent Kennedy; senior serving member PPCLI, Major-General Peter Dawe; and Canadian Army Honorary Colonel Paul Hindo.

Before the game and during intermissions, fans were treated to a live performance of traditional Korean music played by Ottafae, and choreographed K-Pop by Salje.

The rivalry will be reignited at the next Imjin Hockey Classic in fall 2020.

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