ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — A youth hockey team from Ukraine arrived in the Chicago area this week to raise money to rebuild their ice rink that was destroyed by Russian bombs.
Most of the players on the team are 12 and 13-years-old. One is young as 7 and one is celebrated his 18th birthday Tuesday.
The team arrived in Chicago Monday after three days traveling from Ukraine.
It is the first time they’ve been outside of their country since the Russian invasion a year ago.
Their home ice rink in Kharkiv was destroyed early on in the war, so many of these players have not been able to practice the way they normally would.
Tuesday, they practiced ahead of a three day tournament that begins on Friday in Romeoville. They’ll be playing against teams from the United States, Canada and some others from other parts of the world.
The main focus is not only the playing but also the fundraising.
The entry fee for the tournaments will go toward rebuilding that ice rink in Kharkiv. They will also be taking donations at the door.