Imjin River Classic Commemorates Korean War Hockey

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In the bitter winter of 1952, Canadian soldiers stationed near the frozen Imjin River did what Canadians do whenever they have lots of ice and a little free time.

They played hockey, eh.

Soldiers from the the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and the Royal 22nd Regiment (the Vandoos) fought side by side on the front, but during breaks from the fighting, faced off against each other in friendly hockey games, to put the war behind them for a while by enjoying the great Canadian pasttime.

On Friday, January 19th, the Canadian Embassy and the City of Paju, in cooperation with the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic Games, are hosting a commemorative hockey game near the site of the original games.

Team Canada, composed of active members of the PPCLI, the Vandoos, and Korea’s Canadian residents will face off against Team Corea, a mix of players from Korea University and Yonsei University.

Guests of honor include Korean War veterans Claude Charland of the Vandoos, and Dennis Moore and John Bishop of the PPCLI. Charland and Moore played in the original games during the war.

The game and related events will run from noon to 4:30 on January 19th at Yulgok Wetland Park, Paju. See the Canadian Embassy website for more information.

Individual soldiers form the boards for the rink, while spectators cheer on their regimental comrades from the riverbank.

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