Last week, it was announced that the Brampton Beast would take on Team India on October 9 at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
Team India's head coach, Adam Sherlip, was thrilled about the upcoming game.
"India has had tremendous success over the past season, competing in the Challenge Cup of Asia, and doing quite well in it, as well. This was always something we had ambition in doing," Sherlip explained to EOTP.
Cary Kaplan, general manager of the Beast, echoed his sentiments.
"Brampton is unique in many ways. The city has a huge Indian community, we're the only ECHL team in Canada, and knew that this is a fantastic opportunity for the community," said the Beast GM. "The ECHL has been on board with this idea. To us it was a no brainer."
The question on everyone's mind: will Team India be competitive?
"I won't lie. If we brought the entire team to Brampton, we wouldn't fare that well," Sherlip admitted. "So we're bringing 10 to 12 players over from India, and holding a tryout for Canadians of Indian descent to fill out the remaining spots."
No matter how close the score ends up being, one thing's for sure: it'll be a fantastic evening of hockey.
"It'll be a great event," Kaplan said. "It'll have an Indian flavour, that will surround the actual game itself. We might change the format a little depending on the calibre of talent we come across at the tryouts."
"[Our team] just didn't realize the true calibre of hockey here in North America until I showed them video of the top level of hockey," Sherlip explains. "They ask me, 'if I were to move to North America, would I be able to play?' They love the game as much as anyone, and train extremely hard."
"When people think of India, they don't necessarily think of hockey because of the climate and such. But it's a ripple effect. Our hope is we can get more Indians to play hockey. We're moving in the right direction. The team members of Team India are truly part of a community. They train hard, get better, and compete together."
"It's truly a terrific event for the community, and also our organization," Caplan opined. "Not only do fans get tickets to this game, but the ticket packages also include tickets to a Beast ECHL game later in the season."
Here's how you can buy tickets to support this international endeavour. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to Team India.