Junior Hockey Paves a Pathway for International Players

Joel Moline | The Sheridan Press James Downie, right, and Stepan Ruta, left, call Whitney Rink at the M&Ms Center their most recent home in a far traveling hockey career.

SHERIDAN — Looking down the Sheridan NA3HL Hawks roster, you’ll find players with hometowns from different areas of the United States including Alaska, Wyoming and the Midwest. As the season progresses, two players joining the Hawks have roots outside of the U.S. Forward Stepan Ruta is a native of Jaromer, Czech Republic, and goalie James Downie lists Cattai, Australia, as home. The hockey careers of these players have opened up opportunities for travel and new cultural experiences.

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