The Hockey Club Morzine Avoriaz, or ‘The Penguins’ as they are known locally, are one of the best ice hockey teams in France. We bet you didn’t know that when you booked your winter holiday! Formed in 1963, they are also one of the oldest teams and each week they pack out the Skoda Arena in Morzine with hundreds of screaming ice hockey fans.
We asked the Penguins captain Mickael Brodin why he thinks you should watch the team play this winter…
‘I’m 30 years old and I’m from Paris. I started playing ice hockey when I was three years old – I remember it well! Since then it’s been my dream to be a professional ice hockey player, I’m very lucky that my dream has come true. I’ve been playing with the Penguins for six years now!
We practice every day of the week except on Sundays at the Skoda Arena – the public can come and watch us train on the ice if they like. We also do three or four gym training sessions a week to make sure we are as physically fit as possible.
Last year was a ‘so so’ season for the Penguins. We did brilliantly in the Magnus league cup, and went all the way to the final. We finished 6th in the season table so, we’re hoping to do a lot better this year!
I love how international our team is this season. There are seven different nationalities playing for the Penguins – Canadian, Swedish, Finnish, American Swiss, Slovakian and French of course. I think we have a really big chance of success this year. We also have a new coach and a style of playing that the Penguins fans will love. I have big hopes for us!
The atmosphere in the Skoda Arena during a match is incredible. The rink is often full and the noise is something very special! People who’ve never been to an ice hockey match before often don’t realise that it’s a very physical, fast paced sport and there can be intense rivalry between the teams. It can get quite aggressive but only ever within the rules of the sport!
It’s great playing the sport I love in the mountains. We have really busy training schedules during the winter season and the whole team knows that we’re here to play ice hockey first and foremost. It’s important that we don’t injure ourselves skiing or use too much energy on the other distractions in a ski resort! We wait until we’ve had an excellent season and then we celebrate…
Ice hockey is a great sport for everyone – for families, groups and couples – everyone gets into the spirit of the match and no one is ever bored! There are always lots of goals, a few fights and lots of noise from our supporters. The best things in the area are skiing, cheese and hockey. If you’re in Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz on holiday this winter, I really would recommend a trip to the ice hockey, you won’t be disappointed’
You can buy your tickets for the Penguins’ home matches at the Skoda Arena or at the Office de Tourisme in Morzine. Matches are usually on Wednesday or Saturday evenings at around 8.30pm and adult entry is €8, €5 for kids. Visit the Penguins’ website for more information on the team.