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Hockey for a good cause.

A team of hockey-playing foreign military attaches known as the Lame Ducks put up a valiant effort against their Canadian Forces opponents in a charity competition on March 28 at the University of Ottawa's Mint Sports Complex.

The Lame Ducks is a walking United Colors of Benetton ad, with representation from Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Britain and the United States, and captained by Herculean-sized German attache Lt.-Col. Kay Kuhlen, whom one bystander dubbed "the Terminator on ice."

The ying to his towering yang was CDS Walt Natynczyk, who was commanding a motley crew of skilled players from the three service branches of the Canadian Forces, who were intent on making the Lame Ducks even lamer.

Governor General David Johnston surprised many when he made an unannounced entry in the arena, and astonished everyone when he donned the striped referee's jersey and demonstrated his formidable skating skills.

The novice Ducks meekly quacked along in the first period, down 5-1 to a well-oiled machine that had clearly been scouring the ice since diaper age.

The Canadian general and flag officer team engaged in some nifty manoeuvres and precision shooting, leading many to think that the end result would be a non-fatal massacre.

But the martial spirits of the Ducks were not to be dampened. A remarkable recovery came out later, helped by two goals from team captain "The Terminator," two from Colonel Michal Peksa of the Polish Embassy, and one from Brigadier Barry Le Grys of the British High Commission, resulting in a respectable final score of 8-5.

"Bear in mind that, for some of these guys, their home nations don't even have ice, so under the circumstances I think we didn't do too badly," said LCol. Kuhlen at a reception afterwards, where he presented a rather special giant-sized cheque to a representative from the Military Family Resource Centre of the National Capital Region.

The competition raised about $20,000 for the centre, a not-for-profit organization established to provide information and support for Canadian Forces families--an achievement that LCol. Kuhlen is particularly proud of.

"We managed to raise $20,000 just because we played bad hockey? Having an opportunity to support these families is just a massive honour."
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Title Annotation:Hits & misses
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:May 1, 2012
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