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Four more Dutch Canadians join Netherlands national team

‘Oranje’ to WC Division 1 ice hockey

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands - Four Cana-dian-born hockey players with dual citizenship have become eligible for the Dutch national team. They have been selected in preparation for the IIHF World Championships in Division 1, Group A. The tournament will be held in Oslo, Norway.

Selected were newcomers Justin Bekkering, Kevin Hoogsteen, Lamonte Polet, and Ryan van Diemen. They join 27 other players of whom Dutch-Canadian Sjon van Wynia earlier had become eligible.

The Dutch team ranks 25th in the world, the lowest ever since the IIHF assembled a list in 1935. The highest position - 8th - was reached at the 1950 world championships, repeated again in 1953 and once more in 1981. The Dutch came in 9th at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Rookies in the 2004 team selection are Ryan van Diemen of Kamloops, BC (a player of the Geleen Smoke Eaters), Kevin Hoogsteen of Thunder Bay, Ontario (Amsterdam Bulldogs), Justin Bekkering of Lethbridge, Alberta and Lamont Polet of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Bekkering and Polet play for the Heerenveen Flyers.

Other Dutch Canadians in the Dutch Premier Division (which numbers only four teams) include Casey van Schagen, Nathan Vanderbaaren, brothers Nick and Josh Verbruggen, Chad Euverman, Lester Arts, Jamie Visser, Phil Groeneveld, Ben Vanderklok, Doug Stienstra, Marcel Kars, and Josh Oort.