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Ukrainian teens finding solace at Minnesota hockey camp: "It's hard for all of us"

MINNEAPOLIS — It is an afternoon at the skating rink in Minnesota. A hockey camp is in progress, and for some young players, their thoughts drift frequently.

“My parents moved to Sweden, and they’re like living in an immigration center,” said 13-year-old Ivan Bondruchk.

The players are from Ukraine, and their families are still there. They are staying with host families. It is a reprieve, but not what they want.

“It’s very hard,” said 14-year-old Sasha Kormakov.

Boris Dorozhenko is their coach. He has been in United States for years doing this. His job is to teach hockey, and keep their minds off home for a while.  

Ivan Bondruchk


“I call it ‘Next Generation Hockey,’ and this system exists in the United States for 15 years,” Dorozhenko said.

But even he is not immune from what is happening in his home country.

“I still have a family in Ukraine. My mom and dad and my younger brother lives there, so it’s hard for all of us,” he said.

And that’s what you feel, and why you feel for the kids he coaches. Parents that they do not know when they will see again.

That’s the hardest part. To know what is, and to be miles away, doing what you love, but with a sad heart.

“I miss them,” Bondruchk said.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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