VANCOUVER, BC – When three-on-three overtime made its way to the National Hockey League in 2015, it instantly excited fans with its offensive action. Immediately, there were calls for more of it, and 3ICE answered that call.
After initial plans to drop the puck in 2019, the league has pushed its debut back through financial struggles and COVID-19 restrictions. But, in 2022, it’s finally ready to go, offering another professional opportunity for elite hockey players.
In the debut season, six teams will compete in a tour style, similar to how the HSBC Rugby Sevens tour works each season. Like the Rugby Sevens tour, several teams will feature U SPORTS alumni.
When does 3ICE start, and where?
The first 3ICE event is scheduled for Las Vegas on June 18 and will feature all the teams in a tournament style structure. The final stop of the inaugural season will also be in Vegas, with stops in Denver, Grand Rapids, Hershey, London, Pittsburgh, Quebec City and Nashville in between.
London and Quebec host the only Canadian stops on tour, as the league avoids the Greater Toronto Area for its inaugural season. London hosts July 16, while Quebec City hosts July 30.
JC Campagna – Team Carbonneau
It isn’t very often the STU Tommies Men’s Hockey Team makes an appearance in the pro game after folding in 2016, but former Tommie JC Campagna will suit up for Team Carbonneau in 3ICE.
Campagna, 28, played two seasons with STU before moving to the UPEI Panthers for a third and final U SPORTS season. While the left-winger never became one of the premier offensive players in the AUS, his 18 points in 2016-17 earned him an ECHL contract with the Adirondack Thunder.
Since leaving U SPORTS, he has bounced around the ECHL and gotten a cup of coffee in the AHL. Now, he turns to the debut season of 3ICE, joining a team coached by Stanley Cup Champion and Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Carbonneau.
Matt Petgrave – Team Fuhr
UNB Reds alumni are all over the hockey world and have even made their way to 3ICE. Matt Petgrave, a Reds player from 2013 to 2017, joins Team Fuhr for the inaugural season. In his final two seasons with Gardiner MacDougall’s Reds, Petgrave lifted the U CUP twice before signing with the ECHL’s now-defunct Brampton Beast.
During his time in U SPORTS, Petgrave established himself as one of the league’s premier defenders while also contributing offensively with four straight 15-point seasons. While he has not reached the heights of the NHL or top European leagues, he comes to 3ICE after a year split between the Slovakian and Czech leagues.
Joining Team Fuhr, Petgrave will get the chance to play alongside 2010 Olympic silver medalist Ryan Malone, now 42-years-old.
Tyler Sandhu and Blake Weyrick – Team Leclair
Team Leclair is the only team that will feature two U SPORTS players this season, as former Lakehead backstop Blake Weyrick and UBC’s former captain, Tyler Sandhu, make their way to 3ICE.
Both are fresh off their U SPORTS careers and get their first exposure to the pro experience in the three-on-three league. For Weyrick, it will undoubtedly be a test in a league built for offence, but he will be prepared for an abundance of shots after playing on a defensively porous Lakehead team.
Sandhu has a fantastic opportunity in the league and a chance to earn himself a full professional contract in a regular hockey league. After thriving in U SPORTS for the last five seasons, the UBC serial-assist man exploded in 2022, scoring 24 points in 20 games as UBC pushed to the U CUP quarter-finals.
The two will play a critical role if Team Leclair is to have success this season. They have an invaluable opportunity to earn another opportunity to be on the younger side of a veteran-laden league.
Aaron Berisha – Team Mullen
Former SMU Huskie Aaron Berisha makes his way back to North America to play in 3ICE this summer after spending the last three seasons playing in the Austrian and Slovak leagues. While a brief ECHL call-up split his time in U SPORTS to Kansas City, Berisha fully returns to regular playing time with Team Mullen in three aside hockey. Before U SPORTS, Berisha attended the Vancouver Canucks prospect camp as a member of the London Knights.
After he impressed in his U SPORTS days, the now 27-year-old Toronto native is a consistent pro scorer and will deliver in the small-sided game. Berisha was a near point-per-game player with Saint Mary’s and has held up that scoring rate in the pros, making him a real threat in 3ICE with Team Mullen.
Matt Revel – Team Murphy
Matt Revel might just be the best offensive player from U SPORTS making his way to 3ICE. After lighting up Canada West through his UBC Thunderbirds career, Revel joins Team Murphy, a side that already features former Vancouver Canuck Griffen Molino.
While Revel only scorched 15 points this season on a strong UBC team, he was an impact player in all areas of the game, constantly working defensive shifts for Thunderbirds’ head coach Sven Butenschon.
His speed and release highlighted his time in U SPORTS, and those are exact skills that will translate to the three-aside game.