Ivan Bondarenko came to North America to play hockey six years ago. That's not too special, a bunch of kids do that every year. But Ivan kept chasing his dream through five leagues, well below the big-time, and long after the NHL became an all-but-impossible goal. He ended up toiling in Tillsonburg, Ontario in the Greater Metro Hockey League. And he still hasn't given up.
Why do kids like Ivan give up their family and life to chase their hockey careers in Canada—even when they live in proud hockey nations like Russia and Finland to begin with? What happens when you arrive in the middle of nowhere at age 15, with no English, a vivid dream of stardom...and nothing else? Millions of Canadian kids have NHL hopes, but very few have given up as much in their pursuit of it as this kid from Russia. And...what the hell is the GMHL, anyway?
GUEST: Gare Joyce, Sportsnet.ca