Sunday, April 21, 2024

Meaford Knight Yanco Lens Competed in IIHF World Championships

There seem to be endless possibilities for the the young 18-year-old Meaford Knights defenceman Yanco Lens of Geel, Belgium, who stepped away from the Knights 2022/23 league play for a few weeks in January to return to Belgium to meet up with the country’s national team and travel to Iceland to compete in the annual International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Division II Group B world championship.

Yet, it’s one year, one season at a time, he says.

I started hockey at age nine. Where could hockey take me in the next two years? That is a good question. I don’t really have an idea. I would like to still play in Canada. Where in the next five years? That is a difficult question. Hockey is not as big in Belgium as it is in Canada. If you really really want to do something with hockey you have to leave Belgium and I don’t know if I want to do that,” he told The Independent.

The Belgium team played five games in seven days against teams from China, Iceland, Taiwan, Mexico, and Serbia.

The championship was the highest accomplishment for Belgium in the history of the Under 20 Belgium national, the best ever,” Yanco explained. “I played with a great group of guys including a set of twins from Canada who are Belgian but grew up in Canada.”

Yanco was recruited for the Meaford Knights 2022/23 season by Dan Smith during a world championship in Turkey. He is billeted with the Knights administrative and billeting coordinator Kathy Adams. He is able to continue his school curriculum from Belgium online.

The Meaford Knights are currently in third place in the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) 2022/23 season. Home games are Thursdays evenings.

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