Former Stockton Ice Hockey Players Representing Korea at the Olympics

STOCKTON -- Two hockey players from Canada who met while playing for Stockton Thunder more than a decade ago are now preparing to represent Korea in the Winter Olympics.

Brock Radunske is in his 10th season in the Asian Hockey League -- he's been playing with the league since a stint with the Stockton Thunder in 2006.

"We got him late in the 2006-07 season," said Dan Chapman, president of the Stockton Thunder. "He played for 16 games and scored 34 points. So, he was averaging two points per game and he was a huge help for us down the stretch into the playoff run that year."

As both his former team president with the Thunder, Chapman, and his former Thunder coach, Chris Cichocki, will attest, Rednuske's game took off in South Korea.

"Brock was the Wayne Gretzky of the Stockton Thunder. He just came in at the right time and lifted everybody," said Cichocki.

He became very popular within the South Korean community which he played for, and in 2013, he was rewarded for his commitment.

One year later, a former Stockton Thunder teammate of Radunske's, Bryan Young, who had also been playing for the Asian Hockey League for several years, became a South Korean citizen.

"The chances are slim, that's for sure," said Chapman. "I believe they're the first non-Korean's to play for the Korean national team."

Kevin Anderson was the head trainer for the Thunder team both Radunske and Young played for. Anderson can't believe that two players from Canada, who played together in Stockton, are now playing together on the Korean national team.

"I think it will be special for both of them," said Anderson. "They're going to be playing against a lot of players they know, and a lot of players that they've played against. They say Hockey is a small world, and even playing on the Korean team they're going to know every one of the players on the Canadian team."

Korea and Canada are in the same pool for Olympic play, so Radunske and Young will get the chance to play against the country they both grew up in.