Upland Country Day School continued a 40-year tradition Tuesday when the West Marlborough-based school’s ice hockey team took on a team of exchange students from Turku, Finland.
Turku is on the southwest coast of Finland. It’s the oldest city in Finland and was the country’s first capital.
The two schools played their first game against each other in 1977 when Upland students also played against teams from Sweden and the former Soviet Union.
According to Andy Morris, Upland’s director of athletic and international program, “Students can get to know each other through sports.”
He said 55 students and coaches made the trip from Finland. In addition to the hockey team, a girl’s dance group from Lahjan Tytot is also part of the exchange. The dancers were scheduled to perform at Upland’s Barn Theater and other venues in Chester County.
While the relationship between Upland and TPS Turku began as a hockey tournament, the relationship has grown into a regular exchange program. Each year, two to four Finns spend their ninth-grade year at Upland, living with host families and attending classes. Each spring a group of Upland students travel to Finland.
But Morris added that the tournament continues with Upland’s team going to Turku every other year and TPS sends a team to Upland every five years.
Tuesday’s game action included four goals scored in the first period. The game was scoreless until the 8:16 mark when Upland’s Drew Iannucci got one past the TPS goalie. Iannucci scored again 13 seconds later and teammate Walker Jones scored with 7:47 left in the period, giving Upland a 3-0 lead.