Seamus Malone is in his second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound left wing was part of NHL Central Scouting's Futures List as a player to watch for the 2014 NHL Draft from the USHL. Regarded as a skilled forward, Malone had six goals, 27 points and a plus-12 rating in 50 games for the Fighting Saints in 2012-13. Committed to the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2015, Malone has offered to maintain a blog during his team's stay in Omsk, Russia, while competing in the 2013 Junior Club World Cup that runs Aug. 25-31.
Friday was an off-day for us after an exciting last few days of hockey. Saturday afternoon we will be playing in the bronze-medal game, and today we got on the ice for a skate, went souvenir shopping and enjoyed a nice meal. While we wish we were playing for the gold medal on Saturday, our goal coming to Russia was to take home a medal and we have a shot to do that. While we are not guaranteed that, we know the task at hand and are going to do all we can to make that happen.
My last blog was right before the game against the hometown Omsk Hawks. That game was one of the craziest games I have ever been a part of. We found out earlier in the day that all we needed was a regulation win over Omsk and we would move on to the semifinals, and our team really stepped up.
We won 6-4, and it was an amazing feeling to see our team bond together and get a victory like that. To play in front of 8,000 fans cheering against you was something I have never experienced and was a blast. We came out fast and took a 3-0 lead through the first period, and we knew that was key after watching how skilled they were, and how strong they were when they got a lead. My teammate Robby Darrar set me up for a goal in the game. He picked off a pass at center, and we went two-on-zero with the goal, and he dished it over to me to make it 4-1 at the time. It was a great play by him.
It was certainly a great feeling winning and we had a chance to move onto the gold-medal game the next day, but we fell in a close game 3-2 to Finland's HPK. The team showed a lot of heart and character coming back to nearly tie the game after being down 3-0. It was a tough loss to take, but we still have a chance to get a medal, and we are looking forward to that now.
Last year our team had amazing chemistry and it showed early. I was asked if this year's team is developing that same chemistry on this trip. While I do not want to compare last year's team to this year's team as it is a new season, I do see us gelling together and the guys becoming close. That excites me and it bodes well for a great year.
Here in Russia I am learning a lot, including a lot of great information from our new head coach, Matt Shaw. Coach Shaw spent the last six years in the NHL as an assistant coach, and he really is a great coach for us. He helps our structure a lot and reinforces the things we need to do.
Our trip is winding down in Russia, but Saturday brings an exciting opportunity to come home with a medal. It has been an honor to represent our country, the city of Dubuque and the USHL, and we hope we can come home with something to share.
Thanks for reading, and next time we talk I will be back in the United States preparing for a chance at another Clark Cup.
Follow Seamus Malone on Twitter: @seamus_malone