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On The Road: Second Game Day In Sweden

Colorado closes the Global Series versus Ottawa

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche is on a 10-day road trip that includes a week in Sweden for the SAP NHL Global Series. Colorado will play two games against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 10-11. is writing about the trip.

9:30 a.m.: The morning following a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Avalanche players gather in a hotel meeting room for a team breakfast before heading to the rink for an optional morning skate.

Ottawa decided to not hold any kind of morning activities at the Ericsson Globe, instead electing to stay at the hotel to do their game-day work.

10:01 a.m.: Colorado's team bus leaves the Grand Hotel and makes the 18-minute journey to the Ericsson Globe. Since it is a Saturday morning, there isn't much traffic and the bus breezes through the streets with relative ease.

11:30 a.m.: After a team meeting to discuss last night's game and what it needs to do better tonight, the Avalanche's optional practice begins. Colorado has nine skaters and three goaltenders that take the ice to do practice drills with assistant coaches Ray Bennett, Nolan Pratt and Jussi Parkkila.

At the same time as the skate is going on, Colorado's first team bus departs the arena carrying the players that decided not to do the morning skate.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar also meets with a small media gathering at the press conference podium and reveals a couple of lineup changes for this evening's contest. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier will get the start in net after Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves on Friday night. Also, rookie defenseman Andrei Mironov will replace fellow Russian countryman Nikita Zadorov on the backend.

12:33 p.m.: The Avs' second team bus departs the arena and heads back to the club's downtown Stockholm hotel.

Once there, the players join the rest of their teammates for a pre-game meal before going back to their individual hotel rooms to get some rest for tonight's matchup.

3:45 p.m.: After getting some coffee and a pre-game snack, most of the players load up onto the first team bus and depart for the arena.

It's a busy Saturday night in Stockholm, as the streets and sidewalks are full of cars and people out enjoying the evening. It takes Colorado's bus 20 minutes to get to the rink from the Grand Hotel.

The Avalanche's second team bus departs from the hotel at 4:30 p.m. and makes the same trip to the rink carrying the remaining players and staff members.

Once at the rink, the players begin to stretch, go into their respective power-play and penalty-kill meetings and warmup in whatever way they seem fit, including playing the usual two-touch soccer game.

7:16 p.m.: After a ceremonial puck drop with Ottawa Senators great Daniel Alfredsson, the second game of the 2017 NHL Global Series gets underway.

Blake Comeau scored a short-handed goal at 13:13 of the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 lead at the intermission before the teams' traded goals in the second frame. However as is usually the case, the third period was the difference as Johnny Oduya and Mike Hoffman tallied for the Senators, while the Avs were playing catchup while trying to kill four penalties in the stanza.

9:59 p.m.: The final horn sounds and the Avalanche leaves the Globe ice one last time with a 4-3 loss. Colorado picked up only one point over the two games but had some looks late in Saturday's contest to knot up the score and force overtime.

After their media responsibilities, the players go through their normal post-game recovery routine, see any family and friends that made the trip to Stockholm and head to the bus.

For the equipment managers, postgame is a time for them to pack up the gear and clear out the locker room of the team's stuff in preparation for the trip back to Colorado. The Avalanche stayed in the same locker room for the past six days, a welcomed change for the equipment staffers that are used to setting up and tearing down locker rooms every few days.

10:54 p.m.: Colorado's bus pulls away from the arena one last time and makes the journey back to the team's central Stockholm hotel.

A light rain starts to fall during the team's trip back to downtown. The Avs lucked out on weather front, as it was forecasted to be cloudy and rainy for much of the week but the team only experienced one day of such weather.

When the team gets back to the hotel, there is no scheduled team function. The players are free to spend their last night in Stockholm however they see fit. Many of them end up going to several local restaurants to grab a late dinner before returning to the Grand Hotel for one more night's sleep.

The Avalanche travels back to Colorado on Sunday morning, completing its 10-day trip that took the club nearly 5,000 miles away to help deliver and grow the game in Europe.

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