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On The Road: Game Day In Vancouver

The Avs begin the trip against the Canucks

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

On the morning of the Avalanche's game at the Vancouver Canucks, most of the players met down at the hotel restaurant for breakfast before catching either the 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. bus to nearby Rogers Arena for morning skate.

With Monday being a recognized holiday in Canada for the New Year, many of the businesses in Vancouver remained closed, keeping traffic on the downtown streets fairly light. It only took the team five minutes to pull into the rink's loading dock after leaving the hotel. Once at the arena, the players went through a pre-skate meeting, stretched and got ready for the 11:30 a.m. practice.

Colorado has two players from British Columbia on the team in defensemen Tyson Barrie, who is from Victoria, and Patrick Wiercioch, who was born in Burnaby and grew up in Maple Ridge. Both players had a nice contingent of family and friends at Rogers Arena watching the Avs go through pre-game drills.

Tweet from @Avalanche: Chatting with B.C. native @PattyW28 before morning skate. pic.twitter.com/1VAFQkjlmV

Following the skate, the team quickly got ready and hopped back on the bus to the hotel, which left promptly at 12:30 p.m. The bus returned to the arena after dropping off its first load of passengers to pick up any players, coaches or trainers that couldn't make the first trip.

At the hotel, the player grabbed lunch and a pre-game nap before heading back to the rink for the evening's game. The team was fairly evenly split between the two buses for the afternoon trips to the arena, with the first bus leaving at 4:00 p.m. while the second one departed 45 minutes later.

In the contest against the Canucks, both clubs came out a little slow before Vancouver finally broke through with the first goal in the second period. The Avalanche quickly tied the contest, and the teams traded goals until late in the third period when Sven Baertschi's second marker of the night proved to be the game-winner for the home squad.

The final horn sounded at 9:34 p.m., and the Avs quickly got ready for their flight to Calgary. While there was a sense of urgency to get to the airport, the players still had some time to catch up with friends and former teammates on the Canucks and say hi to any family or friends that came to the game.

The team's buses departed Rogers Arena at 10:15 p.m. PT and its charter flight was up in the air 50 minutes later. The flight time was just over an hour as the airplane touched down in Calgary at 1:10 a.m. MT. With no traffic on the road at that time of the night, the Avs were at their downtown hotel 30 minutes later where they would rest up for a practice the following day.

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