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On The Road: Trip To Vancouver

Avalanche heads to Western Canada on a two-game road trip

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The morning after taking on the New York Rangers and ringing in the New Year, the Avalanche players, coaches and staff reconvened at Family Sports Center for practice before a trip to Western Canada.

All of the Avs players were at the practice facility and the only one who didn't take part in the 11 a.m. practice was veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who was held out because he was sick. However, the 35-year-old would make the trip and is expected to be in the lineup for Monday's contest at the Vancouver Canucks.

After the 45-minute on-ice session, the players stretched, ate a light meal and then headed to the airport. Almost all of the players arrived by 1:30 p.m. and the charter flight was wheels up for the northwest at exactly 2:00 p.m.

It took two hours and 32 minutes for the team to get to British Columbia's largest city, and many of the players took advantage of the little extra down time on the flight. While many of the usual suspects took part in a card game, most of the other members of the Avs used the little longer flight to catch up on some sleep before the plane's descent.

Colorado's flight landed in Vancouver at 3:32 p.m. PT, and after going through customs, the Avs made their way to downtown. Despite it being the weekend and a holiday, it still took the team buses about 40 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel.

Upon arriving at the downtown hotel, the Avalanche then had the rest of the night to relax and prepare for the next day's game. Many of the players went out together to grab dinner before turning in for the night.

For B.C. native's Tyson Barrie of Victoria and Patrick Wiercioch of Burnaby, it was a chance to see local family and friends for the only time during the season since the Avs only play in Vancouver once.

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