Our first game was a tough one. Even though we had played a game against the Swiss on Olympic ice, we learned a lot from our game against France. They have a hard working team and play the European game very well. We had a lot of puck possession, but teams will thrive on turnovers and penalties and that is what they did. They scored both their goals on the PP and won the game in the shootout.
Because you only have seven games to work with, each game is a playoff game and that shootout loss was devastating. The good news is we got a point and played the next night.
Our game against Slovakia was a 8:45 pm start. We had a quick pre-game skate in the morning and had a long afternoon to rest up. We played a much better team game and capitalized on some chances. It was a big win for us and now we understand what it takes as a group to win.
There is a "player of the game" within the tournament each game, our first two were Shenner (Brayden schenn) and Tur (Kyle Turris), they both got sponsored gifts, Turris got a nice pen. And we also have our own player of the game after each game and they went to Reimer (James Reimer) and Wardo (Joel Ward). We have a big Canadian flag in the room and the player of the game signs it in one area, all the winners will, then the rest of the team will sign in a different space and at the end of the tournament the flag is auctioned off for Hockey Canada.
During our practice day yesterday we had a team signing at the hotel and signed around 200 jerseys, then we had a team dinner downtown. The food was great! However, I will say it's been hard finding peanut butter here! I’m no peanut butter nut (haha), but I usually eat toast with peanut butter as my pre-game snack. The hunt continues.
On a side note, Juice had some buddies from Toronto arrive and they traveled for a total of 36 hours and were in five different countries to get here. They left during the game against France and got here during the last minute of the game against Slovakia. Now that's commitment!
Almost time for our third game. Wish us luck!