Phoenix Coyotes 2007 #1 draft pick (3rd overall) Kyle Turris is competing for Team Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2007 through Jan. 5, 2008 in Liberec and Pardubice, Czech Republic. The freshman sniper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be blogging about his experiences throughout the World Junior Championship.
>> MONDAY | DEC. 24, 2007
Hello Coyotes Fans!
We just finished our 3rd exhibition game against Finland. We won 4-2 and I had 1 assist. It was a good game with a very fast pace. The big difference I have noticed over here is that there are lots of penalties, so we have to play with more discipline. In every exhibition game we have been trying to make strides and get better as a team. The first exhibition game was against the Red Bull junior team in Salzburg, Austria. It was fun and the crowd was into it with a lot of fans cheering for Team Canada. The second game was against Slovakia and it was a bit different. It was in a rink where there were only fans on one side of the building, so it was not as loud. They were a good team as well, and it was a tough fast paced game, but we won 6-1. We’ve been getting better as a team with each game.
We’ve done a bunch of team bonding stuff over here which has been a lot of fun with the guys and brought everybody together. We went “Snow-Shoeing” one night on top of a mountain in Austria. It started with a long bus trip up a big mountain. Once we got off the bus, we did a bunch of team bonding exercises to really gain that trust with our teammates. We were climbing ladders and doing all sorts of activities that involved showing trust in your teammates. Everyone worked hard as a team to make sure that all the guys were safe and completed the mission. The "Snow-Shoeing" was really cool; quiet and relaxing, and yet beautiful at the same time. We cruised up the mountain and saw some great views of the other mountains and the city. From the top, we tobogganed down the other side to this hidden restaurant that was secluded in the mountains. The food was great and then we cruised home after that. It was a great adventure!
We also went on a trip to the Red Bull headquarters where they test their athletes and make specific drinks for each player’s recoveries. It was pretty neat!
We’ve got some great team bonding going on and we are really excited to get the tournament going. We are chomping at the bit to get after it! >> THURSDAY | DEC. 27, 2007--TURRIS GOES BIG AGAINST SLOVAKIA Kyle Turris lit the lamp for a pair of power-play goals and Steve Mason turned aside every shot he faced as Canada blanked Slovakia 2-0 at the world junior hockey championships on Thursday.
We just got back to the hotel after a great day on the ice where we defeated Slovakia 2-0. It was kind of a different game because there were not a lot of fans in the arena. The down side was that there were only 3500 fans in the building, but 90% of them were decked out in Team Canada gear. This was our second game in 18 hours so having our fans going crazy gave us an extra jump out there.
They (Slovakia) were a good team that worked hard, but they were not as skilled as the Czech team we played yesterday. We need to improve on the power play because we must have had 12 opportunities and only scored 2 goals. We have the talent to be much more effective on special teams.
Today was a big day for me because it is always extra special when you score for your country. My first goal came on a 5 on 3 advantage when I deflected a point shot in to get us on the board. The second goal came on a great set-up from Drew Doughty, who basically left me with an empty netter. After both goals it was special to look up into the stands and see all the people in Red and White going nuts. We really appreciate the fact that people spent their hard earned money to travel all the way over here to cheer us on.
When we got back to the hotel all of our parents that made the trip came over so it was really nice to get the chance to spend some time with them.
Next up for us is Team Sweden so we know that will be a tough game.
>> TUESDAY | JAN. 1, 2007
Happy New Year to everyone over there!
We had the day off today. We just practiced and now are sitting down for dinner.
Yesterday we played against Denmark and it was a better game as a team collectively. We played hard and stuck to the game plan. I had two goals on nice passes from my linemates. Lots of Canadian fans that are pretty excited.
Now we are getting ready for the medal round against Finland. The whole team is getting pretty pumped. We know we are going to have to come out hard against them. They play more of a Canadian style game and they are very skilled and it will be tough. We have to out work them and play our game so that is what we are going to do.
On New Years Eve, we just hung out in our rooms. I watched TV Show with teammate Colton Gillies and at midnight we all said Happy New Year and then went to bed. Nothing special, we are just focused on getting ready for Finland.
Keep checking back to PhoenixCoyotes.com for more blog entries from Kyle Turris.