We finally started the tournament on Friday after a few practices, and I was excited to get it underway. Our first game of the tournament was against Belarus at 4 p.m. here in Switzerland (10 a.m. eastern time). Fortunately all of our games are being televised on TSN back in Canada so all my family and friends can watch every game. Because the game started in the afternoon, we didn’t have a pre-game skate so I slept in a bit, ate my pre-game meal and got on the bus to the rink.
Once I arrived at the rink I could feel my adrenaline starting to gear up as I realized I was moments away from playing my first game of the World Championships. The lines were the same as practice which meant I was centering Shane Doan and Marty St. Louis. Our line got off to a great start, scoring on our first shift of the game. Marty gave me a great pass across the crease and I put it in the open net to score the first goal of the game and my first World Championship goal. It was such a great feeling to get the first goal out of the way that quick and get the confidence rolling. It was also special to share that moment with Marty!
The rest of the game ran very smoothly for our team as we won 6-1. I thought our line played great and our team got better and better as the game went on. I was fortunate enough to finish the game with two goals along with player of the game honors for our team. It was a great honor and a perfect ending to my first World Championship game, and I was glad my family and friends back home got to watch it.
Our next game was against Hungary, a team that is in the A-Pool for the first time in 71 years. We knew coming into the game that they were going to be pumped up to play us so our captain, Shane Doan, made sure we didn’t take them lightly. In the end we prevailed with a 9-0 win to improve to 2-0 in the tournament. Although Hungary wasn't a strong opponent, it was very cool to see and hear their fans cheer for them all game. They had whistles and drums going throughout the entire game no matter what the score was. To me that shows how loyal and proud their fans are and it was great to see. Marty was the star of the game for us as he netted three goals and added an assist, picking up the Player of the Game award for our team.
Hopefully our team can keep up the pace as we face Slovakia in our next game. The competition is going to get stronger and stronger from here on out so we have to keep working hard and improving each time we step on the ice!!
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