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World Championships Journal: Getting settled in Europe

Anthony Cirelli checks in from Kosice in Slovakia where the Canadian National Team opened the World Championships on Friday

by Anthony Cirelli /

Hey Lightning fans,

Just wanted to stay in touch with Bolts Nation and let them know how things have been going at the World Championships over here in Europe. After the playoffs ended, I stayed in Tampa for about a week and continued working out on and off the ice to prepare for playing for Team Canada over in Slovakia. It's always exciting and an honor to represent your country, so I'm really looking forward to this opportunity.

I spent a few days at home outside Toronto before I flew over to Vienna on Thursday, May 2. Team Canada spent a week in Vienna to practice and train to get ready for Worlds before we flew to Slovakia. It worked out well because a lot of my Canadian teammates were on the same flight; Dylan Strome, Adam Henrique, Tyler, Bertuzzi, Darnell Nurse, Brandon Montour and Mackenzie Blackwood were all on my flight. I knew a couple of them from junior hockey, but not all of them, so it was cool meeting them for the first time.

We got into Vienna early in the morning on May 3rd after a long eight-hour flight to Vienna from Toronto. I slept a little bit on the flight and then when we got into the city, we got to check it out a bit before we practiced. It was good meeting all of my teammates and the Team Canada staff at practice for the first time. They are a really good group of guys. We were on the ice for about an hour or so, just to get our legs back into it after a long flight.

One of my first meals in Vienna was these veal scallops that were really good. It was the first time I've ever eaten over in Europe and it was a great first meal. They were shaped like scallops, but it was actually veal and they were very good. If you're ever in Vienna, you need to try them out.

It was cool checking out Vienna for a week before we came over to Slovakia. We were in Vienna from May 3 through May 9 getting ready for the tournament. It was fun checking out the city and relaxing with my teammates before the tournament starts. I've had Mathieu Joseph as my roommate, so it's great to share this fun experience with a good friend and Lightning teammate.

We are now in a city called Kosice which is in the central, eastern part of the country. So far it's been a lot of fun to check out a new city and new country. There's a lot of history here and it's also fun to be in the country that Erik Cernak grew up in.

It was fun finally playing our first game of the tournament today against Finland, but wasn't the result we wanted. We are back at it again on Sunday with a game against Great Britain. They haven't had a team in the tournament since 1994 apparently, so it'll be fun playing them. I'll check back in with Bolts Nation next week to let everyone know how it's been going. 

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