Ian McCoshen will be entering his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound McCoshen, regarded as one of the top draft eligible prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, has produced eight goals and 26 points in 97 career games in the USHL. Waterloo is representing the USHL in the 2012 Junior Club World Cup tournament this week and McCoshen, 17, has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com that will document his stay in Russia.
(Courtesy: MHL - Russian junior hockey league)
We arrived in Omsk [Russia] at 3 a.m. so everyone was pretty tired. The guys have adjusted pretty well to Omsk already, even though we are three time zones away from Moscow and 12 time zones from back in Waterloo.
Overall, this city is not nearly as big as Moscow and it is obvious as soon as you step outside the hotel. Moscow was so robust and had so much going on, much like New York City. I would compare Omsk to be more like Minneapolis back in the United States because it is much calmer. The group is much more comfortable here and I think it is because of the city size. Omsk seems way more down to earth. Moscow was just too big for us with the large group of people we have traveling.
The facility here is unbelievable. Omsk Arena is really new and simply spectacular. The guys around the rink treat us like kings and do anything for us, so we are really fortunate for that.
It was finally game time for us at the Junior Club World Cup and we faced HC Energie from the Czech Republic in the opener. I don’t know what it is about European teams as they seem to start off really well, get a lead, then sort of stop. But they never got the lead against us and kept coming until we scored our third goal. We took control the rest of the way and ended up with a nice 5-0 win.
The second game wasn’t so great when we played Belarus and ended up losing 3-1. They were a good, fast-skating team that moved the puck really well. It was kind of a short span between games, but not really an excuse we can use. Maybe we were a bit too relaxed and still riding a high of the big win from the night before. We just didn’t possess the puck enough during that game.
We are staying in a very nice hotel in downtown Omsk. All our meals are planned out for us and I think the food is better here than in Moscow. They are doing a great job and I commend them for that. Two other tournament teams are staying at the hotel – Denmark and Sudbury.
We eat a lot of our meals around the same time as the Sudbury guys, but we don’t really talk to them. The hotel staff always keeps our rooms clean. Every time I leave the room and come back, it seems like they have cleaned it again.
Similar to Moscow, we are fortunate to have a team host with us most of the day. The host in Omsk is Kirill and he must be about 19 years old. He looks like he could be on one of the other teams. Kirill speaks really good English and is doing a great job of helping us with our schedule and communicating with us. He is a little more laid back than Archie was in Moscow, but both are great guys and helping make this experience much smoother for us.
The team is looking forward to the next couple of games and seeing what we can do in this tournament. Winning both will get us to the semifinal round so the guys are ready for the challenge.
Thanks for reading! Check back tomorrow.
Follow Ian McCoshen on Twitter at:@ijmccoshen3