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Andy's Blog: Game In Halifax

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Craig (Getty Images)
Making the second appearance at the World Championships of his career in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Panthers goaltender Craig Anderson will be blogging on his experience before and throughout the whole tournament. Anderson will be playing for Team USA in the tournament that starts May 2nd.

In his first full season with the Cats, Anderson played in 17 games, posting a 8-6-1record with a 2.25 GAA and .935 save percentage.

Saturday May 3rd.

Just got back from lunch after our practice today. Sitting around trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my day.

Last few days have been pretty busy. We had traveled on Wednesday from Portland, Maine to Boston to catch a flight to Halifax. We ended up flying an Air Canada commercial flight. After we checked in, we headed thru the security check point. Every single player on our team had to go thru the special pat down. Extra security. Now this is only funny because we have a group of about 40 people and the plane only held about 44 passengers. So in theory we had our own plane to ourselves.

Thursday we ended up just having a practice in the afternoon, so it was a great morning to catch up on some sleep and sleep in. It’s been quite some time since I remember having to get half dressed, get on a bus to go to another rink to practice and get back on the bus to go back to the main rink. So for the skaters it is a bit easier because they can get fully dressed and just leave their skates off. But for the goalies, we have to pack a bag with all of our equipment, get dressed at the other rink, get undressed and get back on the bus after. So needless to say, it’s a bit of a pain.

Thursday night ended up having one of the best meals I've had in a few months. Although when the restaurants make you have a 3 hour dinner from start to finish, you tend to be a little hungrier. Ended up having a fillet of beef that was just the most tender, perfectly cooked steak I've had in months.

Friday was game day. Pretty much a standard game day prep was involved here. Morning skate, noon time lunch, followed by a nap, and then back to the rink for the game. We played Latvia the first game, and I was on the bench cheering the guys along. The most exciting part of the game had to be all the Latvian fans cheering for 60 straight minutes during the game. Needless to say I think 100 percent of them were drunk. We ended up winning the game 4-0 and both goalies played extremely well. We out shot them 49-24. I think.

On a side note, after the game went out for a bit to the local places to grab a few pints of beer, and Halifax is actually a pretty fun town. For all you Canadians out there, you will know what I'm talking about when I say, I was a Bubble's Mansion, which would only be famous if you have ever seen the Canadian TV show "Trailer Park Boys".

There's your update for the last few days.


Monday, April 28th.
Had a pretty busy weekend. Saturday we had a early afternoon skate, followed by a skate with the fans at the local rink right after. It was then a 30 min autograph session on the ice. Spent Saturday night with my parents and relatives up here in Portland, Maine and was able to get a pretty nice home cooked meal. A rare thing when you’re on the road.
Sunday we had an exhibition game against Sweden. So we had our typical morning skate at the game arena, followed by pre-game meal, and then on to a pre-game nap. Sounds like a boring day. Anyways, on to the game.  We had a really good atmosphere here, playing in front of about 5000 fans. I was called upon to get the start for Team USA. It was determined the day before that Robert Esche and I were going to split the game half way. Pretty high tempo game, I didn't know how I was gonna play, after all I didn't feel I had a very good warm-up. Ending up shaking the cob webs out and put some saves together. Ended up with a two-goal lead after the first period with some solid play by my teammates.
Came out of the game with a 2-0 lead midway thru the second and proceeded to watch Team USA coast to a 5-1 victory. 
Today was pretty fun day. Not too much work at the rink today as Tim Thomas was at practice, making 3 goalies share 2 nets. After practice the guys went to play Paintball. I just want to talk about the 30 minute stop at Wal-Mart for paintball clothes. Talk about being a spectator of 25 guys in the men’s section of Wal-Mart deciding which pair of dickies, and what color sweatshirt to buy. The drive out was pretty boring, as most of the guys and myself spent napping during the bus ride. But once we got to the paintball facility it was all out energy. With the weather giving us a wet battlefield, the boys went to war.

After a quick safety speech from the paintball guy, teams were divided up and then we went out to the field. It was 24 year olds and older vs the kids. After 3 rounds of flying paint, we headed back to town. Another long boring bus ride back into town.
Went and had sushi for dinner and now just getting ready to shut it down for the night. 

Friday, April 25th.

We are staying in downtown Portland right now, taking a bus out to a practice rink. It’s a pretty drive, lots of water, hills, and rocks. Very beautiful scenery up north here.

Practices have been pretty tough. I’m still trying to find the rhythm again after being away from it for a few weeks. I found out the last two days that pucks hurt once again. Have taken a couple off the shoulder, but surprisingly I found that pucks especially hurt in the stomach area. I have a couple of marks to show from it too.

I've got a pretty good roommate here in a guy we all know and seem to boo him every time he touches the puck down in Florida.

I was able to do a little site seeing today, heading south to South Portland with some relatives. Took lots of pictures while taking a hike up and down the shore. Lots of rocks, light houses, and historical information here. Found out the Germans had a U-Boat off the coast of Maine during WWII. Kind of neat information.

That's about it for tonight, I went site seeing as opposed to taking a nap today and am turning it in for the night.

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