Today, Wednesday, is our first day off of hockey so far here in Yekaterinburg. We were able to sleep in a little bit, and then after breakfast we went to the continental divide. We took some team pictures and did a cheesy video shot of a team step from Europe to Asia, all while chanting USA, for some local media.
After that we came back, grabbed some lunch and some of us headed to a local mall to walk around. One of the boys bought a little soccer ball there, and so mall day turned into playing two-touch outside the mall, which the Russian security guards weren't to enthusiastic about. Other than the ball getting stuck in the track of an oncoming tram, it went smoothly, and we had a good time.
In the past two days we played games against Kazakhstan and Latvia. Both teams played at a high level, and in both games we dealt with adversity, whether it be penalties or some bad bounces. But both games we stuck together as a group and were able to come out on top. It was incredible being able to play both games in front of sellout crowds, and hear our national anthem after the game because of the victory.
Later tonight we're going to a nice team dinner here in Yekaterinburg, and then it's all about preparing for our game tomorrow against Russia. It should be a really good test for us, the atmosphere should be electric, and we can't wait to take the next step.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the live broadcast on YouTube at 9:00 am Chicago time.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.