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JCWC BLOG: Ryan Blankemeier, Part 2

08/19/2015, 7:15pm CDT
By Ryan Blankemeier, Chicago Steel

The Chicago Steel have touched down in Russia and have been busy learning about the Russian culture: food, history and more!

We left New Jersey on Sunday at about 5:15 pm and after 9 hours, got into Moscow on Monday around 9 am. We had to stay up all day so we would be able to sleep at night, and recover from our jet lag.


For Part 1 of Ryan's Blog click here.


To stay awake after breakfast, we all went to a mall where there was a bowling alley. There we were able to have some fun and keep our eyes open with a little friendly competition. I was pretty inconsistent, as were most of the guys except a few who clearly had gotten in some extra work at their local lanes. There was some controversy over which group won the bowling pin trophy, but that was settled with a little game of Rock Paper Scissors. 

We were able to make it through dinner with only a few guys falling asleep on their meals, and finally made it back to the hotel and got some much needed rest. On Tuesday we got to skate and workout for the first time in Moscow and get our legs going a little bit. All of the boys were thankful for the spacious locker room with nice stalls, because we weren't quite sure what to expect. The rink here in Moscow has an old feel to it but is really nice. There's a lot of space on these European rinks, which are much wider than the ones we are used to back home. 

Follow USHL guest blogger @rblank96 because he takes cool pictures #JCWC #USHL

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After our workout, we visited the Kremlin in downtown Moscow, which is a massive enclosure with towers that contains palaces and cathedrals, and is also home to the president of Russia. It was neat to see some more sights and learn more of the deep history of Moscow, which was settled almost 700 years before Chicago. After sightseeing we went and grabbed a good American meal of burgers and fries, and then headed back to the hotel for the night. It's been an enjoyable couple of days here so far. Safe to say Moscow has treated us well.

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.

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