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JCWC BLOG: Ryan Blankemeier, Part 3

08/23/2015, 11:30am CDT
By Ryan Blankemeier, Chicago Steel

Ryan Blankemeier writes about preparing for the JCWC tournament and final tune up before tournament time.

Our last couple days in Moscow were filled with some more high-tempo practices, and Moscow sightseeing. Every day this week we would practice in the morning, and then after lunch we would visit a Moscow attraction. Wednesday's attraction was the armed forces museum, which chronicled the Soviet Union's involvement in World War II through a series of murals. Our guide walked us through all the murals and then we saw a memorial room with a countless number of chains hanging from the ceiling to honor the Russians that died in the war. After the museum, we walked around outside, took some team pictures, and then headed to dinner.


Thursday's attraction was the Red Square, home to the symbol of Russia, Saint Basil's Cathedral. We took a team picture with our jerseys, and it took a little longer than expected because people passing by kept jumping in our pictures or taking their own pictures of us (had to have been the sweet sweaters). After pictures we walked around the mall at red square and some of us bought some souvenirs.


That night after dinner we were given a task by team president John Egan. We were given a bunch of tickets to our exhibition game on Friday to pass out to people on Red Square. Even though I was handed my fair share of rejections, it was fun trying to find people who were interested, and attempting to talk to them. We also learned that Steel forward Alex Frye could sell absolutely anything, because he probably handed out more than the rest of the team combined. 


Friday was all about preparing for our scrimmage at 3 against a Moscow professional team in the VHL, which is right under the KHL, Russia's top professional league. We ended up losing 3-1, but we all thought the effort was there, and we did some good things that we can build off of going into next week. 


We left for Yekaterinburg, and are getting ready for the tournament. It's been a great experience so far, and we are all very excited and thankful to the USHL and the Chicago Steel for giving us this opportunity to go represent our league, and our country.



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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