Some video highlights from the tournament have been sent my way. Here's the highlights from the first day of competition featuring Canada playing the Russian Junior Select Red Stars and Russia vs. Slovakia.
Here's the highlights from day two which includes Canada's 5-3 win over Russia.
Here's the highlights from the final day of the tournament which includes Canada's 6-3 win over Slovakia.
It was another long day of travelling but the boys landed in Vancouver safe and sound Tuesday night. Everyone is a little jet lagged, but I'm sure everyone quickly made sure to get their first taste of whatever they were craving and missing back home. For me it was a Tim Hortons coffee.
Going back to the game vs. the Russian National team and Jayson Reardon getting jumped by a fan. There is a video of it and it was posted on Deadspin which is a sports entertainment site.
The Russian Junior Red Select Red Stars finished the tournament 3-0 with a 5-3 win over the Russian national team. They battled back from a 3-1 third period deficit to get the win.
Captain Canada David Killip was presented the top forward award as part of the post game ceremonies. He was such a catalyst for Canada being in on the first goal in each of their first three games that they played.
Guys had a great night last night celebrating their trip and savouring their last few hours in Russia. We are back at the rink today to pack up the gear. Then shortly we will head back to Moscow for the night before heading to the airport to start making our way home.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the country and the people of Russia for making this trip so comforting for everybody. They welcomed us into their homeland and embraced the Canadians with so much admiration. Everyone was enjoying the last few moments last night they had to savour their friendly ways.
I have a few more house keeping things I would like to post on the blog perhaps after we get home.
Bryce Gervais scored his first three goals of the tournament to pace Canada's attack in a 6-3 win over Slovakia to round out the Regional Centre Cup.
The win assured Canada a 2nd place finish with a 2-1 record.
They were facing a Slovakian side that was coming off a 12-1 schlacking from the Russian Junior Select Red Stars the day before.
Click to here to listen to Head Coach Tim Kehler's post game comments.
Canada got off to a fast start in the first period. They struck 4 times in a span of 4:49 on a pair of goals from Gervais and singles from Jarryd Ten Vaanholt and Austin Carroll.
It was a penalty filled second period. Slovakia got on the board just seconds into a 5 on 3 powerplay with a one timer from right point.
The Canadians got the goal back when Bryce Gervais completed his hat-trick by scoring on a 5 on 3 of their own.
Click to here to listen to Bryce Gervais' post game comments.
The teams traded goals to end the period and Brayden Jaw scored a well deserved goal to end the second period. He went to the net and banged home a a Justin Fillion rebound for Canada's 3rd powerplay goal of the afternoon.
Click to here to listen to Brayden Jaw's post game comments.
Canada surrendered a shorthanded goal with just over three minutes remaining to complete the scoring.
These two wins to finish the tournament takes this experience to a whole new level for the players, coaches, support staff and the parents.
Everybody left home in Vancouver on April 8th having no knowledge of what to expect when we arrived in Russia. Now that the tournament is complete for Canada, everyone will take home memories that will last a life time of a great trip.
Congratulations to General Manager Ron Paterson for doing a fantastic job of putting this whole trip together on short notice. This trip wouldn't be possible without the work he put in long before we left and when we got here.
Congratulations to Tim Kehler and Colin O'Hara for bringing this team together and guiding them to their 2nd place finish.
Hats off to Wayne Hubbard, Larry Martin, and Dan Illich for doing everything in their power to take care of the players needs at a moments notice.
Thank you to Alexei Volkov for being a translator here. His fantastic work made breaking the language barrier so easy. His easy going personality fit in so well with this group.
And last, but certainly not least congratulations to the players. They gave their all every single game. Will come away with the usual bumps and bruises. Those will heal and go away. But the memories they will come home with will last forever.
Everyone here did a fantastic job of representing Canada and the BCHL very well while in Russia.
It was a win that everyone involved in this trip will remember for the rest of their lives.
In prime time Saturday night vs. a Russian National team, the Canadians walked out with a 5-3 win.
Click to here to listen to Head Coach Tim Kehler's post game comments.
It was a game that had a little bit of everything. And when I say everything, I mean it.
Canada came to play right from the get go and had their best start to a game so far. They controlled the flow of play for the first five minutes. I'm sure it went a long way to give the kids the confidence that they could play with their opponents, and it would carry them for the rest of the game.
Against the flow of play Russia opened the scoring when Ignat Zemchenko came out from behind the net and lifted a backhand over Khaleed Devji.
The Canadians proved they were ready to play when they responded with a pair of goals by Devin Gannon and Mike Hammond 19 seconds apart 3 minutes after the Russians opened the scoring. Captain David Killip assisted on the first goal. He has been in on the scoring in each of Canada's first goal in the three games played so far.
Russia pressed hard afterwards looking for the equalizer. But Khaleed Devji was there to shut them down. He made a number of great saves to keep Canada in the lead. His legs were particularly sharp. He was kicking out first and second shots throughout the course of the first period. Devji's strong play allowed Canada go to the room with their first lead of the tournament.
It didn't take long for the lead to be extended as Josh Manson's point shot was kicked out and Devin Gannon was there to bang home the rebound for his second goal of the game.
Russia again pulled back within one as Aleksandr Gogolev came down his off wing on the right side and fired a shot right through the wickets of Devji.
Josh Manson had Canada's response just over three minutes later when his shot from the left wing was deflected and got past the Kirill Brashkin. That's when they decided to make a goaltending change bringing in Sergei Kostenko.
Manson had a very strong game for Canada. He scored a goal and added an assist. He was also very physical levelling a number of the Russians with a few big hits.
The teams continued to trade goals in the second period and Pavel Medvedev wired a shot over the shoulder of Devji from the high slot to again pull Russia within a goal at 4-3.
This game drew the biggest crowd we have seen for this tournament to date. The rink was about two thirds full and the attendance was about 4000. It made for a fantastic energy in the building. The fans were constantly chanting and dancing all night among other things. More on that later.
The roar the crowd made when Russia looked like they were generating any form of an attack brought the volume level up immensely. They certainly brought their "A" game when it came to their passion and love for their team.
Midway through the second period Head Coach Tim Kehler decided to play a hunch. With Canada in the lead, and Khaleed Devji played pretty strong, Kehler decided to replace Devji with Kris Moore for the remainder of the game. Devji had given the manager enough innings and it was time to go to the bullpen and have Moore try and bring this one home with some long relief.
Click to here to listen to Khaleed Devji's post game comments.
That set up what would be a third period that these kids will remember forever.
The powerplay still hadn't struck for Canada so far in this tournament. But it came up with the perfect time to find the back of the net for the first time nearly 6 minutes into the third period. Jarryd Ten Vaanholt slid one under Kostenko to give Canada their second two goal lead of the game.
Special teams would play a large role in the third period allowing Canada to come away with the win.
Over the course of the third period Canada was penalized four times in the third period and Canada bent but didn't break. That included a 6 on 4 disadvantage with just over three minutes to go as Russia desperate to get back into the game pulled their goaltender for an extra skater. All four Russian powerplays were killed off.
Midway through the third period came a moment no one will ever forget. There was some pushing and shoving along the glass just inside the Russian blueline. All the skaters inside the ice were involved. Then out of the blue a Russian fan with one to many Vodka's on this night decided he wanted to help his boys out as he hopped over the glass and went after Jayson Reardon.
Click to here to listen to Jayson Reardon's post game comments.
Reardon was fine as he wrestled the fan to the ice allowing the officials to escort him to the penalty box then back into the stands for the authorities to deal with him.
It was a joyous dressing room as you can imagine after winning that one. Hugs and high fives and big smiles were everywhere. Leaving the rink there was a crowd of young kids there to meet the players and high five them after the win.
But you can't celebrate too much yet. There is still another game to be played vs. Slovakia. Canada has a chance now to finish in second place if they defeat Slovakia.
Three games are now in the books at the Regional Centre Cup. The Russian Junior Select Red Stars are proving to be far away the class of the tournament.
They improved to 2-0 for a total of 6 points under IIHF rules with their wins over Canada and then a 12-1 trouncing of Slovakia in the first game to be played on Saturday. The two teams were tied at one in the first period. And then the Red Stars took over scoring 11 unanswered goals.
Of the three games I have seen them play including the exhibition game vs. Canada on Wednesday, they have now outscored their opposition 27-5. No one should be surprised by the results as they are a team that has older, bigger and stronger players than the other three teams participating.
The second game yesterday between the Russian National team and Slovakia was very entertaining. It was a back and forth affair that saw Slovakia jump out to a 3-1 second period lead only to see Russia come back and tie it before the period was done.
Slovakia re-took the lead in the third only to see Russia tie it again and force overtime.
Russia did have a powerplay in the overtime but weren't able to take advantage. Russia outscored Slovakia 2-1 in the best of three shootout to win 5-4.
Here's a few of the little things here in Russia that have caught my eye.
The children here at the rink are having the time of their lives. They're constantly dancing, chanting and cheering on their team. At the game Friday night between the Russian National team and Team Slovakia there was a group of fans in the corner of the rink that didn't sit for the entire game. They were waving their flags constantly, clapping and chanting various players names throughout the game.
The Canadian players are like little celebrities here. The locals want to get to know them. They're constantly asking questions and being very friendly. They have made everyone's experience here in Russia very comforting.
When it comes to the games, the way they announce penalties and goals on the public address system is a little different. They will say announce it when it happened from the duration of the drop of the puck to start the game. For example if a goal was scored at 12:43 of the second period, they will announce it as happening at 32:43. It is the same for when they put the goals on the old scoreboard at the rink we played in for the exhibition game in Moscow vs. the Russian Junior Select Red Stars.
And the PA announcers will announce everything. They will announce when a team is at full strength even on a powerplay goal. They will say it even after the announcement of a powerplay goal.
When announcing the rules for overtime and a shootout, they will say "if the game remains equal, there will be a five minute overtime and a shootout competition."
There have been a few fights at the tournament. When Canada got into a few fights in their first game, mostly double minor roughing penalties were assessed. Today in the game between Slovakia and the Russian Junior Select Red Stars, 5 minute majors for fighting were handed out. But no game misconducts.
Whenever one travels to a foreign country the food is always something that one wonders what it will be like.
There are somethings that are different compared to back home. First off all, they put dill on nearly everything. To quote Assistant Coach Colin O'Hara "It's the Russian parsley." At some of the meals they will serve bread with slices of ham on them as a side dish.
At dinner yesterday when we arrived back at the hotel, they served what I guess the locals would call a salad. Personally it's hard to figure out what it truly was. The best way to describe it was beets that were on top of a layer of some raw fish. Then on top it had some mayonnaise that was colored pink from the beets. I tried it at least be adventourous. It didn't taste that bad, but I decided I wouldn't eat that much for the sake of possibly regretting it later.