The boys had a day off between their lone exhibition game Wednesday and the start of the tournament Friday vs. the same Russian Junior Select team that beat Canada 9-2 Wednesday night.
The team went to the rink in Podolsk which is a beautiful modern arena for a morning practice. The rink the tournament will by played in is an exact opposite to the facility the exhibition game was played in which was an old building but it had plenty of character.
After the morning skate everyone made their way to the local train station and took the 40 minute ride into the heart of Moscow.
While on the train, one of the locals was reading the newspaper and noticed the players in their Canadian jackets and he started up a conversation with the boys about an article in the paper about the game.
The headline of the paper stood out which said in big bold letters "GOODBYE CANADA!!!" in Russian.
The friendly gentleman on the train translated the article to the players. Yours truly was quoted in the paper. I guess they're trying to read the blog here in Russia. I was quoted as saying that the boys had a rough flight from Vancouver to London which was far from the truth. It was very smooth flying on both flights to get here.
While the players were getting the lowdown on the game in the newspaper, Head Coach Tim Kehler struck up a conversation with a young girl and they were breaking down the language barrier by writing notes in the girls note book. They were discussing how she learned her limited English.
Once we arrived into Moscow, we quickly went to the Red Square and got some special treatment to get onto the grounds and quickly snapped as many pictures as we could before they shut it down in preparation for a function later in the day.
Then it was off to the mall where the boys huddled up and made plans for the day. Most of them went Arbat Street which is a stretch that is full of little souvenier shops mixed with a number of big box stores.
It was a great time for everyone to do plenty of shopping. Everyone did their part to make sure they will be bringing home a piece of Russian culture. Whether it's the dolls (I bought a Vancouver Canucks one which I am extremely happy about) Players also bought some of those infamous furry hats.
We have a translator here by the name of Alexei who has been a great help taking care of everything we need from the moment we landed in Russia. Today he set us up with his young friend Jaroslav who guided everyone on their tour of the shopping district in Moscow.
After everyone was done shopping, we met at a clock at the foot of Arbat street at 6pm sharp and made our way back to the train and eventually came back to Podolsk for dinner.
Dinner was served as soon as we arrived back at the hotel then it was time to shut it down for the night and relax before the tournament opens for real on Friday vs. the Russian Junior Selects.