After a second day of practices yesterday things appear to be coming around for Canada red. Players exhibited more polish in their drills as they continued to prepare for their pre-tournament game Friday night against the United States.
Head coach Kris Knoblauch acknowledged that Tuesday’s skate was tough for his squad, but said his players familiarity with each other stood out yesterday for their second round of practice.
“The first day was difficult for the players. It’s tough for the coaches but extremely difficult for the players where we have a long day’s travel to get in to their hotel at 1:30 a.m., a lot of those guys it’s 4:30 eastern time and then we’re practicing the next day and they’re tired. Today [Wednesday] they’ve been together for awhile and they’re comfortable with each other. They just look like they’re ready to get the games going,” he said.
When it comes to what to expect from other teams at the tournament, he said while the Canada red coaching staff may not know all the details of the players from other countries, for the most part the brand of hockey showcased tends to be similar.
“The Canadian teams we know a lot of just because we know they’re going to play a very similar style of hockey to us. We know their players from just being in the Canadian Hockey League. Typically countries play a similar style. Canadians, whether it’s World Juniors, U-17s, or the Olympics, they play a brand of hockey that’s pretty much universal throughout Canada. It’s similar for the United States, Slovakia, Sweden. We don’t know exactly what they have for players or what kind of power play break out their going to employ but we have an idea of how they play the game,” he said.
Canada red is back on the ice today from 12:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
After their pre-tournament game against the United States tomorrow night in Dawson Creek, they’ll be back in Fort St. John to begin the preliminary round Sunday night against Finland at 7 p.m.