Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Team USA returned to its hotel last night around 11:30 p.m. after a 5-2 win over Italy in an exhibition game played at Agora Arena in Milan and was back up and on its charter bus to the airport at 6:15 a.m. this morning.
After a 40-minute ride and the usual steps to check-in and get through security, the team was set for its one hour flight from Milan to Cologne that departed just before 9 a.m.
A bus on the tarmac greeted Team USA and the short journey to the tournament hotel had the U.S. arriving in old town Cologne around 10:45 a.m. The team had lunch at the hotel and then got a few hours of sleep before its 4:30 p.m. practice at LAXNESS Arena.
The logistics with moving a hockey team from Milan to Cologne – including an 8 p.m. game one night in Milan followed by a 4:30 p.m. practice in Cologne the following day – makes for a unique challenge for Team USA’s training staff. The move included two trucks –one filled with the personal bags of the team and staff along with supplies for the nearly three-week stay. That vehicle departed Milan at approximately 7 p.m. and arrived at the team’s hotel in Cologne today at 12:30 p.m. The other truck included additional supplies and hockey and medical equipment, as well as the player and staff equipment bags. That truck was packed following the game and departed just after midnight with arrival to LAXNESS Arena in Cologne about 1:30 p.m. today. The training staff – including equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Chris Scoppetto; athletic trainers Stan Wong and Jason Serbus, and massage therapist Peewee Willman -- raced to get the lockerroom ready for the arrival of the players at 3:30 p.m. What is typically a five or six-hour set-up process was done in just two hours.
Bernie Haake is Team USA’s host for the world championship. Haake has been Team USA’s host for multiple world championships for parts of the last four decades, dating back to 1982. From Bielefeld, Germany, Haake is currently the head coach of the Lithuania men’s national ice hockey team.