The U.S. National Junior Team left the homey confines of USA Hockey Arena yesterday afternoon, and arrived late Thursday evening in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Support staff orchestrated the move between buses, planes and equipment trucks, while the team found quiet moments to relax, rest and recharge.
Aisle seat or window? It’s an important question if you’re on planes and buses for more than 18 combined hours.
A few unexpected moments of entertainment throughout the journey kept things interesting including a live karaoke stage at an airport and two Lamborghini race cars on display inside of a local Czech shopping mall. Players will continue to prepare for their first pre-tournament exhibition game versus Sweden on Dec. 22 in Cesky Tesin, Czech Republic, with puck drop set for 12 p.m. ET. Staff will be watching practice and games closely as their decision on the final 23-player roster is expected by Dec. 24.
Netflix was a popular streaming option throughout Team USA’s travel today, especially the new Martin Scorsese-directed film The Irishman. The current 26-player preliminary roster features three University of Notre Dame players: Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.), Jacob Pivonka (Naperville, Ill.) and Spencer Stastney (Mequon, Wis.).