A behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Men's National Team during the 2019 IIHF Men's World Championship with the daily notebook entries below.
The U.S. met Russia in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 IIHF Men's World championship today with a spot in the semifinals on the line.
Patrick Kane and Jack Hughes each had a pair of assists and Cory Schneider made 39 saves, but Team USA fell to Russia, 4-3, to end its tournament.
“I thought overall we played our best game of the tournament,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team and also the bench boss of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. “It's tough to get in the early hole we did against a team like Russia, who is as good of a team as I've seen here over the last three years, but we really dug in and played a great second and third especially. We had a terrific group and while we're disappointed, the future of hockey in our country is bright."
The U.S. finished the tournament with wins in five of eight games (4-1-0-3/w-otw-otl-l) and has gone 19-7 over the last three world championships.
Patrick Kane, Dylan Larkin and Ryan Suter were named the top-three U.S. players for the tournament.
Team USA’s journey took a new turn today as the team set off for Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia that includes some 430,000 people and is located on the western edge of the country, just about 45 minutes from Vienna, Austria. Bratislava is the site of the U.S. quarterfinal game tomorrow against Russia and also will be the location for the semifinals and medal games in this 83rd IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship.
After returning to its hotel late last night following a tough 3-0 loss to Canada that foiled Team USA’s attempt to win Group A, the players, staff and their guests re-grouped and got set for a journey by train with Team Germany to Bratislava. The almost five-hour train ride commenced promptly at 9:22 a.m. as scheduled and traversed through the Slovakian countryside, a beautiful ride that included rolling green hills, the Tatras mountain range, quaint Slovakian towns, some light fog, and rain, which has been frequent during Team USA’s stay in Slovakia.
The ride to Bratislava included sleep, movie watching, card playing, family time, coaches working on the game plan vs. Russia and first-rate service from the cabin staff with sandwiches, salads, and a variety of Corny Big bars (chocolate, white chocolate and cranberry) served alongside plates of fresh fruit that included apples, bananas, pears and strawberries and finished off with apple strudel.
Unfortunately, both Dylan Larkin and Derek Ryan were injured in last night’s game. The two made the trip with Team USA to Bratislava, but are unlikely to be available to play in any further games for the U.S. in this year’s world championship.
TRAINING STAFF HAS A DIFFERENT JOURNEY
Team USA’s training staff returned to the hotel approximately 2 a.m. this morning after packing up the locker room and all that goes with a hockey team (which is a lot). After a couple hours of rest, the group set off for the train station at 4:30 a.m. to hitch a ride so they could arrive in advance of the coaches and players and set-up a brand new home for Team USA at Ondrej Nepela Arena.
TEAM ARRIVAL TO BRATISLAVA
The train pulled into the station in the heart of Bratislava at 2:15 p.m. and after loading up a couple of charter buses, the players, staff and guests arrived at their host hotel at approximately 2:35 p.m. and had a chance to get settled.
The team departed its hotel at 4:45 p.m. and arrived at Ondrej Nepela Arena for an optional skate and to get acquainted with their new home for the remainder of the tournament. A team dinner and rest wrapped up the day.
The world championship journey that began when players and staff gathered back on May 4 in Newark, New Jersey, is now to the elimination round and Team USA is looking to advance to the semifinal round for the third time in the last four years.
Cory Schneider made 33 saves and the United States generated 28 shots on goal, but the U.S. Men's National Team fell to Canada, 3-0, in its final preliminary game of the world championship.
Team USA finished the preliminary round with an overall record of 5-1-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and a fourth-place finish in Group A. Quarterfinal action will take place on Thursday (May 23) when the U.S. meets Russia, winner of Group B, at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. Puck drop is slated for 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) and the game will be broadcast live in the United States on NHL Network.
Following the game, the group returned to the hotel and packed up a cargo truck in advance of traveling to Bratislava by train first thing in the morning.
With its third game in four days coming tomorrow, the U.S. had an optional skate today at 2 p.m. on the practice rink of the Steel Arena complex.
A handful of players were at the rink, among them Thatcher Demko, Cayden Primeau, Jack Hughes, Luke Glendening, Alec Martinez, Chris Kreider, Luke Kunin, Noah Hanifin, Johnny Gaudreau, Quinn Hughes and Christian Wolanin. Some players took to the ice and had a spirited 3-on-3 competition, which also featured assistant coach Dan Bylsma, while others worked out or received treatments from Team USA’s top-rate training staff.
Team USA is getting set for its seventh and final game of the preliminary round tomorrow against Canada. Both teams have secured a spot in Thursday’s (May 23) quarterfinals, but the contest has significance not only for country pride, but also tournament seeding. With a win, Team USA will finish in the top two in Group A and remain in Kosice, however, a loss will mean the U.S. will have to travel to Bratislava for the quarterfinals and face either the first or second seed in Group B.
LOCKER ROOM TOUR
U.S. Men's National Team equipment manager Scott Aldrich invited fans into the Team USA locker room at Steel Arena in Kosice with a video tour.
The group moved into the current locker room May 9 ahead of its tournament opener. You can read more about the move-in process in the Day 5 entry below.
Aldrich is serving as the U.S. equipment manager for the fifth time at the IIHF Men's World Championship and has served the same role during numerous international tournaments, including for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team in PyeongChang, South Korea.
A few players returned to Red Fox Golf Club just outside Kosice for a round of golf, and despite the threatening skies here early this afternoon, the weather held. Other players spent time with family and friends or just relaxed. Defenseman Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets arrived mid-afternoon and could be in the lineup tomorrow when the U.S. faces Canada.
Ryan Suter and his son Brooks – who arrived from the U.S. yesterday -- enjoyed breakfast together this morning at the team’s hotel. Brooks is eight-years-old and plays youth hockey in the Edina (Minn.) Hockey Association. The Suter bloodlines are strong when it comes to hockey. Ryan’s late father Bob Suter played on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” gold medal-winning Olympic team, while his uncle Gary played more than 1,000 games in the NHL and represented the U.S. numerous times in international competition. Ryan Suter is playing for a U.S. team in a major international event for the 13th time and has played in 78 total games for Team USA heading into play tomorrow against Canada. Ryan’s NHL career has already encompassed 1,073 regular-season games and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
FIVE QUESTIONS-PLUS WITH ALEC MARTINEZ
Best thing about college hockey: Friendships you develop
One thing fans don’t know about me: Took me 13 years to get my college degree (from Miami (Ohio) University), but it was important to me to finish my degree
My favorite musical artist/band: Chris Stapleton
Three words that best describe you: Hard-working, humble, appreciative
The last movie I watched: White Boy Rick
Favorite streaming show: Game of Thrones
TEAM USA CLINCHES SPOT IN QUARTERFINALS
Dylan Larkin scored the game-winning goal in the third period off a highlight-reel feed from James van Riemsdyk, Alec Martinez tallied two assists, and Cory Schneider made 24 saves as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Germany, 3-1, to secure a quarterfinal berth for the ninth consecutive year at the IIHF Men's World Championship.
Martinez was named awarded U.S. Player of the Game honors after the final buzzer.
The United States (4-1-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) will seek a sixth-straight win to close our preliminary-round play when it faces Canada Tuesday (May 21). Puck drop is set for 8:15 p.m. local time (2:15 p.m. ET) and will help decide final placement for the quarterfinal round.
Another look at the game-winner. #MensWorlds | #TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/xq1fGMfn1H— USA Hockey (@usahockey) May 19, 2019
U.S. PICKS UP WIN OVER DENMARK
Alex DeBrincat registered two goals and an assist and Patrick Kane added three assists as the U.S. Men's National Team defeated Denmark, 7-1, in its fifth game of the 2019 IIHF Men's World Championship.
Head Coach Jeff Blashill picked up his 18th career win in 23 games in world championship play to become the all-time winningest U.S. coach in world championship history (top division only).
With the win, the U.S. Men's National Team improved to 3-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in Group A play. The U.S. returns to action tomorrow (May 19) against Germany at 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET).
With a 9:30 a.m. practice this morning for Team USA, the players and staff were up early. The training and coaching staff were at the arena just after 7 a.m., while the players arrived around 8:15 a.m.
The pace of practice was up-tempo as the U.S. had its final preparation for a 12:15 p.m. faceoff with Denmark tomorrow (6:15 a.m. ET/live on NHL Network).
Entering today, Team USA sat in fourth place in the Group A standings. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals.
About 90 minutes following practice, Stan Wong’s barbershop opened inside the team’s lockerroom. The versatile Wong, who is one of Team USA’s two athletic trainers for the world championship and working his 46th U.S. international event, took his barber skills to the heads of both assistant coach Dan Bylsma and equipment manager Scott Aldrich.
SAUNA ON THE ROAD
The Sauna On The Road, which is located just a few blocks from Steel Arena, has been a big hit with the U.S. coaching staff as well as some of the players. The mobile sauna, which was at the world hockey championship for the first time last year, made the trip from its home in Finland, nearly 2,000 kilometers away. Its three-week stay here in Kosice is busiest on Finland game days, and is open every day of the tournament from approximately 10 a.m. until midnight. It includes a full-size sauna that can hold up to 20 adults, a small shower area and a lounge that includes an Xbox for gaming and a refrigerator stocked with beer, waters and soft drinks. The Sauna On The Road entry fee is 25 euro/hour per adult.
HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETE
Today was a celebratory one in the streets of Kosice for the young girls and boys who finished the U.S. equivalent of their high school career today. They were seen in groups of boys and girls dressed up and carrying balloons and noisemakers, waving to cars, and collecting money for a party that will take place after they finish their exams next week.
FIVE QUESTIONS-PLUS WITH CHRIS KREIDER
Best international hockey moment: Winning the gold medal in the World Juniors in Canada in 2010
One thing fans don’t know about me: I have curved pinkies
My favorite musical artist/band: Dawes
Three words that best describe you (by Thatcher Demko): Fridge, Generous, Unit
The last movie I watched: The Big Short
Favorite streaming show: The Office
Team USA had a complete day off today after its 6-3 win against Great Britain. It will return to the ice tomorrow for practice before playing back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday against Denmark and Germany.
Players had a two-hour window this morning for treatments at the rink.
There was also an opportunity for a golf outing for those interested and five players and three staff members took advantage (see a more complete look at the golf outing below).
Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk took time early this afternoon for a 15-minute interview with TSN’s Darren Dreger in another version of Dreger’s Café in the old town of Kosice. Kane and van Riemsdyk were the top two picks in the 2007 NHL Draft in Columbus.
U.S. general manager Chris Drury did a segment for the Café this afternoon as well. Christian Wolanin also recorded a piece with Harry Thompson, editor-in-chief of USA Hockey Magazine and will be featured in the next edition of the USA Hockey Magazine podcast. You can listen to Wolanin's episode here.
A Day On The Links
Thatcher Demko, Noah Hanifin, Dylan Larkin, Brady Skjei and Ryan Suter were joined by assistant coach Dan Bylsma, team leader Marc Boxer and Andrew Ketterer, a member of USA Hockey’s communications staff, at Red Fox Golf Club in Mala Ida, which is a 15-minute bus ride from the team’s hotel in Kosice.
Upon arriving shortly after 12:30 p.m., the group enjoyed a warm welcome from the club staff. After a quick session on the driving range, picking teams and loading the clubs into carts, the group teed off on the 2,926-meter (3,200-yard), nine-hole course that is less than 10 years old.
Demko, Hanifin, Larkin, and Skjei were the first foursome off the tee with Boxer, Bylsma, Ketterer and Suter playing in the second group. Skjei posted the best score on the opening nine — an impressive three-over 38. Bylsma finished just a stroke behind that with a 39.
After the opening nine, the group enjoyed a quick lunch break on the clubhouse patio. While the food was being prepped, Bylsma and Larkin took advantage of a fishing pole that was set up ahead of time, casting a few lines out into the pond located just off the patio. Both Larkin and Bylsma landed fish before the food arrived.
After lunch, the group headed back out to play the track again, this time all together in a 4-on-4 scramble format. Skjei, Larkin, Hanifin and Demko jumped out to an early lead with a birdie on the par-four first. Bylsma, Ketterer, Boxer and Suter battled back to tie the match with two holes to play. Ultimately, neither group was able to pull away on final and the match ended all square.
After a few last pictures with the golf club staff, the crew hopped on the bus to head back to the hotel.
Record-Setting Win Over Great Britain
Patrick Kane, who was named the U.S. Player of the Game, registered three points in a record-breaking performance to lead the U.S. Men's National Team past Great Britain, 6-3, in its fourth game of the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.
With his three-point performance, Kane became the all-time U.S. career points leader in men's world championship play with 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points in just 21 games played. He surpassed Mark Johnson, who tallied 33 points (15g, 18a) in 62 outings in men's world championship play.
In the game, the U.S. outshot Great Britain, 65-26. The 65 shots on goal was a single-game U.S. record at the men's world championship, Twenty-six of those shots came during the second period, which is also a U.S. record at the tournament.
The U.S. Men's National Team (2-1-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) will return to preliminary-round action on Saturday (May 18) against Denmark following back-to-back off days.
Patrick Kane Following The Win
It's day seven for Team USA here in Kosice, and the players arrived at Steel Arena this morning just after 9:45 for an 11 a.m. practice.
It was a unique day in the sense that U.S. forward Jack Hughes donned a visor on his helmet instead of the required full shield for players under the age of 18. Today is Hughes’ 18th birthday. Coach Jeff Blashill and the team had a little stick tap birthday salute for Hughes at the outset of practice.
After its typical media obligations following practice, the team returned to the hotel for lunch, and following the meal, the hotel staff presented a homemade cake from the kitchen and sang happy birthday to Jack Hughes. It was a kind gesture that brought a big smile to Hughes' face.
With a cold, blustery and rainy day in Kosice today, the players spent the rest of the day relaxing, with varied activity including rest, ping pong in the team room at the hotel, playing NHL ’19, and using the hotel's sauna/hot tub facilities.
As a side note, last night following its 3-2 overtime win over Finland, the players and training staff gathered for a team bowling outing at Cool Bowling, which is located right across the street from its hotel. The top three scores of the night belonged to Adam Fox (career-high 179), Brady Skjei (154) and Clayton Keller (152). Hall of Fame athletic trainer Stan Wong, who is supporting his 46th U.S. team on the international stage, displayed the flair that is “Wonger” with a signature leg kick while finishing his bowling motion.
The U.S. gets back into action tomorrow against Great Britain, a team that it has not played in the world championship since 1962. Opening faceoff is set for 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) and the game can be seen live on NHL Network in the U.S.
Overtime Win Over Finland
Dylan Larkin scored 3:47 into overtime and Cory Schneider had 24 stops to lift the U.S. past Finland, 3-2, in its third preliminary round game of the 2019 IIHF Men's World Championship.
“We’re taking steps in the right direction and that’s great to see,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and also the bench boss of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. “They’re (Finland) a tough team to play against and I give our guys a lot of credit. They battled hard all game long and deserved to get rewarded with points.”
With Team USA playing in the first of the three world championship games at Steel Arena on Sunday, it was an early morning for the group.
Players and staff gathered in the team room at the hotel starting at 7 a.m. local time for breakfast. Most of the U.S. support staff headed over to the arena before 8 a.m. to begin setting up the lockerroom and groups players followed with busses set for both 9:15 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Upon arrival, head coach Jeff Blashill met with members of the media and recorded his arrival interview, previewing the team's matchup against France, the second game of the tournament for Team USA.
U.S. Skates Past France, 7-1
After dropping the tournament opener to Slovakia on Friday (May 10), the U.S. bounced back against France, scoring early and often. In total, 12 U.S. players tallied points in the win and six recorded multi-point efforts (Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, Dylan Larkin, Alec Martinez, Frank Vatrano and Colin White).
DeBrincat's two goals earned him Player of the Game honors for the U.S.
The team returned to the hotel after the game for its postgame meal and to rest up for tomorrow's (May 13) showdown with Finland, which is tied for the Group A lead after two games with wins over Canada and Slovakia.
Puck drop is set for 10:15 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on NHL Network.
A new day dawned for Team USA today and it was filled with reflection and determination following last night’s 4-1 loss to host Slovakia in the opening game for both team’s at the 83rd IIHF Men’s World Championship.
While the game did not go as hoped for the U.S. on the ice, it was a festive atmosphere to be a part of for Team USA with a high-energy opening ceremony prior to faceoff and much singing, dancing and flag waving from the sold-out crowd at Steel Arena throughout the contest.
Team USA had an afternoon practice today on the secondary ice sheet in the two-rink Steel Arena complex in preparation for its 12:15 p.m. tilt tomorrow against France. The ice surface was unique in size at 85x184, and as you might imagine, the neutral zone was very minimal.
Coach Jeff Blashill and his staff met with players prior to the skate to review last night’s game and look ahead to tomorrow’s contest.
After a few media obligations following practice, the players headed back to the hotel, while the coaching staff, which arrived at the rink just after 9 a.m., stayed behind to watch other games in the tournament happening today at Steel Arena (three in total).
The Hughes brothers -- Quinn and Jack -- stopped by "Dreger's Cafe" along the cobblestone streets of Old Town and not far from the team's hotel, to film a segment that will air on TSN during the tournament.
The day concluded with many players enjoying a nice dinner in Old Town.
A reminder to fans in the U.S. that all Team USA games at the world championship (and many others) can be seen live on NHL Network.
Five Questions-Plus With Frank Vatrano
Best international hockey moment: Winning the Under-18 Worlds in 2012
One thing fans don’t know about me: I played baseball from grades 2-10. Was a catcher as a kid and then played outfield in high school.
My favorite musical artist/band: Post Malone
Three words that best describe you: Hard-working, Motivated, Competitive
The last movie I watched: Highway Men
Favorite streaming show: Game of Thrones
With the first game of the 2019 IIHF Men's World Championship set for 8:15 p.m. ET, the U.S. Men's National Team had breakfast at the hotel before heading over for a pregame skate from 11:45-12:15 p.m. at Steel Arena in Kosice.
Following the skate, the team returned to the hotel to gear up for the tournament opener against host Slovakia. which was scheduled for 8:15 p.m.
Following rest and a pregame meal, players began making their way back to Steel Arena between 5:15-6 p.m. Most of the players traveled to the rink via two different bus times, but a handful decided to make the half-mile walk to the arena while taking in the fan-filled atmosphere surrounding opening day of the tournament.
U.S. Falls To Slovakia in Opener
Corey Schneider recorded 32 saves and Alex DeBrincat scored but the U.S. fell to Slovakia, 4-1, in its first game of the tournament in front of a sellout crowd of more than 7,000 fans.
“They deserved to win the hockey game and credit to them,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “We need to get to the net more and be harder to play against and we’ll work on that tomorrow in practice. At the end of the day, it’s the first game of the tournament and we’ll learn from this game and move forward.”
Following the game, the team bussed back to the hotel for a postgame meal before getting some rest.
The U.S. will skate on Saturday on the practice sheet of ice at Steel Arena as it prepares for its matchup with France on Sunday (May 12).
The U.S. Men’s National Team had its first practice in Kosice today. The team had an hour-long session on the “game ice” in the two-sheet Steel Arena, where it faces host Slovakia tomorrow (May 10) in the first game for both teams at the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The players signed their official tournament registration forms at breakfast this morning before bussing to the rink at 10:30 a.m. in preparation for 11:45 a.m. ice time. All players and staff took their official tournament headshots, while the players also participated in shooting some fun content for the scoreboard and IIHF social channels in front a green screen.
Following practice, the players visited with some of the media covering the tournament, including Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro, who will call all U.S. games on NHL Network.
The day concluded with a team dinner at a local restaurant.
Side note: Yesterday, many of the players enjoyed walking around the city of Kosice, including a group who visited a local bowling alley and rolled a few frames.
Five Questions-Plus With Quinn Hughes
Best international hockey moment: For our country, 1980 Miracle on Ice. For me personally, winning gold at U18s was a big deal, but getting a bronze at the men’s worlds last year was a really big deal too and I was really proud to be part of that group.
One thing fans don’t know about me: I love basketball.
My favorite musical artist/band: Turn on the radio and see if I like the song. Don’t have a favorite.
Three words that best describe you: Loyal, hard-working, compassionate
The last movie I watched: Avengers End Game
Favorite streaming show: Suits
Arrival in Kosice, Slovakia
9:45 p.m. local time
It was an early call for Team USA as players and staff were in the lobby at 6 a.m. to provide their passport to Team Leader Marc Boxer and load their personal bags onto a truck. After a quick breakfast, the group boarded a charter bus for the 90-minute journey to airport Baden Baden for a flight with Team Germany to Kosice, Slovakia, one of the two host cities for the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship and the site where the U.S. will play its seven preliminary round games in the tournament. The 90-minute flight arrived in Kosice just after 10:15 a.m.
The U.S. arrived at its host hotel just after 11 a.m. where both Canada and Finland are staying as well. While the players had the remainder of the day to rest and explore, the training and coaching staff was busy in various fashions getting set for tomorrow’s practice and the world championship overall.
The team’s hockey equipment, which includes more than 70 pieces total that cumulatively are heavy … very heavy …. was sent on a truck from Mannheim, Germany, where the U.S. bested Germany by a 5-2 count in its lone pre-tournament game yesterday, on an overnight journey to Slovakia. The equipment arrived at Steel Arena in Kosice at approximately 4:30 p.m. and the training staff went to work establishing a home base for at least the next two weeks. The lockerroom quarters are compact, but convenient to the playing surface. With eight teams to accommodate, space is at a premium at the Steel Arena complex, a facility which includes a main competition arena along with a practice sheet of ice.
It will be into the early morning hours before the training staff – which includes equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Chris “Frosty” Scoppetto, athletic trainers Stan Wong and Piet VanZant, massage therapist Peewee Willman, Dr. Doug Weiss, and special assistant Dylan VanZant – will finish assembling/setting up Team USA’s home. It’s a passion for an experienced group that has been involved in thousands of games and hundreds of international tournaments cumulatively.
Scoppetto, Wong and Willman were in Kosice as part of Team USA’s staff the last time the world championship was staged here in 2011.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will practice here for the first time tomorrow at 11:45 a.m., its final session before opening the 83rd annual IIHF Men’s World Championship in what is expected to be a raucous environment against host Slovakia on Friday at 8:15 p.m. local (2:15 p.m. ET), live on NHL Network.
With its lone pre-tournament game set for 7 p.m. local time, Team USA had breakfast together at the hotel before heading to the rink for an 11 o’clock pregame skate. The netminders took the ice first with U.S. goaltending coach Kevin Reiter for a few goalie-specific drills. The rest of the team joined them 10 minutes later for an upbeat half-hour skate.
The team made it’s way back to the hotel after fulfilling a couple of media requests and had a pre-game meal before some down time to prepare for their first game together.
USA DOWNS GERMANY, 5-2
After erasing two one-goal deficits in the opening 40 minutes, Team USA rattled off three goals in the third period to pick up a win in front of more than 13,000 fans at SAP Arena in Mannheim.
Noah Hanifin, Clayton Keller, Alex DeBrincat, James van Riemsdyk and Johnny Gaudreau tallied goals in the win.
“Germany made it hard on us and it was a real good test as we head into the world championship,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team. “It was a great atmosphere here tonight and we appreciate the hospitality we’ve received while we’ve been in Mannehim.”
Following the game, the team headed back to the hotel for a late dinner while members of the support staff packed up all the equipment in preparation for the team’s travel to Kosice, Slovakia the following morning.
It’s day two here in Mannheim for Team USA.
The players and staff enjoyed the chance to sleep in with a 2 o’clock practice on the docket. The 90-minute session built off of yesterday’s skate as Team USA has a short window to get ready for its opening game at the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship on Friday (May 10) against host Slovakia (live on NHL Network at 2:15 p.m. ET).
Team USA will face Germany in a pre-tournament game here tomorrow at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) and fans can watch a live stream at: https://www.magentasport.de/event/deutschland-usa/443611
Following practice, players and head coach Jeff Blashill did a handful of media interviews.
Several of the players took the chance to wander around the streets of Mannheim, a city with a population of just more than 300,000 in the southwestern part of Germany. Adler Mannheim, the team that plays out of SAP Arena where Team USA is practicing and will play its pre-tournament game against Germany tomorrow, recently won the Duetsche Eishockey Liga crown, the highest-level hockey league in Germany. Chad Kolarik, who played for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, was a member of Adler this season.
The players and staff gathered for a team dinner in the early evening hours.
A number of members of the U.S. military are staying at the same hotel as Team USA for a conference here in Mannheim.
5-Plus Questions With Alex DeBrincat
Favorite International Hockey Moment: Has to be last year at the men’s world championship (where the U.S. beat Canada to claim a bronze medal). It was a really fun tournament.
Favorite Hockey Player Growing Up: Pavel Datsyuk
First Time on Skates: I was three or four. I really fell in love with the game right away thanks to both my dad and brother.
Favorite Inspirational Moment: Any Stanley Cup Final. It’s really cool to see whatever team wins, win.
Best Thing About Hockey: It’s always fun. Every time I’m out there it’s fun. And you get to meet a lot of people.
If you were any flavor of ice cream, what would it be and why?: Chocolate … it’s my very favorite flavor. And that said, I’m not a big fan of chocolate candy bars. (DeBrincat noted his runner-up flavor would be orange sherbet)
The 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team landed in Frankfurt, Germany, at 9:40 a.m. after departing Newark International Airport in New Jersey at just after 8 o’clock Saturday (May 4) night. After going through customs and gathering luggage and hockey equipment, Team USA hopped on a charter bus for what was less than an hour journey to Mannheim, Germany, where it will spend three days training in preparation for the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The collection of 23 players that currently populates the U.S. roster includes 12 first-round NHL draft picks and is led by Jeff Blashill, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, who is guiding the U.S. at the world championship for the third straight year.Team USA enjoyed lunch at its hotel and had a brief team meeting before an hour off to relax. It was then off to SAP Arena where the U.S. had a spirited practice. The SAP Arena has three ice sheets and Team USA skated on one of the two secondary sheets. A professional handball match between the Jungadler Mannheim and Bietigheim took place in the main SAP Arena during Team USA’s practice. Team USA will play Germany in a pre-tournament game at SAP Arena on Tuesday (May 7).
Following practice and after a couple of media interviews, the players/staff returned to the hotel to enjoy dinner.
In No Order
• Ryan Suter and Dylan Larkin were named alternate captains of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team by coach Jeff Blashilltoday after practice. Suter has played in 11 previous international competitions for the U.S., the most of any rostered player, while Larkin is playing for Team USA in his fifth straight world championship. The duo will join captain Patrick Kane as the U.S. leadership group for the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
• Dale Tallon, a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, is with Team USA in Mannheim. Tallon is the general manager of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
• John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and Hall of Fame goaltender, is in Mannheim and oversees all U.S. teams on the international stage for USA Hockey. While it is Vanbiesbrouck’s first stint in a management role for the U.S. Men’s National Team, he played in the world championship for the U.S. on four occasions.
• Team USA ranges in age from 17 (Jack Hughes) to 34 (Ryan Suter). Suter has played in 11 events on the international stage to lead all players. All total, 16 different players have competed for Team USA in the IIHF Men’s World Championship with Suter (4), Dylan Larkin(4) and Johnny Gaudreau (3) leading the way in appearances.
|Date||Opponent/Round||Time (Local/ET)/Result||Location||Television||U.S. Player of the Game|
|Tues., May 7||Germany
|W, 5-2||SAP Arena
|Live Stream||Johnny Gaudreau|
|Fri., May 10||Slovakia
|L, 1-4||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Jack Eichel|
|Sun., May 12||France
|W, 7-1||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Alex DeBrincat|
|Mon., May 13||Finland
|OTW, 3-2||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Brady Skjei|
|Wed., May 15||Great Britain
|W, 6-3||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Patrick Kane|
|Sat., May 18||Denmark
|W, 7-1||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Dylan Larkin|
|Sun., May 19||Germany
|W, 3-1||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Alec Martinez|
|Tues., May 21||Canada
|L, 0-3||Steel Arena
|NHL Network||Cory Schneider|
|Thurs., May 23||Russia
|L, 3-4||Ondrej Nepela Arena
|NHL Network||Jack Hughes|