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2022 Men's Worlds Notebook: A Day Away From The Rink

By USA Hockey, 05/14/22, 8:30AM EDT

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Follow along Team USA's journey at the 2022 IIHF Men's World Championship

The 2022 IIHF Men's World Championship is taking place May 13-29, 2022, in Tampere & Helsinki, Finland. Follow along Team USA's journey with exclusive, inside access through our daily notebook.


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May 14 | Surprise Day Off From The Ice

U.S. head coach David Quinn surprised the players with a day off from practice today. The group was able to sleep in, which was much appreciated by all. Team USA’s staff re-located treatment tables and supplies to the team’s hotel and the players had a two-hour window starting at 11 o’clock to get any treatments needed. The players ventured as a group downtown to explore Tampere in the early afternoon for a couple of hours and then returned for rest in advance of an early evening team meeting to prepare for tomorrow’s game against Austria.

WHO KNEW

The first-ever McDonald’s restaurant in Finland opened here in Tampere in December of 1984. The 1985 IIHF World Junior Championship – which began in late December of 1984 and finished in early January 1985 – was played in Finland that year with games in Helsinki, Turku, Espoo and Vantaa. Team USA was based in Helsinki. Art Berglund, who led USA Hockey’s international hockey program back in those days, caught wind of the new McDonald’s and canceled practice one day so the players and staff could make the journey from Helsinki to Tampere to try out the American icon. Media learned of the adventure and were present to capture the visit. Team USA also visited a Finnish glass factory on its way back to Helsinki. The 1985 U.S. National Junior Team featured U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer players Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Craig Janney.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Team USA forward Alex Galchenyuk, who has amassed 354 points in his 10 years in the NHL, can be found with a bottle of extra virgin olive under his arm as he makes his way to team meals. Galchenyuk, who helped the U.S. to a bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF Men’s World Championship and a gold medal that same year in the IIHF World Junior Championship, puts EVOO on most things he consumes, from eggs to vegetables to bread and everything in between.

5-4-3-2-1 WITHH NICK BLANKENBURG

5 – Favorite Burger Toppings
Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, BBQ Sauce, Crispy Onion Strings, Lettuce

4 – Favorite Musicians
Kygo, Bruce Springsteen, Lumineers, Kid Cudi

 3 – Words That Best Describe You
Positive, Energetic, Clean

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Switzerland, Turks and Caicos

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Tom Brady


May 13 | Opening The Tournament With A Win

Nine U.S. skaters recorded at least a point and Seth Jones (Frisco, Texas) netted the game-winning goal to help propel the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team to a 4-1 victory over Latvia in its first of seven preliminary round games at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship.

“It was certainly a good way to start,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team. “Latvia is always difficult to play against and I thought we came out ready to play. Outside of some of the third period, I liked our game. We also got really good goaltending from Strauss (Mann) and that was a key to the game.”

HIGHLIGHTS

POSTGAME

PHOTOS


May 12 | First Full Day In Tampere

DAY ONE AT NOKIA ARENA - PRACTICE, HEADSHOTS, GREEN SCREEN 

It was day one on the ice at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, for Team USA with a 2:15 p.m. practice today on the main game sheet. The facility also has a practice rink that the U.S. will utilize during the tournament.

Prior to the practice, all staff and players took their official tournament headshot and the players also filmed some green screen content that will be used by the tournament organizers, including their favorite “celly.”

After practice, the players went through the mixed zone to meet with members of the media covering the event.

TEAM USA LOCKER ROOM

Team USA’s lockerroom at Nokia Arena for the world championship is the home lockerroom of Ilves (pronounced EE-leh-vehs) from the Finnish Elite League in Tampere, one of the oldest professional teams in Finland.

It is the nicest home the U.S. has had for a world championship, with the many amenities including a large sauna, two cold tubs, spacious dressing room and changing areas, as well as coaches, equipment and medical rooms. Nokia Arena, which officially opened on Dec. 3, 2021, is also home to Tappara from the Finnish Elite League and Team Finland is utilizing its lockerroom for the world championship.

FINALLY - BORDELEAU'S TIME HAS COME

For Thomas Bordeleau, patience has been a virtue through COVID times. The Houston, Tex., native was selected to play for the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, but because he was deemed a close contact as the roommate of Johnny Beecher, who tested positive for COVID during Team USA’s camp in December, Bordeleau was ruled ineligible to play (despite testing negative himself for COVID). In addition, Beecher’s positive test was deemed to be a false positive, but according to IIHF protocols at the time, it didn’t matter. A year later, Bordeleau was selected for the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team, and again COVID came into play. This time, Bordeleau tested positive for COVID at Team USA’s camp in December well before the team’s departure for the tournament, and was again ruled ineligible to play by the IIHF. The old adage “third time’s a charm”comes to mind for Bordeleau as his COVID tests are all negative here in Finland and tomorrow he finally gets his chance to represent Team USA after heartbreak in both 2020 and 2021.

RANDOM RIFFFS

Dennis Beyak and Dave Tomlinson will call Team USA’s games on NHL Network in the preliminary round. Beyak recently retired as an NHL play-by-play announcer, including since 2011-12 with the Winnipeg Jets. Tomlinson played professionally both in the DEL and the NHL and he and U.S. head coach David Quinn both played college hockey at Boston University … U.S. forward Thomas Bordeleau played on a line with Team Latvia’s Rudolfs Balcers and Team Canada’s Noah Gregor at the end of the season in San Jose this year.

25TH SEASON

It’s the 25th season of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team includes 13 players who have spent some time at the NTDP. A total of eight played there full-time, including Riley Barber, Kieffer Bellows, Thomas Bordeleau, Sean Farrell, John Hayden, Luke Hughes, Caleb Jones and Seth Jones. The concept for the NTDP came from Ron DeGregorio back in the 1990s when he was the vice president of USA Hockey and chair of the international council. DeGregorio went on to serve as the organization’s president and then board chair and was enshrined into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. While the NTDP concept was that of DeGregorio, it was Jeff Jackson and Bob Mancini who were among the original architects of the program.

5-4-3-2-1 WITH THOMAS BORDELEAU

5 – Favorite Pizza Toppings
Extra Cheese, BBQ Chicken, Prosciutto, Canned Tuna, Pepperoni

4 – Favorite Musicians
Eminen, Kid Laroi, Machine Gun Kelly, Bastian Baker

3 – Words That Best Describe You
Funny, Confident, Open-Minded

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Greece, Africa (and Australia too)

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Eminen


May 11 | Exhibition Game & The Move To Tampere

Team USA had its lone exhibition game ahead of the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship today at the Helsinki Ice Hall against Canada. The U.S. coaching staff had a chance to see all forwards and defensemen in action as well as netminders Strauss Mann and Jon Gillies, who split time in net.

Following the game, the team made the nearly two-hour bus ride from Helsinki to Tampere which is the main site for the world championship and where Team USA will play its seven preliminary round games beginning Friday against Latvia (9:20 a.m. ET/Live on NHL Network).

It was a lengthy day for the training staff, which early this morning moved the Team USA operation from Malmi Arena -- where the group practiced Sunday-Tuesday -- to the Helsinki Ice Hall in preparation for this afternoon’s exhibition game. After the contest, it was time to re-pack, load the truck and move two hours to Nokia Arena in Tampere. By the time everything was unpacked and the lockerroom set-up in Tampere, it was after midnight with a 2:15 p.m. practice on tap for tomorrow.

U.S. DROPS 4-3 EXHIBITION GAME TO CANADA IN SHOOTOUT

HELSINKI, Finland – The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout to Canada here today in a back-and-forth affair between the two North American rivals in what was the lone exhibition game for both squads in advance of the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship.

“It was great to have a game before we start for real on Friday,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team. “We like our group and we’re still learning how all the puzzle pieces fit together. Today was a good gauge and a game that had many different situations. It will help us in preparing to play Latvia here in a couple of days.”

Neither team found the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes. Ben Meyers, who played on the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, had a good look from the right faceoff circle 4:30 into the contest, but didn’t get full wood on the shot and was denied by Canada netminder Logan Thompson, who made 10 saves in the period. The U.S. had the only power play and it came in the final four minutes of the stanza. Team USA had decent zone time and perhaps its best chance came from between the circles where Sam Lafferty’s shot sailed over the net. Strauss Mann started the game in net for the U.S. and made seven saves in the period, including an important stop off the stick of Dylan Cozens in the final minute after a Canada faceoff win.

The teams traded second period goals. Riley Barber sniped one into the top corner of the net from the bottom of the left circle to stake the U.S. to a 1-0 lead just 2:59 into the stanza. Caleb Jones drew the only assist on the play.

Canada had a four-minute power play after a high-sticking call on Lafferty in the back half of the period. The U.S. didn’t allow a shot on goal in the first two minutes, but Cozens was able to get one past Jon Gillies from the left dot at 15:30 to even the contest.

Gillies, who entered the game at the 10:00 mark of the period, made a big save on Morgan Geekie’s partial break from in tight with 1:30 to play in the period to keep the game even. Canada, which had three power plays in the period to none for the U.S., had a 10-6 shots-on-goal advantage in the middle 20 minutes.

Canada took the lead just 1:04 into the third period as Cole Sillinger scored from the doorstep to the right of Gillies. The U.S. tied the game at 9:19 thanks to a Kieffer Bellows wrister from alone in front after a nice feed from Meyers. Karson Kuhlman put Team USA ahead 3-2 with 4:09 to play when he turned and put one home from just above the circles, but Canada’s Josh Anderson scored with 2:37 left in regulation to even the game. The U.S. had a power play with 2:03 remaining, but was unable to capitalize.

The teams each had a power play in the five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime, but neither was able to score. Canada won the five player shootout two goals to one, with the U.S. tally coming off the stick of Alex Galchenyuk.

Mann finished with 11 saves and did not allow a goal. Gillies made 13 saves on 16 shots.

Team USA will open play in the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship Friday (May 13) against Latvia in the first of its seven preliminary round games at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. Opening faceoff is set for 4:20 p.m. local/9:20 a.m. ET. All Team USA games can be seen live in the U.S. on NHL Network.

NOTES: Canada outshot the U.S., 28-27 … Team USA was 0-4 on the power play, while Canada was 1-4 … Seth Jones (Frisco, Tex.) is the captain of Team USA, with Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud, Minn.) and Austin Watson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) serving as alternate captains.

5-4-3-2-1 WITH BEN MEYERS

5 – Favorite Burger Toppings
Cheese, bacon, tomato, mayo, lettuce

4 – Favorite Musicians
Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs

3 – Words That Best Describe You
Easy-Going, fun, passionate

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Alaska, Bahamas

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Michael Jordan


May 10 | Happy In Helsinki

FINAL PRACTICE IN MALMI

Team USA had its final practice here in Malmi this afternoon. After an initial 45-minute skate, the ice was re-surfaced and the U.S. worked on special teams.

Following practice, the training staff packed up the entire operation – which includes heavy trunks, large bags and assorted boxes totaling nearly 100 pieces in all -- and prepared for a move tomorrow morning to the Helsinki Ice Hall where the U.S. will play its lone exhibition game against Canada at 3 o’clock. It’s a significant undertaking and team host Risto Talvio arranged volunteers who will meet the U.S. training staff and assist with the move.

VISITOR AT PRACTICE

Kimmo Oikarinen from the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation paid a visit to Malmi Arena to say hello and welcome Team USA. Oikarinen and USA Hockey’s John Vanbiesbrouck visited in the lobby for a short time prior to the U.S. practice.

CAPTAINS NAMED

Team USA’s leadership group was unveiled on the ice following practice today by head coach David Quinn. Seth Jones was named captain of Team USA, while Nate Schmidt and Austin Watson were tabbed alternate captains.

Players tapped their sticks in approval as the names were read and afterwards Seth Jones took his place in the center circle to lead the team stretch.

Jones, who has played nine seasons in the NHL, is competing in his sixth international tournament for the U.S., including two previous men’s world championships. He served as captain of the gold medal-winning 2012 Under-18 Men’s National Team and as an alternate captain of the gold medal-winning 2013 U.S. National Junior Team.

Schmidt, who has played nine years in the NHL, is making his international debut, while Watson, who has represented Team USA at both the IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship and IIHF World Junior Championship previously, has played eight seasons in the NHL.

A HAPPY PLACE

Did you know that for the fifth straight year, Finland is ranked as the happiest country in the world by the United Nations-sponsored World Happiness Report? Not only is Finland a happy place to be, but Tampere, where Team USA will play its preliminary round schedule, is dubbed the sauna capital of the world with the most public saunas of any city on the planet.

MEDAL HISTORY

The U.S. has medaled in four of the last eight IHF Men’s World Championships, its best stretch since winning four medals over eight world championships from 1931-47. All total, Team USA has 13 medals to its credit in the history of the IIHF Men’s World Championships with its lone gold in 1933. The U.S. also had earned silver four times (1931, 1934, 1939, 1950) and bronze eight times (1949, 1952, 1996, 2004, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2021).

5-4-3-2-1 WITH AUSTIN WATSON

5 – Favorite Pizza Toppings
Extra cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ham, pineapple

4 – Favorite Athletes
Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Nick Lidstrom

3 – Words That Best Describe You
Funny, empathetic, light-Hearted

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Paris, Rome

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Gordie Howe


May 9 | Breakfast In ... Helsinki

FIRST THINGS FIRST

The breakfast buffet at the hotel opened at 6:30 a.m. and forward Jaycob Megna, who woke up at 3:30 a.m. and came down to the lobby to read, was the first player in the hotel restaurant. Team leader Brij Singh, team host Risto Talvio and equipment manager Brock Bradley were also among the early takers of morning nourishment. The rest of the group trickled in at various times and a few players didn’t quite arrive in time for the 10 a.m. end of breakfast hours. Team USA is still adapting to the time zone difference (seven hours ahead of ET in the U.S.).

SUNRISE/SUNSET

While sunrise was officially 4:54 a.m. in Helsinki today, it was light around 3:45 a.m. And while the sun sets around 9:40 p.m., it’s still light out until 11 p.m.

ON THE ICE

Team USA had a 1:30 p.m. practice today at Malmi Arena where penalty killing was a key focus. Assistant coach Jeff Blashill is handling the penalty kill unit for Team USA and went through specifics with the players at a brief team meeting in the team hotel just prior to the team departing for Malmi.

After two days of practice, John Vanbiesbrouck, who heads USA Hockey’s international hockey operations as assistant executive director for USA Hockey, is excited about what he’s seen on the ice to date.

“I really like our group. They’re very quick, persistent and talented. It’s a team that will play fast and will be hard to play against and that should serve us well in the world championship.”

Goaltender Strauss Mann, along with forwards Vinni Lettieri and Alex Galchenyuk, were the last off the ice today. Galchenyuk has 354 regular-season NHL points (146G, 208A), the most of any player on Team USA. He was the third overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Seth Jones, the fourth overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, is not far behind with 337 regular-season NHL points (70G, 267A).

ABOUT THE ROSTER

Team USA’s roster includes 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. Seth Jones, who was one of three NHL players initially named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team before the NHL pulled the plug on participation, has the most international experience of anyone on the roster. Jones is playing in his sixth IIHF event for the U.S. and third IIHF Men’s World Championship. He has been part of three gold-medal teams (2013 World Juniors, 2011 & 2012 U18 Men’s Worlds) and one bronze medal squad (2015 Men’s Worlds).

5-4-3-2-1 WITH JAYCOB MEGNA

Throughout the world championship journey, you’ll have a chance to learn a bit more about members of Team USA outside their accomplishments on the ice through our exclusive 5-4-3-2-1 feature.

5 – Favorite Pizza Toppings
Pepperoni, green pepper, chicken, parmesan cheese, pesto

4 – Favorite Athletes
Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter

3 – Favorite Movies
American Gangster, For Love of the Game, Godfather

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Florida, Bahamas

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Kobe Bryant


May 8 | Team USA Arrives In Finland

The 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team arrived in Helsinki, Finland, just after 10:30 a.m. today. The group was greeted by Risto Talvio, who has served as team host for U.S. teams in Finland since 1984. Yes, you read that right. It’s close to a 40-year run for Talvio whose role is to work with the host organization to help ensure the logistics related to Team USA’s stay in Finland for the world championship are managed in a timely fashion.

The players and staff departed Chicago at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday for a non-stop transatlantic flight to Helsinki. The training staff largely arrived in the Windy City on Friday with the players and coaching staff coming in from all parts of the U.S. on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in advance of the flight to Finland.

The eight-and-a-half hour flight included dinner and breakfast and the reviews on the food were quite positive. The group passed the time watching movies, playing games, sleeping, reading and getting to know each other as the collection of 24 players includes top athletes from all parts of the country and plenty who have not played together before.

The arrival process at Helsinki international airport was quick and seamless and resulted in the U.S. getting to its headquarters hotel an hour ahead of schedule.

PRACTICE AT MALMI ARENA

Team USA is practicing at Malmi Arena through Tuesday, a three-sheet facility mainly used for youth and adult ice hockey. Each of the three ice sheets is 200x90. Malmi is one of Helsinski’s 60 neighborhoods and about a 25-minute drive from the team’s headquarters in the Helsinski city center.

The U.S. had a brief team meeting at its hotel where head coach David Quinn covered a few tactical topics and also told the group that effort and attitude will go a long way in helping Team USA to its ultimate goal of capturing a gold medal.

The U.S. practice – which kicked off at 4:45 p.m. – was a spirited and snappy session that lasted just less than an hour and had a good deal of pace.

Team USA is fortunate to have an experienced training staff that includes equipment managers Chris “Frosty” Scoppetto from the New Jersey Devils, along with USA Hockey’s Scott Aldrich and Brock Bradley; athletic trainers Piet VanZant from the Detroit Red Wings and Hall of Famer Stan Wong; and massage therapist Peewee Willmann. The group went immediately to the rink upon landing in Helsinki to prep the lockerroom in advance of the team arrival and remained after practice to get ready for tomorrow’s 1:15 p.m. skate. The training staff ultimately got back to the hotel after 8 o’clock for a bite to eat and some shut eye.

HOCKEY AND DINNER

The team bus with players and coaches arrived back at the hotel just before 7 o’clock and all enjoyed dinner with the Carolina-Boston NHL playoff game playing in the team meal room. Good-natured conversation permeated an upbeat atmosphere, despite a long travel day. Eventually, attendance dwindled as both players and staff headed back to their rooms for some much-needed rest.

FRIDAY THE 13TH IT IS

The U.S. begins play in the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship Friday (May 13), facing Latvia in its first preliminary round game. Team USA will play all seven of its preliminary round games at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, which is also the site of two quarterfinals, both semifinals and the medal games. NHL Network will televise all Team USA games live. The U.S. has one exhibition game in advance of the tournament and that comes Wednesday (May 11) against Canada at the Helsinki Ice Hall. Faceoff is set for 3 p.m. and there is no television/streaming coverage available.

WE KNEW YOU’D ASK, SO ….

If you’re wondering about the COVID protocol …. the IIHF Men’s World Championship requires a negative PCR Covid test 48 hours prior to arriving for all credentialed personnel and all are also required to take an antigen test prior to formally entering the tournament on May 12. In addition, the country of Finland requires proof of vaccination for entry.

5-4-3-2-1 WITH STRAUSS MANN

Throughout the world championship journey, you’ll have a chance to learn a bit more about members of Team USA outside their accomplishments on the ice through our exclusive 5-4-3-2-1 feature. We start with Team USA netminder Strauss Mann, who was also a member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

5 – Favorite Burger Toppings
Fried egg, bacon, pickles, caramelized onions, special sauce

4 – Favorite Athletes
Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Brady, Bruce Lee, Francisco Lindor

3 – Words That Best Describe You
Dialed, curious, purposeful

2 – Places You’d Like To Vacation
Thailand, Croatia

1 – Person You’d Like To Have Dinner With
Alan Watts

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