Junior World Championship begins on Boxing Day in Russia
Thereís something truly Canadian about lacing up hockey skates, and stepping out onto the ice at the local outdoor rink. Youngsters slip and slide, all the while trying to master their slap shot.
Canada is where it all begins -- and even when the winter pastime becomes a career, the budding pros never forget where they came from.
"Itís unbelievable, you know when youíre out there with all your teammates and you have a chance to play outdoors, itís pretty special and itís a pretty cool opportunity that we have to play outdoors in Canada", said Toronto Maple Leaf 2012 draft pick, Morgan Rielly.
This yearís world juniors are halfway across the world in Russia. Even though they are far from home, our team has something working to their advantage -- the Canadian cold weather.
"In Edmonton, I think the weather is pretty similar to what it is in Russia, it seems to be about -20 [degrees Celsius] everyday, said New York Islanders draft pick Griffin Reinhart. "So where Iím from in Vancouver, itís not quite that cold but Iím starting to get used to it now."†
But even though the puck will drop indoors in Russia, the players still think fondly on their time spent on the frozen pond back at home.
I remember cleaning off the ice with like a hand shovel," recalls Rielly. "And there was about eight guys out there that had to clean off the iceÖand that was pretty fun!"
The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Junior World Championship begins Boxing Day in Ufa, Russia.†