The Plymouth Observer’s Tim Smith penned an excellent article regarding the U.S. Under-18 team, which is heading to Magnitogorsk, Russia to participate in the Under-18 World Championship:
After reaching the first of two top-notch hotels the U.S. team will stay in while in Russia, players will be urged to kick back before kicking it up once they reach the rink.
“It’s going to be a little bit different,” [Drew] DeRidder said. “The food’s not going to be great. It’s going to be a little bit different atmosphere than what I’m used to here. You just got to eat the food, stay hydrated (by drinking bottled water), stay rested and make sure we’re doing everything we need to do.”
USA Hockey will make sure players stick to the script as much as possible, already having gone to great lengths to reassure players and their families that they’ll be safe.
One area of previous concern was a reported cloud of radiation hovering over much of Europe, but the all-clear sign was given several weeks ago.
“A few kids were worried about it, but I’m not worried about it anymore and the coaches have done a good job keeping us informed and telling us it’s not a problem,” DeRidder said. “I trust them. They’re not going to bring us somewhere where we’re going to be in any harm or anything like that.”