Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Team USA had its first practice here early this afternoon at Nationwide Arena as preparations for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 officially began.

The spirited opening session was just less than an hour and included small-area games, flow drills and the opportunity for all three of the world-class goaltenders on the roster to face plenty of shots.

“It’s good to get the first day of practice under our belt,” said Ryan Suter, defenseman for the Minnesota Wild and a Team USA veteran. “We’re all excited about the opportunity to represent our country and we’ve got one thing on our mind and that’s winning the World Cup.”

The day began early this morning with physicals for a number of players, and also included official World Cup of Hockey headshots for players, coaches and staff, and media availability following practice.

NOTES: Assistant coach Phil Housley, one of the greatest American players of all time and an assistant coach with the NHL’s Nashville Predators, was the first member of Team USA to hit the ice. Housley breezed around the ice for 10 minutes in advance of the players coming out …. James van Riemsdyk and Erik Johnson were the first two players to hit the ice, which sported the World Cup of Hockey logo at center ice … The lineup for today’s practice included forward lines of: Parise-Stepan-Wheeler ; Pacioretty-Pavelski-Kane; Abdelkader-Kesler-Oshie; vanRiemsdyk-Dubinsky-Backes-Palmieri; defense pairings: McDonagh-Carlson; Suter-Byfuglien; J. Johnson-Niskanen-E. Johnson.