For the fourth time in nine days, the U.S. National Junior Team spent time on the road traveling to a new destination. The best part, according to players and staff members, is that this time the move is for good as the team will remain here in Victoria, B.C., for at least the preliminary round of tournament play.
The morning started with the U.S. staff identifying the final 23-player roster that will represent the United States at this year's IIHF World Junior Championship.
"We've said from day one that this is a selection process, and as a staff we're thrilled with the 23 players selected to represent the United States in one of the greatest tournaments on the hockey calendar," said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "By no means did we come to this decision easily, and that's a credit to the players. It's easy to say our talent pool is deeper than it's ever been, but so too is the character of these young players, and now it's time for these 23 selected players to come together and represent our country with pride."
JOURNEY TO VICTORIA
While it may have been the fourth travel day in nine days, today was perhaps the most exciting one yet for Team USA. The journey started by departing Langley by bus, boarding a ferry in at Tsawwassen port in Vancouver, traveling across the Strait of Georgia, deboarding at Swartz Bay port in Victoria and then taking a short bus ride to the hotel.
With Team USA's various stops in its journey thus far, the U.S. staff took it upon themselves to have players rotate roommates at each stop. With players spending time with different roommates at each stop, the hope is that helps generate more chemistry and familiarity amongst the players given the short amount of time together.