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  1. #1

    Trip to the 2014 IIHF World Juniors

    Hello everyone,

    As some of you might know I live in Denmark. That's pretty close to Malmö, Sweden, where the 2014 IIHF World Juniors are currently being hosted. Just over a week ago I decided to go to the World Juniors for a couple of games. I usually don't do last-minute decisions like this one, but at such cheap prices, I couldn't say no to some world-class hockey.

    When I arrived in Malmö by train from Copenhagen I saw the main venue from my seat. This is the state-of-the-art Malmö Arena in which the host nation plays its games. I continued with the train as I was headed towards Malmö Isstadion for Slovakia vs. Czech Republic and USA vs. Canada.



    There were posters everywhere in Malmö focusing on the World Juniors. A smart idea by the organizers to use the cheap price of the tickets as a way of getting people to buy 'em. 100 Swedish kroner is roughly $14, and for that you get TWO games for the price of one, such as the ones I went to. That's appealing even to someone who isn't a hockey fan, haha.



    Arriving at the arena around 3 hours before the first game. I wanted to go to the fan zone and experience the atmosphere.



    Entering the fan zone!



    One of the first things you'd see when entering the fan zone. Shoot the puck, and if you score at least 5 times on 6 shots, you win an official team Sweden national jersey. Cool!



    Here I am trying to score some goals in my Canada jersey.



    Sort of an HHOF setup displaying the equipment worn in the Swedish elite league around the 1950's.



    Play hockey! I have no idea what the floor was made of, but it felt like hard plastic. Some people had skates on and skated around on it, which left me a bit puzzled. Some (including myself) ran around out there wearing socks. It was very slippery! Almost fell a couple of times, haha.



    Art. Pretty neat, eh?



    Air hockey. Who doesn't love a game of air hockey in between the hockey games?



    Equipment display. CCM and Reebok booth.



    Games were shown on these big screens later on, but it was still very early so almost no one was there yet.



    Table hockey.



    EA Sports NHL 14. Had a good couple of games against a Canadian guy I met, very friendly.



    Souvenir shop! Almost purchased one of those cool mascots, haha.



    Jerseys and hats.



    Fan hands! Sweet. I would've gotten one if they had Team Denmark ones.



    More jerseys.



    Warmups: CZE vs. SVK. Marek Langhammer, the Czech goalie, was unbelievable. He'll be a solid NHL goalie someday.




    Slovaks getting warmed up.



    Canadian fans with a sense of humor, eh?



    The Czechs won the game. Here they're singing the national anthem.



    After the first game I watched Sweden vs. Russia in the fan zone before the Canada game. Many more people were around me (not all could fit into one picture, haha). Around 500-600 people were watching, most of them cheering for Sweden.



    Before the Canada game. Tension is rising!



    Mascot time!



    Zach Fucale was spectacular. I wanted the Leafs to pick him in the draft. Instead Montreal got away with a steal. I watched Frederik Gauthier and was disappointed. He's not that good. He was not much of a physical presence and struggled to get open. No big chances, no good defensive plays. What were the Leafs scouts thinking?



    Canadians discussing their strategy with a couple of minutes left, ahead 3-2.



    HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES! A video of mine. The goal is at around 1:10 of the video.



    Overall this was just an amazing trip, 10/10 all the way. Great atmosphere, friendly people, cheap price (the whole trip with everything included cost less than 2 boxes of 2013-14 UD Series 1) and a win for Canada. People were celebrating in buses and the whole train from Malmö to Copenhagen was filled with Canadians (and me) singing "Go Canada, go!" and "Fu-ca-le!" Couldn't have been much better.

    In the evening I thought it was sort of funny how I had been at home at 7 AM and taken the train to Malmö to watch the two games... and gotten home again on the same day to celebrate New Year's Eve with my family. What a day!

    Thanks for checking out this S&T and comments are very much appreciated.

    -Ethan
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  2. #2
    Hi Ethan,

    Happy New Year and thanks for the show. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

    Regards,
    Diana

  3. #3
    Wow that's awesome, when my sons get a little older (one is almost 2, the other will be born in a few months) I'd like to make an annual father and sons trip out of the World Juniors, great hockey and a great way to visit a bunch of awesome countries.
    Main PC: Team Canada Cards (2030+)
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    2013-14 SPx 96-97 SPx Retro Autographs (4/19)

  4. #4
    Great trip to the World Juniors Ethan! Thanks for showing everything behind the scenes! You got to see an awesome game! Glad Canada could win! Hopefully Gauthier improves cause we need him!
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  5. #5
    wow that sounds like an amazing day, I wish the prices for the games were that low when they are in Toronto next year, it would make it a lot more feasible for me to go
    collect Ovechkin, Matt Johnson and Nathan Horton
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by shlhockeyfan View Post
    Hi Ethan,

    Happy New Year and thanks for the show. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

    Regards,
    Diana
    Thanks a lot, Diana. It was a great trip. Happy New Year to you, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by deucegroup View Post
    Wow that's awesome, when my sons get a little older (one is almost 2, the other will be born in a few months) I'd like to make an annual father and sons trip out of the World Juniors, great hockey and a great way to visit a bunch of awesome countries.
    Absolutely. I usually go to tournaments such as these with my dad as well. But you might want to consider that afterwards you'll probably enjoy "regular" vacations a lot less, haha. Now I'm like: "Going on a vacation that isn't hockey related? Hmm..."

    When going to hockey events, you not only get to see a new city/country while relaxing and getting a change of scenery, but you also watch the greatest game on earth during your stay. I highly recommend such travelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnse27 View Post
    Great trip to the World Juniors Ethan! Thanks for showing everything behind the scenes! You got to see an awesome game! Glad Canada could win! Hopefully Gauthier improves cause we need him!
    Thanks, Paul! I agree that the Leafs need Gauthier to be a good player. I hope his game against the States was just a bad day for him and that he usually performs better than what he showed last night.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshpackham View Post
    wow that sounds like an amazing day, I wish the prices for the games were that low when they are in Toronto next year, it would make it a lot more feasible for me to go
    I agree. I think the Swedish organizers learned from the failure that was the 2012 IIHF World Championship (where you couldn't even get single-game tickets but only packs of tickets that cost way more than they should) and improved. A lot. Amazing event this time around.

    Thanks for the comments so far.

    -Ethan
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  7. #7
    Very cool! Great thing about Europe, just hop on a train and you can visit So many different countries so quickly, hope to return soon!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mooneyes View Post
    Very cool! Great thing about Europe, just hop on a train and you can visit So many different countries so quickly, hope to return soon!
    You're right, Tim. I love Europe myself, haha. Not all European countries make for easy travelling, but Denmark kind of does. Sweden and Norway are extremely close and Germany is right there. If I want to go to France, it's roughly a 4-hour train rain away. Italy is 2 hours away by plane. England is 1 hour away by plane from Denmark. Gotta love it, haha.
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  9. #9
    Wow, sounds like a great experience! I hope to make out to some European Countries someday! Would love to see some hockey overseas.
    Main Wants right now: 2000-01 Titanium Game Gear & Patches, 1995-96 Pinnacle Rink Collection, 1995-96 Topps Home Grown Series 2
    Always looking for Kirk McLean cards I don't have.

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  10. #10
    Looks like you had a good time. Been to the WJC once myself (when it was in Buffalo) and had a blast. Lot of cool stuff set up there by the looks of your photos.


    And couldn't agree more on Fucale. Was hoping the Oilers would take him last year.... Montreal took him one pick earlier :( Speculation, at the time, was that the Oilers were hoping for him too. As soon as Montreal made the pick, the Oilers traded their pick to the Kings.

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