It may be summer, but one of Russia’s top ice hockey youth teams are getting ready for the Boston Hockey Night tournament in the US, which is one of the most prestigious events in junior hockey.
Sunday promises to be a long day for the Stalnye Lisy or Steel Foxes ice hockey team. The side, from Magnitogorsk, will fly to the US to play a junior tournament in Boston, a trip which will take them almost a day.
The event will see the Russian outfit taking on five youth sides from North America, mainly from the USA’s eastern coast, with the aim of trying to make the grand final on 31st July.
The Hockey Night in Boston has been running since 1972. Over 50 players who appeared in last year’s event went on to play in the NHL or the American Hockey League.
The Steel Foxes are one of Russia’s top youth clubs and they are expected to do well at the tournament, which gaining valuable experience of different hockey styles.
The team from Magnitogorsk weren’t scheduled to play in the States, but stepped in as a last-minute replacement.
The Steel Foxes play in Russia’s Junior Hockey League which has just completed its second season, and was won by CSKA.
It has raised the standard of the game in this country, and will hopefully provide the KHL and the Russian national team with a steady stream of talented players for the future.
However, perhaps most importantly, it gives young Russian players the chance to play at home, rather than having to cross the Atlantic to play top level hockey.
To prepare themselves for the upcoming tournament, the Steel Foxes took on fellow junior Hockey league side, Atlant, from just outside Moscow.
The team from Russia’s Urals conceded some soft goals, and they will have to improve when the Boston Hockey Night tournament gets underway on July 28.