Travel is a big part of the Super Series for both teams. Canada moved on to City No. 3 on August 30th after a brief stay in Toronto, a camp in Moscow and a successful stay in Ufa.
Canada didn’t skate in the morning, as the coaching staff prepares the group for back-to-back games in Omsk, as well as a long return journey to Canada.
The team packed a truck with equipment in the morning and then, after lunch, loaded themselves and personal lugagge on to two buses that headed for the airport early in the afternoon.
Canada’s Super Series contingent was booked on a charter flight, as there are no direct commercial flights between Ufa and Omsk. The team was joined by members of the media and some other Canadians with the team here in Russia.
Russian air carriers are not used to transporting hockey teams, even when a team is traveling light like Canada. Once the equipment was loaded on, it became clear that all personal luggage could not be stored underneath the plane. No problem – the luggage was loaded into the back of the aircraft in the 15 or so seats that were not being used. The flight departed some 45 minutes late from Ufa.
In Omsk, the team assisted in unloading the plane, much to the relief of workers at the small Omsk Airport.
An enthusiastic delegation of Russian fans awaited Team Canada in the Siberian city, and cheered as the team members passed through the gates towards their buses. An official presentation followed, which included a traditional local cake that Head Coach Brent Sutter, Captain Milan Lucic and the alternate captains enjoyed - much to the pleasure of the welcoming crowd.
The hotel in Omsk, the Tourist Hotel, is not quite to the level of the hotels in Ufa and Moscow. That being said, Team Canada’s first meal on-site received rave reviews and there is wireless Internet. Needless to say, that takes care of many concerns.
On Friday, Canada and Russia lock horns for a third time. Rumours abound that star Russian forward Alexei Cherepanov may not be able to suit up due to an injury, although at this point, nothing is confirmed. Leland Irving, of Swan Hills, AB and the WHL’s Everett Silvertips gets the start in net for Canada. Rogers Sportsnet will televise the game at 8 am ET.