Flyers Alumni Russia Tour: Feb. 20, 2017

 

 

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11:30 p.m. (Moscow)

Earlier today, we walked from our hotel, across Red Square and to the rink adjacent to the Gum. The rink has a skating area that measures 3,000 square meters (32,291 square feet) and no player benches. As a result, our final match of our Russia tour was conducted as an old-fashioned shinny game, with all of the players on both sides on the ice at the same time and few rules (no offside, no center ice faceoff after a goal, no scoreboard or game clock, etc.).

 

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Flyers Alumni Russia Tour: Feb. 19, 2017

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9:15 PM (Moscow)
 
After a short flight on Aeroflot from St. Petersburg to Moscow and setting our stuff down at the classic European luxury Hotel National, we set out on Red Square to meet up again with Alexei Yashin. Alexei was running a kids hockey clinic (or "master class" as its called here)  on the outdoor rink at Red Square. We came to rinkside to greet Alexei and meet some of the kids.
 

Flyers Alumni Russia Tour: Feb. 18, 2017

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8:55 p.m. (St. Petersburg)

 

We played the SKA/Gazprom team today at 12,300-seat Ice Palace in St. Petersburg. We were told the game was sold out, and the admission tickets were sold separately from the KHL game pitting SKA St. Petersburg against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the evening. The game was televised, and we had players interviewed by the Russian sports broadcasting equivalent of ESPN.

 

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Flyers Alumni Russia Tour: Feb. 17, 2017

 

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8:15 p.m. (St. Petersburg)

We played a friendly game this afternoon on the outdoor rink at the SKA training facility in St. Petersburg. Our tour co-organizer Scotty MacPherson assembled the group. Some real good players on their side. Those guys came to play, too. The facility is very nice. 

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Flyers Alumni Russia Tour: Feb. 16, 2017

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11:30 PM (St. Petersburg)

Today was a travel day for us. Before checking out of our hotel, a couple of us walked to the World War II monument and eternal flame, which was quite a sight on the snow-covered (and still lightly snowing) backdrop. Afterwards, we departed Kazan, where we had received royal treatment, for St. Petersburg via a connecting flight in Moscow. Our flight for Moscow to St. Petersburg was delayed several hours.  

 

We joked around afterwards that at least we got a "tough road point" out of the game in Kazan last night. However, we feel like we should have won it. While these games are first and foremost about fun, nostalgia, renewing friendships and making some new ones, the competitive instincts still burn inside. None more so than for our venerable team leader, Joe Watson. To Joe, there's pride and honoring the Flyers crest behind every single game. He wants committment from the boys.

 

 

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