The TSN reporter, Mark Masters, daily checks the news and notes for Team Canada who held field training in Vancouver before the new year's match against Russia.
During his younger days with Seattle, Tim Hunter got a chance to play Turkish Russian stars in an exhibition. He reached Vladislav Tretyak, but this is not his most vivid memories of that night.
"I've learned a real trick," the 58-year-old recalls a smile. "I can not remember who he was, but he jumped beside me, and he had his butt end of a stick and he put it on my bicep and he squeezed the butt end of his arm, my bicep among them, and he says:" It's a Russian hook, "and my biceps is dead, just stiff, I liked it:" Seriously! "So, fun things.
"We played it in Portland and we gathered a little team from all the stars, it was fun to be on ice with those guys at that age. Of course, they were semi-speeds because we were kids and they were men."
Tonight will be full speed, when Hunter will get another fever among the Russians this time as a coach of Canada in World juniors. His players do not know exactly how high they are in rivalry, but they still have gratitude for what this means.
"I do not think we love each other very much," said Captain Maxim Konto. "There is a lot of intensity in those games. Whenever I played in Russia, it was a good game, so I'm excited about it. And obviously, goalkeeper Jordan Eberley (in the semifinals in 2009) is my favorite moment and it's against Russia, so tonight it will be fun to be part of it. "
"It's a game for the first place," said Russian defending champion Dmitry Samurakov, "and I will say that every game against Canada is the first place."
The stakes are high for the undefeated teams, with the winner who provided a quarter-final date with Slovakia and a loser – bypassing Kazakhstan's anxiety in Sweden – facing either Finland or the United States. The building should be packed with a fun party on New Year's Eve.
"I did not see many Russian fans there, but it's fun," Samurukov noted. "It's always fun to beat when you have 10 or 50 fans, where there is a building with 15,000 people so we can make a story."
"I have been proud of our guys so far with how they deal with their emotions," said Hunter, "and I do not expect anything different here tonight."
Samurukov handed Evan Buschar into the media district this morning when he crossed the paths with the Eilers' prospect. They also laughed at Samurukov's smart match against Switzerland last night. He took two tripartite fines in the same order, which led to two penalties.
"He showed me how to check the check," said Samurakov with a smile, pointing to Buschar. "I learned from him how to check the check and get two penalties for it, so he is a bad teacher, I never do it again."
But it was fatigue, not the counsel of Tim Canada, who was truly guilty.
"I played like 90 seconds, so I was tired and the spirit fell everywhere," Samrukov explained. "But I did not know that it would become so fast after the first, so I decided to do it for the second time. The second one was frightened, because the goalkeeper was relaxing, so I was afraid to achieve it."
Shane Bowsers received a huge boost during the summer to invite to scan with New Scotland's colleagues Sidney Crosby, Nathan McKinnon and Brad Marchand.
"To be capable of a skate with probably three of the best players in the world, it can only help me," Bowers said. "Just to learn what they are doing and to take the little things they do is a big benefit for me."
What was the most?
"Only their habits, even though they were skate in mid-July, they still go out and do not take any free days. Their work ethic and attention to detail is something that can not really be learned."
With Drake Buttonson, a gold medal last year with Team Canada, who also took part in some of the slalts, the theme of the World Junior came several times.
"Being around them a couple of days a week was a wonderful experience and having fun with them was very fun," Bowers said.
And the Boston University forward got some support texts from his provincial friends, after he made the Canada World Junior Team.
"It's a smaller province, so everyone is really close and cheering for one another," he explained. "It's a special connection that the province has."
Before the tournament, Bowers received a video support from students at his old school, William King Elementaryn, in Herring Cove.
"It's also special," Lavina's promotion said. "My primary school from a small town that made a video is pretty cool and I saw it on the news several times."
The other New Scotland of this year's Team Canada will not be able to play tonight. Defender Jared Mexaak was suspended in a game to check the head of the Czech national team, Jahim Condelik, on Saturday.
"Well, you know, you usually play as a team with six defenders," Hunter said to the question of impact. "The sad part of this is that he has just started playing real, but we will catch up. These things happen."
The projected Canada team for tonight's game:
Veleno / Lafrenière-Entwistle-Studnicka