Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day One

With four games taking place today to kick off the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, it's been a busy day in Western New York.

Fans with tickets to games held at the HSBC Arena can enjoy pre-game and post-game festivities in a heated indoor lodge located adjacent to the arena that was built especially for the Championship. Inside, fans can enjoy food and drink, listen to live music and watch the other games taking place on dozens of flat screen TVs.

Canadian fans watching the Canada-Russia game.

Germany rallied within one goal against Switzerland, but key goaltending kept Switzerland on top to win 4-3. Sweden ousted Norway 7-1 at Dwyer Arena in Niagara Falls, but the real fun was the Canada-Russia game held at 4 p.m. at the HSBC Arena.

With the teams tied at 3 to start the 3rd period, Team Canada put up 3 goals to secure the 6-3 victory over Russia. As ecstatic fans poured out of the arena, they headed to the lodge to celebrate. Accompanying the Canadian fans were Team USA fans who were inside the lodge preparing to watch the United States take on Finland at 8 p.m.

Fans entering the lodge after the Canada-Russia game.

Inside the lodge.

Canadian fans celebrating Team Canada's victory over Russia.

Team USA fans heading to the HSBC Arena to watch the USA-Finland match up.

The mood was light and fun, with Canadian fans overjoyed from the exciting game they just witnessed, and eager USA fans awaiting to see their team take the ice. While the United States and Canada are friendly border neighbors, the hockey rivalry between the two nations has been heating up since Team USA beat Canada for the gold medal in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships that were held in Saskatoon, Canada. It will be interesting to see how these two loyal fanbases interact as the Championship progresses, with both fanbases hoping that their respective teams take the gold.

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