This past month, I had the opportunity to attend the World Juniors as part of the media. Going to Buffalo, I had no idea what to expect. However, even if I had expectations, they would have been surpassed as nothing will ever compare.
The atmosphere for every game was unbelievable. The sea of red and white truly made it “Buffalo, Ontario”. I had to be sure that I was not being impartial by cheering in the Press Box whenever Canada scored. Believe me, it was not an easy task as I caught myself many times, especially during the USA game. After games, all the media members would rush down to await the players for a media scrum. To get even one question answered by a big-name player was not an easy task either. Since famous reporters like Ryan Rishaug and Gerry Dee were also down there asking them questions, it’s hard to speak up in the vicinity of true professionals.
After the first day I knew what to expect from the tournament and how things worked for media. However, I did not anticipate the fact that sitting beside me would be Steve Yzerman and John Liu. After getting over the awe of who these people were, talking to the players was easy. The players are extremely professional and are normal 18- and 19-year-olds who joke around just as much as anyone else. They love the game of hockey and you can hear it in their voice and see it when they walk out of the change room.
Being a part of this tournament and to witness it live was an experience I will never forget.