Well, I'll try and shake the cobwebs out for this one. I'm still in holiday mode, (as displayed by me writing this in my PJ's at my parent's house in Calgary) but how can I pass up the opportunity to preview this one?
Yes, it's a big night at the Mel, with some internationally flavoured hockey. Now unfortunately I don't have a lot of info on Team Sweden, but they did play last night in Flin Flon, so there is some scouting to be had.
So why are they here? With the World U17 Tournament under way in Winnipeg this week, Team Sweden's U17's were expected to be in attendance, so much so that they apparently bought their plane tickets to Canada. Unfortunately, for reasons only known to Hockey Canada, the Swedes weren't given an invite.
So instead of pouting at home, they took it as an opportunity to get some exposure to the North American game, and as a result, their current tour.
Last night's affair in Flin Flon sounds like it was an awesome game. Around 1,200 in attendance at the Whitney Forum took in a 5-4 Sweden victory over the Bombers. It looks like the guy to watch on team Sweden is Nick Sorenson. He notched four of Sweden's five goals in the win.
There were a lot of questions about how the Swede's and S-J teams would stack up, and if last night's contest was any indication, the answer is very equally.
On the Ice Wolves side of things, I wouldn't be surprised to see both goalies get some time between the pipes seeing as it is an exhibition game. This is a great opportunity for Bartko to get tuned up before the actual season resumes, and for Hovdebo to see some pretty tough competition.
The tune-up opportunity goes for all the Ice Wolves as it's not every day you get a warm-up game in before you start into the home stretch of the regular season.
It's exciting times for the Ice Wolves sitting at the top of the Bauer, now they have to carry it though to the end of the season and beyond into the playoffs.
But first.... we just get to enjoy some great hockey without implication in the standings.