My World Junior Diary – Day 02 – Breakfast with a local

Yesterday was a crazy and long 24 hours, so after a decent rest I was pretty excited to actually have a full day in Toronto to explore before tonight’s hockey.

So I was up bright and early for 7am, and updated my parents on what I’ve been up and then my hunt for breakfast.

The hotel restaurants were packed so I decided to venture out, and that’s where I met a local girl who took me to Saint Lawrence Market down by Lake Ontario for breakfast.

Now it was tough because I didn’t particularly know where I was but it was nice to have some company for my first breakfast in Canada. I know i’m making it sound like I’ve started a new adventure and moved to the country, but I’m here on my own so I need to have conversation so my throat doesn’t close up.

Breakfast was nice, we sat at a bakery in the market and just talked away, we compared lifestyles between North America and the UK and then we walked in the light snow the CN Tower where we said our goodbyes, she was going home and I was going up.wp-1482941542236.jpg

I knew the CN Tower was big, I forgot that it was once the tallest building in the world so I was pretty amazed and may need a chiropractor appointment when I’m back to correct my neck after having to look up all that way.

So I paid my entry as well as entry to a few other attractions to explore over the next few days and I was up the top. The Toronto skyline is now my favourite skyline I’ve ever seen.

wp-1482941592509.jpgTo the south you can see Lake Ontario which stretches for miles, Toronto Islands and Billy Bishop airport. To the west you can see all of the cars heading into the city on the highway, east you can
catch where I’m spending most of my trip, the Air Canada Centre. And then looking north you can see all of the huge buildings that paint the skyline in the night so bright. It was an ultimately breathtaking experience and I’m very glad I’ve finally managed to do it. The glass floor still freaks me out no matter how brave I try and act.

It was around midday when I finally left the tower and I had tickets for the aquarium next door but I thought I’d go back to the hotel to wind down for a bit before a long afternoon of hockey.

Before the long walk back I thought I’d head down to the ACC to see what it’s like in the daytime, and it is huge.

The most impressive part is the newly installed Legends Row where the Toronto Maple Leafs have immortalised some of the teams greatest players of all time in a series of statues that have remarkable likeliness. Seeing Johnny Bower, Turk Broda, Tim Horton, Ted Kennedy, George Armstrong, Syl Apps, Mats Sundin, Dave Keon, Borje Salming and Darryl Sittler permanently outside the arena really shows the passion of the Toronto sports market, but also how the Leafs are itching to add to their storied history after not winning the Cup since 1967,  the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL at 48 years.

After my detour. I came back, wrote yesterdays blog and had another cup of what is the worst coffee I’ve ever had in my hotel room, it’s really an abomination.

I caught a bit of the of the Czech Republic V Switzerland game on TV before walking down to the ACC for Russia V Latvia.

There’s really no point detailing this game, Kirill Kaprizov netted a hattrick, Mikhail Vorobyov got four assists and the Russians eased there way to a 9 – 1 win over Latvia.

After the blowout game where I’m pretty sure I was sat next to NHL scouts (they drunk a lot of coffee, kept referring to players as “my guy” and had notebooks) I made the pointless journey out of the arena for 30 minutes to just go into a queue to get straight back in to go to the very same seat.

Last night was one of the best games I’d seen between Canada V Russia and I knew tonight’s game between Canada and Slovakia would be a lot different, and it was.

It was a complete Jekyll and Hyde performance for the Canadians. They started badly, despite heavily outshooting their opponents they really were poor. It was almost as though they knew they were in against an easy team and the chance of a pretty highlight reel play was on the cards. After Tyson Jost put in a highlight reel worthy goal the night before, and was possibly the Canadians best player, he seemed to be stick handling too much and coughing up the puck like the rest of his team.

So at the end of one period it was scoreless, and you could tell by the atmosphere around the stands the crowd weren’t best pleased. It could be worse, they could be Finland who won the tournament last year and have lost their first two games this year (including 3 – 2 against Denmark last night).

Coming out for the second the Canadians were much improved, and it all started when Jeremy Lauzon netted his first of the tournament five minutes in, finishing off a good rush by Julien Gauthier.

Five minutes later on the powerplay, Taylor Raddysh got on the scoreboard, beating Adam Huska in close to make it 2 – 0 to Canada.

Before the period was out, Anthony Cirelli would deflect a shot in and Thomas Chabot would fire in a shot to make it 4 – 0 after 40 minutes.

Just the one goal in the final frame coming from Michael McLeod and the Canadians took their second win of the tournament 5 – 0 over the Slovkians who were never in the game with just 6 shots in 60 minutes.

So I grabbed my taxi home, watched Sports Centre and got annoyed with the pigeons who seem to have made my hotel balcony home before turning in for the night.

Hockey Hall of Fame tomorrow.

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