Alex DeYoung is a goaltender representing the United States with the Team USA Junior Men's Inline Hockey Team in the 2012 Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) World Championships in Bucaramanga, Colombia from June 30 to July 14. Alex is a high school student in Northern Virginia, and the only member of the 16-player team from Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area. Over the next few weeks, he will be writing about the tournament from his perspective.
When we got to the arena for our first practice in Colombia, we were escorted by the police to our dressing rooms. The arena was built just for this event, and it looked like it could hold well over 5,000 people. After we were fully dressed we sat in the arena and watched the Czechs finish their practice.
The floor felt much more slippery than the Deerfield Beach Rink in Miami. The nets here are 3x5 feet and aren't rounded on the corners, so they'll take some getting used to. We watched the Women's USA Team practice for 30 minutes, then started our practice, and switched on and off the rink with them for two hours. After the Women's team finished their practice, we were approached by the Brazilian Junior Men's team to scrimmage.
Our team controlled the puck during most of the scrimmage and scored tons of backdoor-pass goals. The other team's goalies were very athletic and could all do the splits. Their shooters were fast and had very hard shots, but they had trouble stickhandling and making passes. Our team was still getting used to each other at first, but after a few minutes we were making behind-the-back, no-look passes and cycling the puck perfectly. We didn't keep score, but I'd say we had around 9 goals on the other team.
Later tonight we have team dinner and opening ceremonies at the rink.