The tournament itself doesn't get going until Boxing Day, but tonight at Brandt Centre Team Canada plays its final exhibition game against the Czech Republic before heading up to Saskatoon to join the rest of the teams in its pool. I know a few Reginans are a little perturbed that our city isn't actually hosting any tournament games involving the team. It's also true that all the playoff games will be held in Saskatoon. But, in fairness, they do have a bigger arena, and thus are better able to accommodate the demand for tickets.
Besides, when you look at the two pools, Regina's stacks up pretty good. True, Saskatoon has a marquee match-up in Team Canada and Team U.S.A., but the remaining teams in the pool (Switzerland, Latvia and Slovakia) aren't in the same class as the top three teams in Regina's pool -- Russia, Sweden and Finland (with the Czech Republic and Austria rounding out the pool). So there will definitely be some quality hockey played in the city over the next week or so.
If you happen to be downtown over that period, be sure to check out a special exhibition that the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame has put together on the history of the tournament. One moment that will surely be highlighted is Jordan Eberle’s last second goal to tie the semi-final against Russia last year and send it into overtime. Here's the video. (YouTube)