Pietila USA Hockey Junior Camp Blog

Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012

Today was the final day of the camp and I recently made it back home to Brighton. It was a long day of travel because we had to take a bus at 2 a.m. from Lake Placid to Albany to catch our flight. With the bus leaving so early, everyone stayed up right until the bus left so it will be nice to get some sleep finally. It feels good to be back home and to take a couple days off to rest up and get away from hockey for a bit. Yesterday we lost the final game against Finland 3-2 in overtime but as a team we did not play very well. After the game a couple of us were able to go out to eat for some pizza and rent paddleboards to go out on the lake for a couple hours. Now that I am home and can look back on the camp. It was a great experience for me and was a ton of fun. Although this was only the first step in the process to make the team in December, it went well and I am relying on a good first half of next season with the Huskies to put me in a position to be selected. I think with the team we will have next year, I will have an opportunity to play with good players and have a good start like last season. With the camp over, my next focus is getting back in Houghton and preparing for a great year.
 
Thanks to everyone for following along,
Blake


Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012

Hello,

Today was a great day for me and the entire US team who played today. After being sat out yesterday against Finland, I was able to play against Sweden today and we won the game 10-2. With seven extra forwards left here at the camp, unfortunately some guys have to sit out for the remaining three games, and it was disappointing to be sat out yesterday. With Sweden being the defending champions at last years World Junior tournament, it was a lot of fun to come out tonight and take it to them. We have another day off tomorrow before playing the last game against Finland on Saturday. Some of the guys plan on golfing tomorrow at a place just outside of town, so that is something to look forward to with all the down time we have. The camp has been very tiring and tough on all the guys. It will be a relief to finish the game on Saturday and start the trip home.
Blake

Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012

Hello all,

I had a busy schedule and was not able to send an update as to what is happening yesterday. Since my last post, we played two games. We split with Team Blue, losing the second game 4-3. We lost to Sweden yesterday by a score of 5-1. Sweden was a fast team with very much skill. Other than a few injuries, their roster included about 90 percent of the team which will play in Russia for the main tournament. The camp has been going pretty good for me so far other than not being able to score in the first three games. This morning I was fortunate enough to make the first roster cuts as some players were released from the camp. Also today has been sort of an off day other than a short practice this morning. As I mentioned before, my parents made the trip here to New York, so I was able to spend the rest of the day playing golf and touring the city with them. We have our next game tomorrow at 4:30 against Finland, and I will make another update after the game.
Blake

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012

Hello,

Yesterday we won the first game of the tournament against team Blue 5-2.  The game was very fast-paced and everyone skated well. My line of Cole Bardreau and Logan Nelson played good but didn't score any goals. Today, we have the second and final game against team Blue before we play Sweden tomorrow afternoon. It has been a lot of fun so far and has been a great experience for myself. I was very happy to see my parents at the game yesterday who made the long drive from Michigan to support me during this week. The lineup changed for today's game, and I am now playing with Bardreau and Travis Boyd of the Minnesota Gophers. We were a line together for much of my time at the development program so it should be fun to get back together and reunite. Today is a big game for us as each day is important towards making the cuts halfway through the week.

Blake Pietila


Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012

Good afternoon everyone! I am taking time this week to keep everyone updated from Lake Placid, NY as I have been invited to participate in the 2013 World Junior Evaluation Camp.It has been a huge honor thus far to be selected as a potential member of the US team which will play in Ufa, Russia around Christmas and New Years.  I arrived here in Lake Placid yesterday afternoon after a short flight from Detroit. The town of Lake Placid is full of Olympic attractions as it is one of the main training centers for Olympic athletes of all sports. The staff at USA Hockey has invited many of my old teammates from the Development Program so it has been fun to be able to meet up with them again and play together. I was able to have a meeting last night with this years head coach Phil Housley and director Jim Johannson which went great.  My roommates are Cole Bardreau from Cornell University and Logan Nelson who plays in the Western Hockey League. We just got back to the dorms from our first practice this morning and we are preparing for the first inter-squad game this evening at 4:00. I will keep everyone posted tomorrow after the first game is complete.

Thanks for following along,
Blake Pietila