Drumheller Dragons forward Kaden Hanas wasn't at the World Juniors Championship in Buffalo, New York this month, but he heard all about it. His father, Randy Hanas flew into Buffalo on Dec. 29 for a week of action-packed hockey.
Despite being in the United States, Hanas said that the majority of the fans were sporting Canadian jerseys.
"It was kind of funny. While we were at the semi-finals with the U.S., there were more Canadian fans there than American fans, for sure."
Unfortunately for Buffalo, but fortunately for Hanas, there were plenty of tickets available. Hanas explained that he bought all of his tickets at the box office just before puck drop. In one instance, he bought seats for the U.S. semi-final for $30 and when the game ended, he returned to the box office to buy the same seat for the Canadian semi-final. The cost? $60.
"I was expecting a lot more fans," admitted Hanas. "It's only been averaging about 7,000 to 9,000 every game. And, even some of the preliminary games that we've seen have been as low as 5,000. So, maybe it's in too big of a venue, or I'm not sure there's was the interest."
Hanas saw Canada beat Sweden 3-1 in a nail-biting final. The game was a heart-breaker for the Swedes, but was thoroughly enjoyed by Canadian fans, including Hanas.
"They're so skilled, they're fast. Once the puck gets on their stick, it's gone and we've got a guy going up the middle quick. It's totally really neat to watch live. Just being here, the atmosphere, it's unreal."
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