International Ice Hockey Federation

Coyle jets in for USA

Coyle jets in for USA

Minnesota forward joins Richards' roster

Published 11.05.2015 14:34 GMT+2 | Author Andy Potts
Coyle jets in for USA
Team USA's Charlie Coyle during the game against Slovenia. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
Top level hockey moves fast – and for team USA forward Charlie Coyle that meant a jetlag-busting trip across the Atlantic from Minnesota to Ostrava.

After losing out in round two of the play-offs, the Wild’s frontman had little time to recover before boarding a flight to the Czech Republic and making his senior World Championship debut in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Slovenia.

“It happened really quick,” he said after the 3-1 win over Slovenia. “We got knocked out of the play-offs, then next morning I’m getting the call. It was kinda unexpected and a few hours later I’m on the plane over here. It was a whole day traveling. I only got here the night before and got enough rest to get me through this game.”

Coyle, 23, comes off a full season with the Wild where he posted a career best 11+24=35 return. His tough, physical game has already seen him represent the USA at junior level, winning a bronze medal at the World Juniors in Buffalo in 2011. But now he’s tackling the men’s championship for the first time.

“It’s a little different with the bigger ice and things like that to get used to,” he added. “Mostly, though, it’s just trying to get my legs under me to contribute as much as I can to help this team.”

Team USA wasn’t a completely new experience – Coyle has been following the progress of the championship even while playing in the NHL postseason.

“It was fun watching but it’s ever better playing. I’m excited about it,” he said. “We have a nice group and a good team so I think it will be a great experience.

“Coming into a new team is always different but I’ve done it before. The other guys are pretty welcoming. They’ve been here a while so it’s nice to come in to a good group. The coaches have been great, the players have been awesome and it’s been an easy transition.”

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Coyle slotted into a line with rookie Dylan Larkin and Islanders forward Anders Lee as he got 15 minutes on the ice against Slovenia, and afterwards he joked that they might not be too thrilled with the new set up.

“They’re probably not too happy to be stuck with me right now when I’ve still got my plane legs,” he smiled. “I remember watching Dylan at the World Juniors and he looked like a good player there. They’re both pretty skilled, they work hard and it’s nice to come over and play with those guys.”

Fellow team USA forward Steve Moses is still recovering from a lower body injury and is rated ‘day-to-day’ by the medical staff. The Americans play their final group stage game against Slovakia on Tuesday knowing that a win will see them top the Group B standings and face the fourth-ranked team from the other group, likely Switzerland, in Ostrava in the quarter-finals.


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