The Russian Red Stars were in Marquette this weekend to play the NMU Wildcats on their international tour in the U.S. The All-Star Russian junior hockey team is travelling the U.S., playing college and junior league teams.
This is second time the team has traveled to North America to face some of the best college competition the continent has to offer.
"We got our own strategies, so we play as our coach says. We play more aggressive hockey. We try to adopt some skills off the U.S. guys," said Russian Red Star Forward Nikita Feoktistov.
There are over 2,000 players that play for the 51 teams in the Russian league, which is in its third year of existance. The skaters who were selected to tour internationally are considered the best 25 juniors players in any of the Russian amateur hockey leagues. In fact, two of the Russian players are expected to be the first selections in this spring's NHL draft.
"They play more aggressive and physical hockey. We have more skill guys. That's the main difference. And the rink is like smaller over here than in Russia," Feoktistov added.
The Russian team started their international tour in North Dakota, and after the NMU game, they're traveling to the University of Notre Dame and finally the University of Massachusetts-Lowell before heading back home.
Players on the team hail from Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.