Matt Vautour talked to defenseman Oleg Yevenko about his trip to Switzerland to play for his native Belarus in the Arosa Cup:
While most of his University of Massachusetts hockey teammates head home for holiday activities and get away from hockey for a few days, junior defenseman Oleg Yevenko will head home to Belarus and compete for his country's national team.
After UMass' loss to Denver on Tuesday, Yevenko flew to Switzerland and will be in uniform for the four-team Arosa Challenge. Belarus will face Slovakia on Friday, and either Switzerland of Norway on Saturday. The event will give the 6-foot-7 defenseman a chance to impress his country's governing body and improve his chances of making the national team that will play in next summer's IIHF World Championship, which Bealrus is hosting in Minsk.
"I'm really excited. It'll be a great experience I think," Yevenko said. "Where I come from, it's the No. 1 sport in my country. With the world championship in my hometown, if I'm able to make the team, that'd be great. My family is really excited, especially my dad, who is a big fan of the national team."
Read more: UMass defenseman Oleg Yevenko to play for Belarus national team