Before hitting the ice the foreign participants of the Christmas amateur tournament got acquainted with the sports infrastructure of Minsk, shopped and made selfies on the background of the Belarus capital's attractions.
Yana Shipko, CTV:
Belarus is famous for its sports traditions, but it still can learn from guests who came to the tournament. Mr Bscheid is already 85, but he still plays ice hockey being a true legend of the tournament!
And even without skates he is ready to show his stills on the ice. An hour before the game "old Eddie" as he is affectionately called in his team, is warming up on a usual ice rink in the street. It is on such rinks that many famous players grew and learned ice hockey.
Eduard Bscheid, Team Germany forward:
Hockey is sport number one in Belarus! And it is amazingly organized so everyone willingly comes to participate.
And you were not afraid of frost?
No, I'm even without the hood! Here I feel a warm atmosphere. Good teams gather.
What is the secret of your success?
I never stop playing sports, in winter I play ice hockey and in the summer I do athletics. And it is commendable that many young people are involved in ice hockey in Belarus.
Meanwhile, the Balkan team - the debutants of the tournament - are getting acquainted with the modern sports infrastructure of Minsk.
Haris Muhic, President of the Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation:
I'm very impressed! This is a good move from the economic point of view, since inside one arena you can do three different sports! This is a grand structure.
Southern Slavs have bought souvenirs in Minsk and made dozens of photos. The most valuable one is with the Belarusian bison.
This is a hat with the emblem of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation. We were promised a temperature of -20 and I got ready for it!
Jure Vnuk, Balkan team striker:
We managed to visit the SKA v Dinamo Minsk game! What great atmosphere, we enjoyed it. Dinamo won and we were very pleased. I could not even think that I would, too, stand here.
Dragos Iordache, Balkan team striker:
What a wonderful complex! The organization of the tournament is clear and everything is at a very high level! I can sincerely say that we have never seen anything like it. I am happy that I had the opportunity to participate in this tournament. We are at home here!
The team of the Balkans automatically doubled the geography of the tournament participants. It is comprised of eight countries.
Sergei Goncharov, Deputy Chairman of the Ice Hockey Federation of the Republic of Belarus:
Christmas tournament is not only a celebration of hockey, it's sports diplomacy. We can talk, communicate, improve and build relations, which is a big positive aspect for our ice hockey development plans.
The old-timers of the tournament - Team Germany - have seen and tasted a lot in the Belarusian capital. German players went shopping this time.
Robert Schaeffer, German team's staff member:
Two years ago, I bought a fur hat in Minsk for my son, he has grown up and now I'm looking for a new one.
Elmar Beuger, Team Germany forward:
In Germany, it is quiet two weeks after Christmas but here we see such a cheerful atmosphere. Families with children are coming to the game, which is unusual for us. And it's very nice to be here in these holidays.