Kody Wagner Returns from Russia

Senior Kody Wagner just returned to the states on Oct. 8 after a life-changing trip to Russia.

Wagner was chosen to play for the American Collegiate Hockey Association Selects team. Consisting of collegiate hockey players from all over the country and one from Canada, this team is selected by coaches and board members of the ACHA. Players hail from Michigan State, The University of Arkansas and Sault College in Canada to name a few.

The new ACHA team flew to New York to play a warm up game against New York University. NYU was defeated 8-7 in overtime. Wagner said this was the team’s first game together, and the tone was set for a good tournament.

The next morning, the team flew to Moscow, Russia where they were stuck in a nine-hour layover. This time was utilized to tour the city.

“Not a lot of people spoke English over there and we didn’t really speak Russian,” Wagner said. “We were all looking up words.”

After the tour, the team flew to Krasnoyarsk where the tournament was to take place. They went to see and practice at the rink that was specifically built for the Student Hockey Challenge Tournament.

Wagner said the opening ceremony of the tournament, which projected holograms on the ice inside the packed arena, was the coolest experience of his hockey career.

The ACHA Selects had a couple tough losses against strong teams from Russia and Slovakia, but finished with a big win over another local Russian team.

On Friday, the team had a break to go sightseeing. Wagner labeled himself as a “big nature guy” and talked about his visit to the national parks. He said the team experienced the nightlife and tried to get involved with the culture.

After the tournament, Wagner returned to his normal life at IU where he studies Sports Marketing in the School of Public Health. He plans to work in sales or PR and his dream is to work for the NHL.

When Wagner is not on the ice, he enjoys concerts like Florida Georgia Line, improving his strength at the SRSC, and frequenting Friday After Class festivities with his teammates.

“There’s really nothing that I do other than hockey,” he said.

See a few great photos from Kody's trip on and off the ice below!

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