Flint wins on the ice and the hardwood on first day of CANUSA Games

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FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - (08/11/2017) - The 60th Annual CANUSA games are now in full swing.

Ten youth sporting events kicked off on Friday, marking the return of the three-day event to Flint for the first time since 2014.

ABC 12's Amy Hybels went to Iceland Arena and Ballenger Field house to catch some of the kids in action and learn what Flint's Canadian guests have to say about their visit to Vehicle City.

Before the hockey game got underway at Iceland Arena, there was the ceremonial puck drop, the exchange of jerseys, and words of wisdom from both coaches:

"Keep it simple, work hard, have a good time, be disciplined and slow down and enjoy it," remarked Flint CANUSA Hockey coach Mike Walker.

"We'll do our best, and gamesmanship and sportsmanship is the number one concern here for sure," noted Hamilton CANUSA Hockey coach Corey Rogers.

An important consideration, given that Hockey is the only contact sport being played at the CANUSA Games.

'Flint's a great city to play hockey in, I love this rink," noted forward Crosby Wildfong, from Holy Family in Grand Blanc, in her debut at the CANUSA Games.

"They're tough, they don't like losing, they get mad," she remarked when asked about her Canadian opponents.

Most of her teammates are hosting their Canadian opponents.

When asked which was more important, the contest on the ice or the cameraderie, Cooper Gerhardt from Flushing Middle School replied:

"The friendship and the fun after the games."

Flint beat Hamilton 9-to-0 in the first of three games.

Cooper's house guest Aiden Palciauskas admitted Flint is a tough opponent:

"They're good, they're always putting pressure on you, they're good at shooting," he said.

Meanwhile at Ballenger Field House the 17 & under players are making the most of the home court advantage.

Flint Mom Sandra Pope's son Terrell is hosting three kids from Canada this weekend. When asked if any of her guests were nervous about the water she replied:

"No, we're using bottled water."

Her son's house guest says Flint's level of play is the only thing that caught him off guard:

"We would expect more from the taller guys," said Dhorian Etshofo, "but it was more shorter guys putting it back up and they would do full court press, hard to get past it."

The Flint teams playing in the field house beat their Canadian opponents by a sizable margin, but its best of two so the action will continue on Saturday.

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