Good Sports: Monsters player also world traveler

FRESNO, Calif.

The youngest player in a Monsters uniform is also their biggest world traveler.

While most other high school sophomores were getting back into the swing of things earlier this month, University High's Carter Dahl took a special field trip organized by the U.S. State Department.

"I got the paperwork and filled it out, sent it in and hoped for the best. They were just looking for kids that had good grades and were good people in general," Dahl said.

The 15-year-old Dahl was part of a group of 24 Americans that went to Russia for 10 days of sports and diplomacy with their Russian counterparts.

"He came up and asked us 'do you mind if I go?' it's like 'yeah absolutely get out of here. Leave.' he was so ecstatic. His ability has gotten him to that level to play there," Fresno Monsters Coach Bryce Dale said.

A member of the Fresno Monsters western states hockey league team, Dahl received the full VIP treatment in Europe.

"Going into the Kremlin was pretty fun, and we actually got to go into the Dynamo museum, which is closed off to the public. That was really fun," Dahl said.

Learning about Russian culture while at the same time meeting some of the best hockey players on the planet during the NHL lockout.

"We went and saw their practice, and then we met up with them at night and got to have dinner with them, and get their autographs and take pictures," Dahl said.

Both the player and his coach think the experience will help Dahl in his first season playing against tougher competition in junior hockey.

"Watching their style of play and how they get around and how they can move the puck so fast definitely helped me out because whenever I get the puck now it's like 'oh I've got to move it!'," Dahl said.

"He's going to keep reaching higher levels because as a coaching staff you watch a kid play with hard work and dedication. And he has discipline in his game, and himself. So you know that he's going to keep reaching the next level as he keeps going forward," Dale said.

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