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Polar Bears Ringette Tour 2006
The 2006 tour included the following athletes:
Kim Deminchuk -Red Deer, AB
Julie Koester - Rockyford, AB
Chelsey Jones - Red Deer, AB
Cecile Degagne -Calgary, AB
Sarah Kirkpatrick -Calgary, AB
Kathryn van Laar - Lacombe, AB
Kelsey DeForest - Calgary, AB
Erin Borth - Calgary, AB
Marlo Homes - Calgary, AB
Jody Stern -Medicine Hat, AB
Carla Stern - Medicine Hat, AB
Chelsea Hallick - Medicine Hat, AB
Sarah Miles - Calgary, AB
Chelsea Curran - Calgary, AB
Laura Lee - North Vancouver, BC

  Alaina Burger - Oshawa, ON
Alaina Davis - Oshawa, ON
Michele Hobson - London, ON
Christine Andrews - Vancouver, BC
Lindsey Moore - Calgary, AB
Allison Lennox - Calgary, AB
Lyndsay Clark - Calgary, AB
Carly Lenstra - Calgary, AB
Allison Clark - Calgary, AB
Jena Iuliano - Calgary, AB
Jennifer Gates - Calgary, AB
Amy Switzer - Calgary, AB
Karen Duguay - Barrie, ON
Dani Gariepy - Rockyford, AB
Emma Young - Calgary, AB 

Team staff this year include
(all from Calgary):
Lonnie Krahn
Ian Frame
Bob Curran
Lucie Anne Ingoldsby


The group check-in at
Calgary airport

Carly, Allison & Lindsey ar
ready for the trip

July 22/23, 2006

After much built up anticipation, we finally begin our incredible escapade to Europe. We checked in and strolled to our gate. To pass the time we played some exciting yet dangerous card games, and spoons/pens. It was splendid. Then, the moment of truth; the boarding of the plane. Dun dun dun. We settled in to our seats and waited anxiously for the next day to arrive.

After watching 3 movies, eating a ton of junk food, and attempting a few ZZZ’s we had a smooth landing into Frankfurt. Hurrah! The excitement continued to rise, including the heat, which was above thirty degrees celcius. We took a bus to Ladenburg, where we checked-in to the hotel. For dinner we ate in the hotel and had some very fine “pancake” soup. The dumplings were also quite interesting.

After dinner we set out to explore the old town of Ladenburg and happened to meet some Turkish boys. They toured us around the city, checking out the dandy sights. It was a lot of walking and finally the night came to an end. It was a long travel day but we are very happy to actually be in Europe and can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

Kelsey D. and Amy S.

Enjoying the Weingut Clauer (Clauer winery) tour

Never thought we'd see
Coach Lonnie drinking wine!

Spectacular view of the
castle in Heidelberg

July 24, 2006

This morning we woke up early and had a delicious breakfast buffet at the hotel, consisting of yogurt, granola, eggs, bacon, and fruit. Then we jumped on the bus to head to Heidelberg to go to the winery. We had an interesting tour and then did some wine tasting. We tried 8 different kinds of wine – what a selection! As a result of these tastings, there were a number of purchases made to take home to family & friends.
After the winery tour we went on a tour of Old City Heidelberg and learned some of the history behind it. We learned that Heidelberg was one of the many cities destroyed over the past few centuries. We saw the statues, market square, and the cobble stone streets, which were really different from Canada. After that we had some free time for shopping and sightseeing. Some girls went to the Hard Rock Café and had some cool drinks decorated with fruit and glowsticks, while others went shopping and some chose to visit the Castle. Those who went to the Castle met a fellow Canadian traveler from Calgary! After that we met up at the bus and drove back to the hotel for a delicious dinner of turkey, rice, broccoli, and cauliflower soup.
Our plans to go to the disco changed so instead some of us went to explore the town of Ladenburg while others used the phone to call home, and some chose to stay at the hotel and play cards. A few of the older players decided to get to know each other better over a couple of drinks at the local bar. Everyone was pretty tired, so it wasn’t a very late night for most people. It was an interesting day, and everyone had fun exploring the cities and learning the history.

Jody S. and Jena I.

St. Jacob's Church

Polar Bears on the step
of the Town Hall

The Main Square in Rothenburg

Torture devices at the Museum of Medieval Torture

July 25, 2006

This morning we had to wake up earlier than what was planned because we found out that it would take longer to get to Rothenburg than we had originally thought. It turns out that Germany’s traffic is just as bad, if not worse, then ours in Canada. It took us 3 hours to get there instead of the 2 hours that it was supposed to, but since we had left early we managed to be only 30 minutes late for the tour.
Our tour consisted of an explanation of Rothenburg’s history and how it was saved from being taken over by Tilly and his army. We were then taken on an hour visit of the city and all of the major landmarks, including the great protestant church (st. Jacob’s), the Town Hall and the Museum of Medieval Torture. The museum was disturbing, but at the same time very educational.
After our tour we had free time to eat, shop, and explore more in-depth what we had seen during the previous hour. Some chose to walk and scale the wall that was surrounding the city, once used to preserve the city’s safety, while others chose to see the breathtaking view from the castle gardens.
After a very hot, Hot, HOT day of walking we had another long bus ride home (more traffic trouble) but the movie “The Incredibles” was played to help pass the time, and it helped.
When we got back to the hotel we were treated to a delicious dinner consisting of soup, main dish (chicken, rice, and peas), and amazing ice cream, after which many of us showered, changed, and headed to the little bar down the street from the hotel. Our first game is tomorrow so we were doing our best to get to know our teammates before the competition starts. What a great day!

Sarah K. & Michele H.

Polar Bears Le Boeuf
vs. Polar Bears Attack

The traditional end-of-the-game handshake between the 2 teams

Looking out the front door
of our hotel

July 26, 2006

Today we got up very early for our flight to Stockholm, Sweden. Compared to our first flight this one was nothing, only around 100 minutes. When we arrived in Stockholm we were pleasantly surprised to see that our hotel was directly across from a huge Ikea. After some brief team meetings with the coaches we had a delicious buffet supper.
Directly after dinner we were off to the arena for our first tournament game, Le Boeuf vs. Attack, Le Boeuf coming out victorious 10-4. After the game many of us treated ourselves to a healthy McDonald’s meal. After indulging there was nothing else to do but rest our exhausted bodies.

Chelsey J. & Lindsey M.


The VASA ship at the museum

Coaches Lonnie & Ian buying postcards in Stockholm

Changing of the Guard at the King's Palace on Stockholm

July 27, 2006

This morning we woke up and ate a huge breakfast buffet at the hotel. We left for downtown Stockholm and stopped at city hall to meet up with our tour guide. We walked around the outside of city hall and then got on the bus for a tour. Stockholm is a very beautiful city. We saw most of the sights of downtown Stockholm from the bus and stopped at the Vasa Museum. It is a museum that holds a huge ship that sunk in the harbour almost 400 years ago. It wasn’t recovered until 333 years after it sunk. Amazingly, only 3% of the ship had to be restored.
Following the museum, we went downtown to shop and eat lunch. We spent four hours shopping and sightseeing. We boarded the buses at 5:00 to go to the arena for our games. Polar Bears Attack played first against Sollentuna HC – a ringette club in Stockholm. They won their game 6-1. Next Polar Bears Le Boeuf played Ulriksdals SK. They won their game 14-4. These were exhibition games but we will be playing both these teams in our tournament in Prague. After the games we went to a restaurant and had dinner with the Solletuna HC team -- the food was excellent! We got back fairly late and all had very good sleeps because we did not have to leave the hotel until 12:00 the next day.

Carla S. & Jennifer G.

A group photo on the grounds of Stockholm City Hall

the "ring bunnies" taking all the group photos

Team Le Boeuf in the
Stockholm Ice Bar

Team Attack at the
Stockholm Ice Bar

July 28, 2006

Today we went for lunch in downtown Stockholm at City Hall, followed by some free time for shopping on Flag Street. Team Attack were first to see the Ice Bar at 3:45. We were outfitted with warm silver fur capes with mittens attached on them with a string. The Ice Bar cost 150 Kronors which included one ice drink in an ice glass. We walked through an airlock before we entered the bar, which was -5 C. We were rather comfortable in our snow queen apparel so we stayed the full 45 minutes then vacated the room as it was Team Le Boeuf’s turn for their 45 minute shift.

After the Ice Bar we had some time to shop and sightsee. Some girls from Team Attack went for coffee with the German national football team, who were playing in a world tournament in Stockholm. At 5:45 we met up and drove to the harbour so we could take a ferry over to Turku. Following a long wait and a missing bag incident we finally boarded the ferry, which was home to about 2000 people for the night. After settling in, we enjoyed an incredibly diverse buffet which included pop, beer, wine, and some very tasty desserts.

Once everyone was well fed, we all headed to the disco where we enjoyed a couple of drinks and some dancing with other passengers on the ship. Next day is a game day so curfew was 1 am Finland time, so we didn’t stay out too late.

Erin B. & Kim D.

Turku Cathedral

Castle at Turku

Team Attack with their opponents

Team Le Boeuf waiting for the national anthem to be played

July 29, 2006

Today, we had a very early morning. We had to be at the breakfast buffet on the ferry by 6:30am, and having a late night at the disco before this was not very peachy. After a few cups of coffee we packed our stuff and boarded off the ship at about 7:30am. We then walked across the street from the dock to our hotel, where we put all our things away and were easily bombarded to a lovely tour of Turku and its landscape. After the tour we were dropped off at the market place, where more coffee was enjoyed and some brisk shopping was employed. The night goers took advantage of this opportunity to catch up on some sleep on the tour bus.

After shopping we gathered together again and headed to a restaurant, where we indulged in another lovely buffet and more relaxing. More free time was given and most of the team headed back to the shops, while some stayed behind to indulge in tea.

After that, we all packed back on the bus and headed to the arena situated in a green luscious forest to play the Finnish teams from the Turku club. Team Attack played first, then Team Le Beouf played second where they both had great victories with the identical scores of 8 to 4, despite the unusual refereeing of the Finns – there are some differences in rules that caught us off-guard.

Once returned home to the hotel, we checked in and got settled. A select few chose to adventure to the large and joyous rock festival of Turku, while most chose to stay behind and crash after a VERY long day.

Marlo H. & Lyndsay C.

Team Le Boeuf defending against the Turku national league team

Team Attack defending against Turku B

July 30, 2006

Today, Team Le Boeuf played against the Turku national league team and lost 11-4. They were an extremely competitive team, but a great effort was put in by Le Boeuf. Team Attack then played against Turku B and lost a heartbreaker 7-5, including an empty-net goal for the other side.

After the games, we headed to Helsinki on the bus and stopped on the way at Wiurlian Kartano, which was an amazing restaurant on a golf course. The food was spectacular and the view was great.

After dinner, we continued on the bus to Helsinki and checked into the Grand Marina Hotel in downtown Helsinki. Once settled in, most of the girls went on a walking tour to sightsee the city and take some pictures. One of the highlights of the walk was the gorgeous Lutheran cathedral in the town square. The rest of downtown Helsinki was beautiful, but everyone was ready for bed and an early start the next day.

Julie K. & Kathryn V.

Medieval Feast for lunch in Tallinn

Old Town Square in Tallinn

Polar Bears at the cannon on Suomenlinna Island

Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn

Submarine Museum a
Suomenlinna Island

Wall around the Old Town in Tallinn

July 31, 2006

Today there were two choices of activities for the day – touring in Helsinki or travelling to by ferry for a visit to Tallinn, Estonia.

For those staying in Helsinki, we started out by taking the JT Line ferry to Suomenlinna Island in which we had a one hour guided tour of the fortress and then an hour to go around on our own. Before departing for the island we had an hour free time to walk around the Helsinki Market Place. We then took the ferry to the island where there were such features as a Military Academy, museum in the fortress founder’s home, dry dock for ship repairs, real life cannons, a submarine, tunnels throughout the fortress, and much more. Actually, there was not enough time to go through the whole island, so we needed to pick and choose which sites we would like to see. On Suomenlinna Island there are 800 residents, one school to educate all children on the island and the smallest library in the country.

Once back from the trip to Suomenlinna Island, we all went for lunch at the Sipuli Restaurant. After lunch we had more free time so most of us walked to Stockmanns to go shopping, while others went back to the hotel and took that free time to relax. For dinner, some of us stayed in at the hotel, while others went to dinner at the Vespa Restaurant, followed by an ice cream dessert from the Fazer chocolate shop.

The other option we had today was to go to Tallinn, Estonia, a former Soviet Bloc country. We got up at 8 for our 10am boat ride over there. When we arrived our tour guide took us for an hour long bus tour of the city and then an hour walking tour of the old town. The most memorable part of the tour for me was the Russian Orthodox Church. I have never seen a more elaborately decorated church in my life. It was vibrantly coloured and covered in gold.

After the tour we had our lunch at a Medieval Restaurant Olde Hansa which was very interesting to say the least. As in other medieval restaurants we were encouraged to use our hands to eat but there was still the option to use cutlery. Sadly I caved to the hot messy food and used a fork but many used their hands. The food was different but still good; I thought the best part was the gingered turnips. The best part was the tongue chili, yes tongue chili. It was cow tongue with chili. From what I remember no one really tried it except Jena, who ate it before we realized what it was.

We had free time to shop and sightsee around Tallinn. While shopping I got vanilla ice cream which tasted like extremely good whip cream in a cone. ? And then we hopped on our boat and went back to our hotel where I went to bed.

Alaina D. & Sarah M.

Jeanette's birthday cake

Polar Bears at the Tuusula Ice Hall


August 1, 2006

Today, both teams had an early start, waking up at 6:00 am. From the hotel, the teams headed to Tuusula Icehall for the first game, Attack versus Jarvenpaa Haukat. Attack was defeated 4-7 despite a great comeback after the second period score of 7-1. Following Attack’s game, Le Boeuf conquered Team Helsinki/Espoo and came out on top winning 6-1.

Following the games, we stopped for lunch at Krapi restaurant but despite the name it was a very delicious meal especially the sweet potato & carrot soup. From there, we loaded the bus and headed to the Helsinki airport and departed for Prague. Once we arrived in Prague, after a two hour flight, we stopped at the Zlaty Rozen restaurant for dinner on the way to the hotel. At this classy restaurant we were served a pork steak along with french fries. For dessert, we were served a delicious white cake covered with fresh fruit to celebrate Jeanette’s (Lonnie’s wife) “29th” Birthday.

Then we checked into Hotel Duo and got settled for an early night to prepare for the tournament.

Chelsea H. & Carly L.

Fireworks at the Tournament Party

Team Attack ready for the Tournament Party


August 2, 2006

Today, Team Attack had an early start, at 6:15am, in order to go for a pre-breakfast run although it turned into a pre-breakfast chat. Then, they went to their game as Le Boeuf woke up. Some of Le Boeuf players had a ringette clinic to teach the Swedish, French & Slovakian girls the game. The turn-out was great as there were 32 girls out to learn more about our great game. Meanwhile, Attack lost a tough match, 12-3, to a very strong squad from Tampere, Finland.

Le Boeuf prepared lunch for us at the arena and then we all left for the Ruckl Crystal Factory. It was amazing watching them make the crystal from melted glass. They blew it into shapes then they had an assembly line to carve it. We all went into the shop to buy as much crystal as we could fit onto the plane.

We then loaded up the bus and Le Boeuf got dropped off at the arena for their game against USK from Sweden, which they won. Attack used this free time at the hotel to get ready for the start of the big tournament party. Once Le Boeuf returned to the hotel and got ready we all left for Hotel Praha. It was an absolutely amazing place and the party was really fun. There was dinner, dancing and fireworks. We then got bussed back to our hotel and had a relatively early night. At 10:30 it was time to get ready for the next day’s games.

Emma Y. & Karen D.

Happy Birthday to Lesley & Lindsey

Wenceslas Square & the
National Museum in Prague

August 3, 2006

Today, Team Attack had an early start, waking up at 6:00 am to head to their first game and Le Boeuf followed shortly after at 7am to either to watch Team Attack or help run a clinic for the Swedish, French & Slovakian players.

Team Attack worked hard but was defeated in this first game of the day but on their second game came out on top to win 9-5 over USK from Sweden. For Le Boeuf, they won both their games, 7-4 in the first game and in the second game. ?. After the games we headed off to the Asian Market, where we were very excited to shop for cheap knock-off items. The little Asian shop keepers loved to run a hard bargain with us “rich” Canadians but as normal we got the prices we wanted.

After our good adventure at the Asian Market we headed off to dinner at the Musketeyr where we had a birthday celebration for two people -- Mrs. Switzer and Lindsey M.

Cecile D. & Christine A.

Polar Bears Attack team photo

Attack vs. Tuusula

Le Boeuf vs. Walapais Vantaa

August 4, 2006

Today Attack was up bright an early at 6:00 for their big game against the Finish Tuusula ringette team. After falling behind 2-1 Attack had a brilliant comeback and cinched the game 8-5. Team Le Boeuf followed with a later wakeup at 7:00 to play the other Finish team Walapais Vantaa. Le Boeuf put together a great team effort and swept the game 9-0. GO POLAR BEARS!

After a quick shower and a lunch generously put together by the parents both teams headed to old town Prague to look at the Prague castle and the St. Vilus cathedral. Despite it being virtually impossible to hear our tour guide you could not deny the beautiful scenery and fascinating history before us. We were also lucky to witness the changing of the guards which occurs every hour on the hour from 5:00 am until midnight.

Following the tour we were allowed 3 hours of free time to explore the streets of old town Prague. The majority of the teams opted to go shopping. As usual we did not have trouble spending a great deal of crowns. At 7:00 we continued on to Jagr’s Sports Bar for a wonderful pork dinner with an awesome dessert. We don’t know what it was but it was good.

"The players headed back to our Hotel Duo while the coaches took the opportunity to spend extra time with Radek, our tour guide.  It's another early start tomorrow but we did successfully argue our case for a midnight curfew, an extra hour!"

Alaina B. & Allison L.

Terezin Concentration Camp

Coach Lonnie with 2 of his favourite Swedish players, Hanna & Ippe

In the one of the courtyards at Terezin

August 5, 2006

Terezin Concentration Camp – In the morning we were given a tour of the camp, which was an eye-opening experience for all of us.

Polar BearsTeam “ le Beouf” won their last game 12-3 against Tuusala.

Polar Bears Attack won their last game as well 5-4 against Sweden’s Team Sollentuna; it was a very close and exciting game to watch.

Awards ceremony and team photos – After the games we had pictures taken then went to the awards ceremony. Team “Attack” placed 4th, with Dani Gariepy being named team MVP. Team “le Beouf” placed 1st, with Kelsey DeForest being named team MVP. Lindsay Moore was named one of three tournament MVPs.

After leaving the arena we made the long trek back to Wurzburg, Germany on the bus. Once we arrived we checked into the hotel and a group of us decided to go dancing in a club next to the hotel with Bob, Darwin and Radek.

We all enjoyed our last night in Europe and find it hard to believe the trip is ending and that we all go home tomorrow!

Dani G. & Laura L.

Le Boeuf Team Photo

Le Boeuf with their gold medals -

Team Attack on a timeout in their
last game in Prague

Wurzburg Residence

Wurzburg Residence

Wurzburg Residence

Team Le Boeuf and Radek
Frankfurt Airport

August 6, 2006

Frankfurt – This morning we rose at 7:00 a..m. Well, most of us did. We checked out of Hotel Strauss at 8:30 a.m., and went on a tour of the Wurzberg Residence. Two unfortunate players happened to miss out on the tour as they went back to sleep after the wake up call. The Wurberg Residence consisted of fantastic flights of stairs and monstrous ceiling paintings that were so detailed, the images seemed to pop off the canvas. Each painting was not only beautiful, but it had a story behind it to make it extremely interesting and even more impressive. They were also trimmed with gold and surrounded by statutes. It was lovely.

We left for Frankfurt airport and arrived there at 12:30 for the central Canadian players to catch their flights home. We chilled in the airport for about six hours and indulged in Mexican food and McDonalds. Now here we are on the round again, going home!

Allison C. & Chelsea C.

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