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Polar Bears Ringette Tour 2007

The 2007 tour included the following athletes:

POLAR BEARS "A" = Team "Eh"

Joanna Padalino
Sarah Worthen
Lisa Torie
Erin Heming
Chelsea Curran
Krista Vey
Christina Brinkhurst
Makayla Steinbach
Hadyn Van Loy
Courtney Pettitt
Keri Shanks
Kelsey DeForest
Jamie Miles
Erin Walker

Cambridge, ON
St. Clements, ON
Sunnynook, AB
Richmond Hill, ON
Calgary, AB
Sackville, NS
Calgary, AB
Bassano, AB
London, ON
Burlington, ON
Ajax/Pickering, ON
Calgary, AB
Calgary, AB
Thunder Bay, ON




POLAR BEARS "B" - Team Nanuk  

Ashley Boos
Rachelle Davies
Jamie Block
Lauren Crape
Carly Pearson
Taylor Odynski
Melissa Bizuk
Carly Flemming
Corey Block
Lisa Anley
Kelsey DeForest
Jamie Miles
Erin Walker

Calgary, AB
St. Albert, AB
Calgary, AB
Calgary, AB
Stony Plain, AB
Calgary, AB
Okotoks, AB
Calgary, AB
Calgary, AB
Spruce Grove, AB
Calgary, AB
Calgary, AB
Thunder Bay, ON



In addition to these people, we have 18 family members joiniing us for the trip -- our groupies I guess you could say.

Arrival at Frankfurt airport

Catching up on some sleep

Walking tour in front of the Catholic Basilica in Koblenz

Sunday, July 22 & Monday, July 23, 2007

Upon arriving at the airport & meeting the rest of our teammates, we all quickly bonded and became friends. We travelled straight from the Frankfurt airport to a lovely little Asian restaurant across the square from our hotel in Koblenz, Germany where we enjoyed a standard meal of pork chops & french fries.

The next morning we were taken on a walking tour where we learned the history of Koblenz and how it came to be what it is today. We witnessed breath-taking art, exquisitely structured churches, and intricate stone designs.

Then it was off to the winery! Here we were taken on a mini-tour and educated on the creation of wine & its part in society. We then continued to the little lounging area where, over the course of 2 hours, we were issued nine different samples of wines, ranging from dry to sweet. Needless to say, we all left rosy-cheeked and in good spirits – no pun intended!

We returned to the same restaurant as the night before where we indulged in a meal of veal & rice. The night was ours; we had the chance to check around town so we introduced ourselves to some of the local shops & pubs. All in all, it was a fantastic way to start off a trip with high hopes & big goals!

Chelsea C. & Erin W.

In the winery

Enjoying the wine samples

Koblenz is at the confluence of the
Rhine & Mosel rivers

The Wasa ship, built in 1625-28; sunk in the Stockholm harbour leaving on its maiden voyage

Polar Bears on tour in Stockholm

Tuesday, July 24 & Wednesday July 25, 2007

We woke up early on Tuesday morning to head back to Frankfurt airport for our 2 hour flight to Sweden.  When we landed, the equipment for our goalies & 1 skater got left behind in Germany so we were delayed getting out of Stockholm airport. We checked into our beautiful hotel and ate dinner. 

A group of us then took a train to the city center for shopping; we were excited to find the really trendy stores but disappointed to find they had just closed as we got there so we walked around looking at the beautiful architecture (& men).  A few of us did manage to spend some money at the candy & souvenir stores that happened to be open. 

We all headed back to the train station to catch our ride back to the hotel.  While we waited for everyone to arrive at this meeting point, Coach Karen provided some entertainment as she practiced her karate skills with her crutches in the square by the central train station.

Today we had a good buffet breakfast & went on a city tour, including the Wasa Museum which was very interesting.  This afternoon we headed to the ice hall where Team Nanuk played the Swedish National Team to a 7-7 tie.  After an hour break, Team “Eh” defeated Team Sweden 8-7.  Next was dinner at the Hard Rock Café with our opponents, then off to bed to prepare for some real shopping tomorrow!

Ashley B. & Courtney P.

A delayed penalty to Sweden

Polar Bears supporting their teammates

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe
with our Swedish opponents

Polar Bears "EH" at the King's Palace in Stockholm

Thursday, July 26

We started the morning with a wonderful & original breakfast of meat, cheese & bread.  Then we went shopping, although we found ourselves browsing the good-looking Swedish boys almost as much as the clothes.  We grabbed a quick lunch at the hotel, then were headed out of Sweden.

Instead of a plane for this trip, we took a cruise ship!  The ship was 13 stories high & filled with cabins, shops, bars, restaurants, a pool and a disco.  We spent the night bonding with our teammates & listened to a live band at the bar.  Then we hit the sack in our cozy 4 bunk cabins.

Jamie B. & Makayla B.

Polar Bears Nanuk at the King's Palace in Stockholm

Players, team staff & groupies at the King's Palace -- can you count 47 heads?

One of the Tall Ships heading to Stockholm as we are starting
our cruise to Finland

The organ at the Rock
Church in Helsinki

Lessons on how to
pronounce Finnish names

Block family at the Ice Bar in Helsinki

Friday, July 27

We arrived in Helsinki, then took a bus to the Scandic Gran Marina Hotel to drop off our luggage – it was too early to check in.  We then took a bus tour to see the big Helsinki sights, including the university & Rock Church.

After the tour, we went back to the hotel & checked in; many people took afternoon naps to refresh themselves from the overnight cruise.  We then enjoyed a delicious lunch of bbq chicken legs, mashed potatoes & salad.  After the meal, we departed for the ice hall to have a practice.  Each team also played a game against the Helsinki C club & both teams won, Team Eh by a 5-2 score and Team Nanuk 2-0.

We went back to the hotel, showered & walked to an Ice Bar.  We were given parkas so we wouldn’t freeze; they also had boots & mitts but not enough for everyone.  After that, we walked back to the hotel & went to sleep.  zzzzzzz

Carly P. & Sarah W.

Nanuk vs. Helsinki C

Ready for the Ice Bar

All dressed up in the Ice Bar

Lutheran Cathedral in the Senate Square in Helsinki


Saturday, July 28

On Saturday, everyone had some chill time until about 3:00pm.  They went shopping, sightseeing, or just napped at the hotel.  Then we set off for our games.  Team Nanuk played Jarvenpaa B and won 9-4.  Team “Eh” played the Jarvenpaa A team and lost a hard-played game of 11-0.  After the games, we enjoyed a meal of pasta & salad with our opponents.  When dinner was over, we played 2 games of Sardines.  Then we went to the hotel for a relaxing night.

The End.

Corey B. & Erin H.

Our bench at the Jarvenpaa ice hall

Erin in net against Jarvenpaa B

Jamie B is player of the match against Jarvenpaa B

Team Nanuk & Jarvenpaa B

Kelsey is player of the match against Jarvenpaa A

Team Eh & Jarvenpaa A

Hadyn, Sarah & Johanna at the cannon on Suommenlinna Island

At the Lover's Pond on Suommenlinna

Sunday, July 29

After a nice night at the Scandic Gran Marina Hotel in Helsinki, we awoke for a delicious buffet breakfast.  Following that, we departed for the ferry which brought us to Suommenlinna – the fortress island.  This fortress was originally built to defend Sweden but the name was changed from Sveaborg to its current name when Finland became an independent country.  We had a guided tour of several of the islands composing the Suommenlinna Fortress and then returned by ferry to Helsinki.

We enjoyed some free time for lunch, then set off to Myllypuron Jaahalli (ice hall) for our 2 games.  Team Nanuk played first and defeated their Finnish opponent, from the Tuusula club, by a 7-1 score.  Team Eh was narrowly defeated 4-3 in a very close & hard-fought match with Walapais.

Dinner was served back at the hotel, where we celebrated Chelsea Curran’s 18th birthday!!!

Melissa B. & Krista V.

Kelsey playing against Tuusula

Team Nanuk & Tuusula

Happy Birthday to Chelsea!

Jamie M in net against Walapais

Team Eh & Walapais

Team Nanuk before their game vs Tuusula

Team Eh before their game vs Walapais

Tram in Helsinki


Monday, July 30

Today was not an athletically eventful day but filled with small adventure, such as getting pooed on by a bird (Jamie M.); but for the most part, it was filled with sleep.  Our agenda included the flight from Helsinki to Prague, which was another sleep-filled time for many of our group.  This time, almost all of our luggage arrived with us too – just one small stick bag did not make the trip.

We stopped for a dinner of pork kebabs, potato pancakes & apple strudel (dessert is back on the menus!) before reaching our hotel.  Here, we were welcomed with firmer beds than most would expect; to say the least, the beds were a little “short” of our expectations but despite this, the teams & “groupies” managed to make themselves at home with the super windows & great company.

Jamie M. & Lisa A.


Finnish Orthodox Church

Ready to go to the airport for the flight to Prague

Team Nanuk vs Tampere

On the walking tour of Prague

Meeting with street performers in Prague

Tuesday, July 31

On our first day in Prague, which is located in the Czech Republic, we had an early start.  After both teams were finished eating breakfast. They jumped on the bus to Letnany arena.  Team Eh participated in the skills session with the Swedish team, a few players from France, & the 1st Czech ringette player. 

Meanwhile, Team Nanuk played their first game of the tournament against the team from Tampere, Finland.  It was a hard-fought game with the outcome being a 1-1 tie.  Team Eh played next against EKS-D from Espoo, Finland.  Team Eh was victorious with the help of some of the players from France.

After the games we headed to the Asian Market where everyone bought various items from the street vendors.  After our fabulous two hours of shopping, we were off to meet our guide who led us on our tour of the Prague Castle & the Old Town.  This tour, which lasted 2 hours, took us to see sights such as the Castle, an amazing Cathedral, and many small shops.

Next, we embarked on a long walk to our well-deserved dinner.  After dinner, we celebrated Makayla’s 18th birthday with a cake & her first legal beer J  We then waddled to catch our bus which took us back to the hotel.  Curfew was set for 10:30pm to prepare for our games in the morning.

Carly F. & Hadyn V.

Letnany Ice Hall in Prague

Team Eh at intermission

Team Eh vs Espoo

Prague Cathedral


Happy 18th Birthday Makayla

Team Eh vs Tampere

Team Nanuk vs Naantali

Terezin Concentration Camp

Davies family at Terezin


Wednesday, August 1

To commence our second full day in Prague, we were awakened by a wake-up call at the early hour of 6:30am.  We spent a few minutes getting prepared for the day, then we walked upstairs for breakfast.  Despite everybody’s fatigue, the two teams were on time for their buses (more or less).  At separate times, the buses proceeded to the arena for the games against Tampere & VG-62 (Naantali), both from Finland.

The first game, which was Team Eh vs Tampere, resulted in an 8-4 loss for Eh.  Although they played very intensely and with a competitive attitude, Team Eh was not able to defeat Tampere.

While this game was on, various players from Team Nanuk assisted in the skills session for players from Sweden, France, Slovakia & the Czech Republic so they could improve their abilities in ringette.  Immediately after the skills session, the girls from the Nanuk team joined the remaining girls to compete against VG-62.  Team Nanuk seemed to dominate the entire game and some of the players from France had the opportunity to participate in the 8-4 victory.

After the game, the girls cleaned up a bit for the visit to the Terezin Concentration Camp, where we learned an array of interesting facts on the camp’s history.  We even crammed an astounding 19 people into a cell made for prisoners!

Around 5pm, we returned to the hotel to dress up for the tournament party, held at a restaurant on the highest hill in Prague.  Everyone enjoyed a nice supper & dessert accompanied by a beautiful set of fireworks to finish the party.

Rachelle D. & Christina B.

France players at the tournament party

Polar Bears all dressed up for
the tournament party

Fireworks at the tournament party

Team Eh vs Naantali

Team Nanuk vs Sollentuna

Team Eh vs Team Nanuk

View of the Tyn Church from the top of the Clock Tower


Thursday, August 2

Dear Diary,
This is Taylor & Lisa T. and we had a fantabulous time on Thursday.  We started off with a decent breakfast in our Hotel Duo, in Prague.  It was an early morning and each team had 2 games today.  We both came out with success in our early games but then it was time for the epic battle between the Canadian teams, Eh and Nanuk.  It was a good, tough game and in the end, Nanuk won 4-2.  It was cool because there were many people watching us & treating us like celebrities.

After our games we went back to the Asian Market & bartered with them to get the prices we wanted.  Then we headed to the downtown area to shop, walk & look around.  We then walked to Restaurant Perfect to have a fantastic supper and a birthday cake for Johanna.  Johanna turned 15 but the cake said 51!  Happy Birthday, Johanna!!

Lisa T. & Taylor went back to the hotel.  Lisa showered & went to bed while Taylor ate & did the same.

Taylor O. & Lisa T.

In the Jewish Cemetery

A grave from 1439 in the Jewish Cemetery

Happy 15th Brithday to Johanna

Team Nanuk vs EKS D

Team Eh vs Sollentuna

Team Nanuk playing a game with the French, Slovak & Czech players

Friday, August 3

Both teams woke up early to depart for the arena for their games.  Team Eh ran the skills session while Nanuk played EKS D from Espoo, Finland and won with a score of 12-1, bringing them to the gold medal final.  Team Eh then played the Sollentuna team from Sweden and also won with a score of 8-6 bringing them to the bronze medal final against Sollentuna the next day.

After the games & a quick lunch, we went to the Ruckl Crystal Factory.  The tour of the factory was very interesting and lots of people bought crystal souvenirs to take back home.  We all took our new stuff and hopped back on the bus.

We drove downtown to do a little shopping, and then met up by the water around 5:30pm to go on a boat for dinner.  It was a lot of fun.  We ate, then went to the open air deck and took pictures.  We also did Taylor’s hair (so funny!).  We all just listened to music and hung out.  It was a good night.  We then went back to the hotel.  It was a long day and the final games were the next day.

Lauren C. & Keri S.

Team Nanuk playing a game with the French, Slovak & Czech players

Dinner cruise on the Vltava River

Cruising under the Charles Bridge

Group photos after the exhibition with Nanuk, French, Sloval & Czech players

Glass-blowing at the Ruckl Crystal Factory

Glass-cutting at the Ruckl Crystal Factory

Team Eh scores against Sollentuna in the bronze medal match

Team Eh & Sollentuna after their match

Team Nanuk turns away a Tampere scoring chance in the gold medal match

Teams are lined up for the awards ceremony

Individual awards winners with their Ring-Jet sticks

Polar Bears with their bronze & gold medals

Team Nanuk wins the 2007 Czech Ringette Challenge Cup


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Today was the last day of the tournament so everyone was eager to start the final games.  Team Eh was playing Sollentuna in the Bronze medal game and Team Nanuk playing Tampere in the Gold medal game.  Team Eh started strong, and played their best game of the trip to have a commanding win over Sollentuna, with a final score of 12-2.  Shortly following Team Eh's win, Team Nanuk took the ice, and also played their best game of the trip.  Team Nanuk won the gold medal 5-2 in an entertaining match against Tampere.  Immediately following the final game, all of the teams went to the medal ceremonies where Team Eh received their bronze medals, and Team Nanuk received their gold medals and the Czech Challenge Cup.  Individual award winners, who received a new Ring-Jet stick, were Carly Fleming & Corey Block for Team Nanuk while Chelsea Curran & Keri Shanks picked up prizes for their play with Team Eh.  It was very exciting, but at the same time, a little sad as we all knew, that was the last time we would all play together. 
After all of the excitement, everyone enjoyed some lunch and packed up the bus one last time, for the 5 hour bus ride to Germany.  Everyone was still very excited about the days results, so the bus ride was very entertaining and lively.  We were very thankful for our bus driver, who could drive anywhere, no matter how windy or steep the roads were!!!  After safely arriving at our destination near Bamberg )but with an impossible name to pronounce or spell) we all checked in and started exploring the town.  A lot of our group ended up finding a nice pub, where we celebrated our accomplishments of the day.  It was a lot fun to reminisce about the great times we'd had over the previous 2 weeks and it seemed like a dream that our time together was close to the end 
Kelsey D. & Johanna P.

Town Hall in Bamberg, Germany

Cathedral in Bamberg

Rose Garden in Bamberg has 48 different roses, thousands of plants

Our tour guide, Radek, modelling his Polar Bears game jersey

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Everyone was a little sad to wake up for our last day of the trip.  However, it was a beautiful morning in the quiet town where we stayed, just outside Bamberg.  After a delicious breakfast, we loaded all our luggage & took a short ride to Bamberg.  Here we had a walking tour of the main highlights of the downtown area – it is one of the oldest towns in Germany, so the history was very interesting.

After our walking tour, we headed back to the bus for our 2 ½ hour drive to the Frankfurt airport.  Everything was going well, until we came across a major traffic jam on the highway, due to a car accident.  When we finally arrived at the airport, the group flying to Toronto had one hour for check-in, passport control & security so needless to say, there were quick good-byes & a frantic dash through the airport!  Happy to report – everyone made the flight & so did all the luggage!

The group flying to Calgary had a few hours to hang out at the airport so it was not nearly as stressful for them – except not all their luggage went with them!

It was an awesome trip & great friendships were made.   Everyone arrived home safely, even if some luggage did stay an extra night in Germany – or did it travel on to Vancouver without us?

Kelsey D. & Johanna P.

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