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Polar Bears Ringette Tour 2009

The 2009 tour includes the following athletes:

Kelsey Chudiak Calgary SV Altius Junior A
Stephanie Cook North Calgary Fortius Belle A
Michelle Cox North Calgary Fortius Belle A
Alana D'Angelo Sault Ste. Marie Junior A
Jessica D'Angelo Sault Ste. Marie Belle A
Jessie Davis Nepean Junior A
Kelsey DeForest Calgary Blitz Open A
Brynn FitzGerald Calgary SV Altius Junior A
Courtney Gibson Richmond Hill Belle A
Brianna Hodkinson Cochrane Belle B
Lindsey Kee Calgary Au Junior AA
Christine Kerr North Calgary Fortius Belle A
Erika Kiviaho Valley East Belle AA
Jena Kiviaho Valley East Belle AA
Lisa Kiviaho Walden Tween A
Kendal Kurta Calgary Au Junior AA
Gaby Martin Calgary Au Junior AA
Lauren McMaster Burlington Belle AA
Sarah Merla Richmond Hill Lightning NRL
Amy Paterson Calgary Au Junior AA
Veronica Peacock Richmond Hill Belle A
Nicole Prokop Calgary Legit Junior AA
Heather Purves Cochrane Belle B
Nicole Ronsky Calgary Au Junior AA
Alex Saizew Calgary Legit Junior AA
Maggie Sakal Calgary Au Junior AA
Joelle Scott Calgary Legit Junior AA
Nicole Sikora Calgary Au Junior AA
Ashley Steele Burlington Belle AA
Michelle Suchard London Junior AA
Team Staff:
Bob Curran Calgary Au Junior AA
Karen Duguay Richmond Hill Lightning NRL
Tanis Humphrey The Ringette Store

July 25 and 26, 2009

Ice Breakers at the Toronto Airport

Finally, after months of anticipation, our European adventure was about to begin…or so we thought. There are two departure cities, one in Calgary and one in Toronto. The Calgary group arrived at the airport at 7:45pm on Saturday Everyone was very excited and ready to go. We checked in early, said our goodbyes and went through security. This was the perfect chance to start shopping!!! And for others, the perfect chance to hit the bar.

After passing the time away we all met up at our gate ready for departure, and the excitement was at a high. However, while everyone was finding their boarding passes and making their last minute bathroom stops, an announcement was made……we were informed that our flight had been cancelled and we would be put on a flight for the following afternoon. This was a huge disappointment….but just part of our travel adventure. So sadly we all left the gate and waited around to here what we were supposed to do regarding our luggage and our new flight. After about an hour we all went home and then returned to the airport at 9:30am on Sunday morning, now even more anxious to get the trip started.

So after arriving back at the airport, we went through security again, with everyone hoping that our plane would actually show up to the airport and that we could leave. When the plane pulled up to the gate, their were a number of cheers. We were very excited to board the plane and settle into our seats…as we would soon meet up with the Toronto group.

This threw a change into our tour plans as the Toronto group was already enroute to Frankfurt.

Kelsey DeForest

Today our European trip began. The East group met up at the Toronto Airport, there were a few girls late and the plane was late by about half an hour, but we used that time to have something to eat at the restaurants in the airport. It was shortly after midnight when our plane took off from the Toronto Airport. Everyone was excited when we arrived in Frankfurt, but then we got some shocking news that the flight for the West team was delayed by twelve hours, so their plane would land in Frankfurt at 5:45 in the morning. The East team got to leave the airport early but we still had to wait about two and a half hours for the bus. But we were entertained by Lauren and Ashley doing the Cha Cha slide (we got quite a few stares from other people at the Airport.) Also, everyone got something to eat and while doing that we found out that the McDonald’s sells beer!
Finally, the bus showed up and we were on our way to our hotel in Stuttgart. We got settled into our rooms and had supper at a nice restaurant, the food was great. Then we were back at the hotel to get a good night’s sleep.

Lisa Kiviaho

July 27

Outside Hohenzolleren Castle, Germany

Wine Tasting Tour

Dinner at Munich Hofbrauhaus

The West team got in at 5:30 am and drove to Stuttgart, Germany and picked up the East team and then went for wine tasting. We went to the Wine Tavern Mews which is a family owned business where the oldest son Thomas provided us with the opportunity to take pictures with him and 10 pound wine bottles, which was a photo opportunity that everyone couldn’t resist. We then went to the Hohenzolleren castle, we then went on a tour of the ancient castle, owned by a 33 year old prince (still single). We then drove to Munich and went to the Haufbrauhaus for dinner, where we got to enjoy a German buffet and entertainment. After dinner we checked into the Imperial Hotel.

Jessica D’Angelo and Michelle

July 28


Today we woke up and had breakfast at the Scandic Continental. We drove to downtown Munich and did some shopping and had lunch in Munich town square. We had salad in a vinaigrette, potato dumplings, pork roast and roast beef in au jus, and apple strudel for dessert.

After lunch we drove to the Dachau concentration camp and did our own tours for two hours there. When we were finished we drove to the airport in Munich and got on the Finnair flight to Helsinki, Finland. Once we got there we met our bus and checked into our hotel for a good nights sleep! =).

Veronica and Steph.

July 29

Polar Bear Teams at Senate Square, Finland

And what sport are we here to play?

After breakfast at the hotel we headed to the arena for our first ice-time. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived to find multiple Finish hockey teams practicing, boys hockey teams. All of us were eager to finally get on the ice after all the travelling we had done, and both teams were lookin’ good. After all the skating and sweating was over we headed back to the hotel to squeeze in a quick shower and lunch before we rushed off on our tour of Helsinki.

We went to a bunch of beautiful places, saw a couple of churches and visited a local open air market down by the harbour., taking tons of pictures along the way. After all the sights had been seen it was time for us to explore Helsinki on our own and we headed over to downtown to do some shopping and find ourselves some food that wasn’t sausage on a bun. When we \were all shopped out and our bellies were full we walked over to our hotel, a trip that seemed a lot longer when travelled by foot. The comfy beds and nice warm showers were a form of much needed relaxation after such a long day of walking, this however did not last for long and was interrupted by the fire alarm going off in the hotel. Apparently somebody didn’t read the sign in the washroom that clearly say not to leave the door to the bathroom open after and during showers, and as a result we were all dashing outside in our pyjamas at 11 o’clock at night. Not impressed! Some good did come out of this however, and it was an awesome chance to get in a Kodak moment with the cute Finish firemen that came to our rescue. After all the excitement was finally over, it was off to bed to get some much needed shut eye.

Erica Kiviaho and Christine Kerr


July 30

Girls get locked up on boat to TALLON

Just sitting around in Tallon

Estonia "And what am I to do with this??? "



We woke up at 5:30 am and we had to meet for the bus at 6:30 am to leave for the Super Star cruise boat to Tallin Estonia. Once we arrived we did a bus tour through Tallin, and some of the girls were tired and caught a few zzzzzzzzz’s. After the bus tour we got off and went on a walking tour through old tallin, which had a medieval look to it. We then had free time to shop around, and sight see, then we had an Estonian meal for lunch at an old pub. The food was iffy. When we were sightseeing we went into an amber shop where all the jewellery and souvenirs were made out of amber. Once we were done shopping we walked to the loading dock, and on the way we say a circus, and one of the girls got stopped by a creepy circus guy. Then once on the boat we played card, and entertained ourselves. We then took our bus to our hotel, where we had dinner, and a free night.

Kelsey Chudiak, and Lauren McMaster

The wall around the lower city of Estonia



July 31


We woke up fairly early to depart for Turku. After a couple hours for driving we arrived at the Turku castle and had a walking tour. The castle was over 700 years old, and we got to hear the stories that happened. The tour guide told us a story of a Labryinth that warded off evil spirits. The commoners and servants that lived in the room with the Labrynith kept getting pregnant unexpectedly. The story said that the sperm floated around in the court yard and came in through the window during the spring, and the Labrynith was used to capture it. Another story the tour guide told us was of a famous prisoner named Yoncho, who was the only prisoner that was able to escape the jail by climbing through the toilet.
After the tour, we checked into the new hotel. Some of the girls got lucky and got nice big rooms while others got some smaller ones. We ate lunch at the hotel then departed for our first exhibition game against VG 62, from Naantali. Both teams came out on top, winning back to back games against them. After the celebration we came back to our hotel and had the night free to wander and see the sights of Turku.

Joelle Scott and Ashley Steele


Aug 1st

Turku Finland Lion's Cup Ringette Tournament

The walk back to the hotel from the Officers Club

"Our Bus" as it waits for us at the Turku Tourament

Today we woke up around 6:30 and ate breakfast at 7. We departed for the arena at 7:30. Canada West had their first game against Turko Blue at 9:00. After, Canada East played Turku White at 10:00. Canada West won their game 9-0 and Canada East also won their game 4-2. We took the bus back to the hotel and ate lunch on our own. We went back on the bus to play our second game of the day. Canada West won their game 7-1. Canada East sadly lost their game 5-2. We went back to the hotel, and some of us had showers and got ready to go out for dinner at Officer Club. At the restaurant we had rice, chicken, bread, broccoli casserole. For dessert non-sugar, flavourless whipped cream with raspberry sauce. After dinner we walked back to the hotel.

Brynn FitzGerald And Alana D’Angel



Aug 2nd  

Finland to Stockholm entertainment


Aug 3rd  

Stephanie Cook 18th

Beautiful Downtown Stockholm

It was a ridiculously early morning getting off the cruise ship at 6ish in the morning meant a 5:00 a.m. wake up call.  We immediately boarded the bus for an early morning tour of Stockholm and a visit/tour of the Vasa Museum.  After the tour we headed downtown where we were had free time to do some shopping and have lunch.  Some even headed off the to the Ice Bar for a drink and a few laughs.   Mid afternoon we headed to the hotel to check in and get a couple hour sleep before our evening games with the  Stockholm Northstars.  The Titans played first with an 8-1 victory followed by the Ice Breakers with a 4-1 victory.  Stepahnie Cook celebrated her 18th birthday today and donned a beautiful hat at centre ice as both the Titans and the Swedish teams sang Happy Birthday to her in both English and Swedish.  After our games we returned to the hotel where reindeer was an option… but it tasted just like ground beef.

Sarah Merla and Lindsay Kee


Aug 4th  

Early at the Airport on our way to Prague

Another early morning this time to catch the plane from Stockholm to Prague.  We travelled as well with the team from Sweden.  Once in Prague we were delayed a bit by the luggage arriving very slowly.  At one point several players from our teams as well as the Swedish Team was missing equipment but everything showed up.  From the airport we drove right to the arena where wh has lunch and played our first game of the Czech Challenge Cup Tournament and is was against each other.  Polar Bear Titans came ahead with a 4-2 victory over the Ice Breakers after a tight game.  After the game we quickly checked into our hotel and then off to downtown Prague for some shopping and sightseeing. After an early start we headed back to the hotel at 9:00 p.m. and off to bed for some much needed sleep.

Heather Purves and Amy Petterson


Aug 5th  

Polar Bears on staircase as we enter into the Prague Party

Today we started the day off with sleeping in till 7:30.  The breakfast was not a big hit for any of us but we all managed to pull through.  The Titans played two games one against Sweden and they won 11-1 and their second game was against Finland and they won 9-2.  The Ice Breakers played one game against Stockholm and won 6-2.  Both teams were very successful today.  After these exciting games we went to the Asian Market where we splurged on knock off items and haggled for the lowest prices.  The market was a little sketchy but it was a good experience and tons of fun.  For lunch we were on our own to eat at the market.  When we got back to the hotel we got all dolled up for the IRF U19 World Championships & Czech Ringette Challenge Cup Party.  The Party was at Hotel Praha and it was a beautiful place.  The view was absolutely great!  The Music was great and the fireworks were spectacular.  On the bus ride home we sang the whole way.  (American Idol hopefuls we are not!) and will not be giving up Ringette for a singing career any time soon!  Everyone hit the pillow hard after our long FUN day!

Michelle Suchard and Nicole Sikora


Aug 6th  

Pizza lunch on our way to the crystal factory

watching the workers in the factory

The day began with a quick breackfast at the hotel and then off to the rink. The Ice Breakers had an early morning game at 8:30 against the Stockholm North Stars, and came out with a win of 6-3. TheTitans … After the Titans played, the Ice Breakers played another game at 11:45 against the Tikkakosten Tikka, and once again came out victorious winning 6-1. After a lunch the two teams headed out to the Crystal Factory. We learned a brief history on the crystal factory and what goes on there. We proceeded into the glass blowing area. It was very hot and all the men we sweating like crazy. It was interesting to watch the way that the glass is blown and the different steps it goes through to form different shapes. We then moved onto the glass cutting section. It was amazing to watch the various people at work cutting and trimming what turns out to be beautiful handiwork. It was interesting to see that the workers did not wear gloves or protective eye wear. There are different people assigned to each piece of crystal and they all perform a different task. It really is beautiful the final product. That beauty was shown as we got time to shop after in the store from the crystal factory. It was spectacular the intricate work that has been done to create a vase or a necklace for example. After the crystal factory we then loaded back on the bus and headed to dinner.

Jessie Davis and Kendal Kurta


Aug 7th  

The Girls sitting outside the Church at the Prague Castle

Parents and Players take the subway home to the
hotel from downtown Prague

Joe (East) just doing what he did all trip...
Take pictures all angles covered!

Today we had a game against the Czech Republic team. We beat them 15-3, which was good. We all had fun and played hard. We had some shopping time, because the arena was right across from a big shopping mall. Then we toured the Prague castle, which was beautiful. The view from the top was incredible. Most of the girls even got to pose with the guards who were standing at the front. We walked around Prague for almost 4 hours. We walked across the Charles Bridge and we got to see the Astronomical Clock. After dinner, some people went back to the hotel, and some stayed behind in DT Prague. The people who stayed behind went out for social drinks and last minute shopping and on the way back got a little lost. They only took the train about 4 times, the wrong way until they realized where they were. They made it back safe and sound. We all went to bed fairly early because we had a gold medal game the next day, and the two Polar Bear Canadian teams were playing each other in the finals!
Gaby Martin

Aug 8th  

It’s a sad day leaving Prague but it was a very eventful day and I think everyone was glad to have some down time. After both the East and West team coming successful out of semi-finals we were off to play each other for the championship. The game was intense and hard fought by both team with West coming out on top, a great way to end the tournament. The medal ceremonies were great having all the teams from different countries or parts of the country out on the ice, there were many photo opportunities and was a great memory to have of the tournament. After a quick change and shower and some last minute shopping we loaded up the bus and headed out on the long drive to Wurzburg. Following a long nap we woke up to find ourselves at the hotel, as we checked in we found out that everyone had their own room a treat for some, but most of the west girls ended up all sleeping in the same room anyway, didn’t want to spend our last night alone. That night a few girls decided to wander downtown to find a club, with no luck they came back and went to bed. That night sleep was a good one knowing in a few more hours we would be home and in our own beds.

Nicole Prokop


Aug 9th  

Nicole saying goodbye to teammate Nicole
at the Frankfurt airport


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