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Polar Bears Ringette Tour 2012

The 2012 tour includes the following athletes:

Athletes:

Name City, PR
   
   

Team Staff:

Name City, PR
Tanis Humphrey Stratford, ON
   

 



Monday, 23 July 2012 and Tuesday, 24 July 2012


After endless sleeps and numerous emails from Tanis, Monday finally arrived. Cathy and I drove to the Halifax International Airport and boarded the flight for Toronto. The flight went smoothly and we both enjoyed the in flight movie "The Lorax".

We landed in Toronto and first met up with Kim who had arrived from an earlier flight. We then met up with Tanis and the girls, Sam, Paige and Brooke followed later by Emma and her mom Shirley. Poor Tanis had to empty her bag because it was over weight. This was due to having so much clothing for our friends in The Czech Republic and Finland. We were also carrying gear for Christie and Emily who were already in Europe. After the excess clothing was distributed in other bags, we then boarded the flight to Reykjavik.


Our plane was named after a volcano in Iceland which is the norm for traveling on Icelandic Air. It was called the Hengill. We stayed on the Tarmac for 20 minutes longer than expected due to thunderstorms at the Airport which therefore made us late for our connecting flight to Munich.

After landing in Reykavik, we were rushed through customs and just made it to our connecting flight to Munich. They informed us that they were waiting for our group so fortunately, our group was large enough to warrant the extra waiting time. Our plane this time was named after the Icelandic Volcano "Skjaldbreidur". It was not long before everyone was snoozing and trying to catch up on the lack of sleep. Some of the girls had now been on a plane for more than 8 hours and we had to each our destination. However, everyone was in good spirits and excited to be on our way. On the plane, we were served an Icelandic breakfast food called "Skyr" which is similar to our yogurt but theirs is a little heavier consistency.

Radek, our tour guide, met us at the Munich and now it was Tuesday already. We also met Mike, our bus driver who loaded our luggage and gear on to our bus. We had lots of room on the bus for everyone and each person was able to stretch out on the seats if they wanted.

We then proceeded to drive to our hotel called "Hotel Bristol"' freshened up, and went downtown searching for the Birk Store and everyone roamed around shopping and taking in the sights of downtown Munich.

We then met up with Dom and Lisa and Christie and were waiting for Emily to arrive the next morning. We went to supper at a restaurant downtown and returned early to catch up on a much needed good night's sleep.


Coach Liz

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012


Today after an early morning and breakfast at the hotel we headed off to the Allianz Soccer arena (home of the FC Bayern Munchen Club) for a guided tour of the entire arena, including the home and visiting dressing rooms and interview rooms. We even got to strt the hallway where the players enter the field and hear the official song. We then did some shopping at the official team store and then left for the Dachu Concentration Camp. Before reaching the camp we stopped in the town of Dachu and had lunch at an Italian pizza restaurant, which was delicious. After lunch we spent about an hour looking around the Concentration Camp and watching a documentary film about the WWII Concentration Camps. Later, we returned to the hotel Bristol in Munich where some of us rested in the hotel until supper and some went downtown to do some shopping. Everyone met up for and we left for supper at one of Munich's oldest breweries the Hofbrauhaus Munchien.
After supper and a few beers we headed back to the hotel to get ready
for another early morning.

Paige Nelson


Thursday 26th, July 2012

Today we moved on to our next destination, Prague, Czech Republic. We had an early morning and started with a fairly good breakfast. We said our goodbyes to Germany and the attractive boys.

Most of us slept on the bus ride and we stopped along the way for lunch. When we got to Prague we visited a brewery where we shared laughs and drinks and toured the facility.
After a nice dinner we headed to the arena for our first and only practice, where we met up with the Swedish girls who were playing with us for the tournament. Practice went well for not ever playing with each other, and it felt good to get on the ice. Then after a long day we checked into our hotel and hit the hay.

Brooke Kalbhen

 


Friday July 27th, 2012

Today was day one of the Czech Challenge Cup and was the day we would find out what our team was made of as this was our first game that we were playing together since meeting each other a few days ago. After a barn burning tie against the Jarvenpaa team, who was from Finland, and a tough loss against the Purple Chicks team, who were also from Finland, our team was starting to build chemistry with each other both on and off the ice.

After our first game, the team travelled to the Ruckl Crystal Factory where we toured the factory to see how vases, glasses, fine china and other items are made. It was interesting and entertaining to watch the workers first forming the glass into various items and then watching different workers etch designs into the glass. Needless to say none of us have the skills or steady hands necessary to do this type of work and will stick to playing ringette.

During the second game, my defence partner Sam got injured and as a precaution, Sam, Radek and I went to the hospital while the rest of the team had dinner. It was quite interesting to see what hospitals in Czech Republic look like (imagine walls painted in peach, yellow and white with white doors that look like fridge doors from the 1960's
that make it seem that you are about to walk into a walk-in-freezer).

Our evening consisted of everyone sitting in the lobby of the hotel on our various electronic devices getting our wifi fix.

Lisa Rausch


Saturday July 28, 2012

Today we had a full packed day planned and we were all excited to play our second day of the tourney, visit the Prague Castle and end the day with the tournament party which was a dinner cruise.

Our first game was against a young Finnish team where we continued to battle as the score went back and forth and ended in a tie. By the end of the game, the team started to come together.

After the first game we quickly went over to the mall across the street and grabbed some food so we could refuel for the next game which was starting shortly.

Our second game was against the Purple Chicks from Finland and we played a strong and fast first period. Unfortunately the opponents were bigger and stronger than us and we took a loss.

After the second game we had lunch in the arena restaurant.

Once our bellies were full again, we were taken to the Prague Castle where we were to have a walking tour which lasted about 2.5 hours.

The Prague Castle is beautiful. The group enjoyed the view of the buildings within Prague Castle along with the view of the village down below. It is spectacular.

Some of the group ended up taking a different route and stayed a little longer in Prague before coming back together for their dinner on the dinner cruise with all teams from the tournament.

Emma and Shirley Padalino

 


Sunday, July 29th, 2012
We finished the tournament on a high note, by beating both the Slovakia and France teams. Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough points to bring home some hardware, but we had a great time playing against 4 Finnish teams, Slovakia and France. We ended in 4th place.

Since we were all quite tired from 6 games, early mornings and a party the night before, we had a rest at the hotel after shipping our gear to Finland. Once we were rested, we took the Metro (subway) to the Museum area where we had a team dinner and then had time for shopping before heading back to hotel.

We got our bags all ready for another day of travelling the next day.

Emma and Shirley Padalino

Monday, July 30th, 2012 and Tuesday, July 31st, 2012


 Chrishy Pylypjuk

 


Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

 


Samantha Noy

 

 


Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 and Friday August 3rd, 2012





Our day started off early. The cruise ship docked in Helsinki and we disembarked at around 8am. Once off the ship, we were greeted by a local tour guide who took us on a 2 hour bus tour of Helsinki. We got to visit famous attractions which included the Stone church and the
Olympic stadium. After the tour, we headed to the hotel where Kalle
(one of our tournament guides) was waiting to greet us. We had lunch together then we had some free time on our own in Helsinki. Some of the girls decided to spend their time at the market, others ended up at a candy shop. I took advantage of the hotel's laundry room and did some washing. While I was waiting for my laundry loads to finish, I took a stroll around our hotel to explore the area. Our hotel is situated by the water and the surrounding area is very lovely.

Dinner was on our own. Many of the girls ended up eating at a delicious Greek restaurant. It was, however, a sad night. Christy had to pack to fly back to Canada on short notice because of a emergency at the hospital where she works. We decided to go out for a few drinks with her before she had to leave. At 4am, we said our goodbyes and she left for the airport.

Tomorrow we play our first game in the Finland Lion's cup. I think
everyone is excited to begin the tournament.

Go Polar Bears Go!

Dom aka Domingo

 


Friday, August 3rd, 2012



Today we left Helsinki for Turku. It was a 2 hour drive which gave us
time to catch up on much needed sleep. Once we arrived in Turku we had a guided bus tour of the city. We learned that Turku was the capital of Finland but in 1827 the city burnt down and the capital was moved to Helsinki. After the tour, we checked into our hotel and heading for lunch. While eating we had the pleasure of meeting two teams from Hamilton who would also be playing in the tournament. Once we were done chatting with our new friends, we had free time before having to leave for our first game. Lisa and I decided to rest up however we were both nervous and anxious because we were playing later that we didn't get much sleep. Finally the time came to depart for the arena.

Linda, our Swedish teammate, had met up with us at the hotel and we were going to meet our four Finnish teammates at the arena. The girls were all excited to meet our new players and couldn't wait to see them in action. Our first game of the tournament was against Ilves, a Finnish team. Once we started playing and got over the initial jitter bugs, there was no stopping us. The girls won the game 10-5 and played very well. Excited about the victory we headed back to the hotel.
Can't wait for tomorrow!

Let's do it again.

Dom

 


Saturday, August 4, 2012… Day two of the Finland Lion’s Cup Tournament.






Well… this will take me twice as long to write this, due to an unfortunate turn of events… which I will explain momentarily. Now,
you might be thinking two things:

1. How do you know it will take you twice as long, and;

2. This is neither evident nor important to the reader because each person will read at their own pace anyways.

My response would be that I did not merely make up the ratio of twice but in fact, I calculated it by completing a typing speed test, and scoring a speed of 39 words per minute, which is 50 percent slower then normal. And you’re totally right about the second comment, so let me get to the point.

Day two of the Finland Lions Cup Tournament has been completed. We started off the day by playing against a fellow Canadian team, based out of Hamilton, Ontario. Then we ended our round-robin play against a local Finnish team from Turku. The results of both games were the same; wins. This places us in first for our pool with an advancement to the semi-finals tomorrow. (Can I hear a woot woot!) However, this is where I will refer back to the beginning of this post, as I came out of the second game with a broken hand. Unfortunately I was not the only one with an injury and our bench was quickly shortened to 8 skaters. Unlucky.

We had the rest of the afternoon to enjoy more of the former capital, so all of the teams involved in the tournament piled into a bus and headed to a beach. Yes, I know you might be thinking; it’s Finland, which has coordinates of around 64° 00' N and 26° 00' E, so it’s pretty far North, and thus cold! But oh no, there are beaches and you can go swimming in the Baltic Sea. Some did… but our girls didn’t. We still had a nice relaxing time, eating dinner and taking some pictures as the sun was setting (although we only saw the beginning of this as it doesn’t fully set until about 22:00 during this time of year).

Big day tomorrow. The polar bears are going to have even more fans tomorrow as Emma and I will join the squad in the stands. But we can cheer loud – and we will – as our team gives it their all to leave blood sweat and tears on the ice (okay, maybe a little less dramatic).
Semi-finals ladies: GIVE’ER.

Emily Mountjoy


Sunday, August 5th, 2012



On this very intense and important day, we woke up early and started off the day with breakfast at the hotel and packing. We prepared ourselves, to play Hamilton Heat, by doing our very vigorous and pumpin warm up, which was our usual dance circle. After losing 2 more players in our game against Turku, we tried to keep our confidence and determination up with just the 8 skaters we had. Hamilton started off with a quick 2 goal lead but we settled the ring down and came out with a 4-3 win to advance to the gold medal game.

After the game, the 4 Finnish girls on our team surprised us with a bag of chocolate, chips, and a little polar bear in Finland hoodie as a thanks for having them on the team. We decided to relax and clear our heads before our big game by getting away from the rink. We had a wonderful cat nap on the lawn of the church in Turku, and the grass was quite comfortable!

The game before ours was running late so we decided to kill some time by taking a few team pictures in the dressing room. We were all very nervous because we we're still down a lot of players but we believed in ourselves. Lisa focuses us before every game by starting off our cheer and we yell "Give 'Er!!". Our game felt even more important because we lined up on the blue line and they played O'Canada and the finnish national anthem. The game was very closely matched but we started off with a 1-0 lead against the Blue Rings. They came back to tie it 1-1 but we quickly took the game with a score of 2-1. We were so excited that we won! We each got a medal and the team got a nice big trophy. We took a picture with the Blue Rings and did a victory lap, each taking a turn kissing the trophy we worked so hard to get with our very small team.

We all said good bye to the Finnish girls and Linda, and got on a bus to head back to Helsinki. On the bus we had a victory drink to celebrate. Needless to say, it was a long, tiring, very reward filled day!

Kim Heacock


Monday, August 6th, 2012





The poplar started the day off by taking a ferry to Suomenlinna Island Fortress , where we had a tour guide take us around the islands giving us the history of the Fortress. We learned how the fortress changed hands over the years.

Upon returning to Helsinki we had time on our own to shop in the market. We checked out of the hotel to head to our cruise ship Silja Serenade. During our supper on the ship we hosted the cup in celebration of us winning the Finland Lions Cup. We also celebrate by doing karaoke in the New York bar. The songs preformed was Celebration and Proud Mary.

When we woke up we were in Stockhom.

Coach Cathy

 


Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 and Wednesday August 8th, 2012


 

 

 

 

Manager Tanis



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