Monday, July 1, 2019

Bookings and Plans

Back home and back at work . Well not particularly today as it’s Canada Day πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ here so we all get the day off and of course on theses long weekend weeks in my industry there is usually less jobs booked around long weekends so I have the next week off to get ready for my trip to Minnesota to go watch Aston Villa play Minnesota United in a soccer ⚽️ friendly . Travelling to the States now is murder for us Canadians and our flailing dollar but it’s a must when my favourite team visits the continent . If you haven’t realized I’ve had my issues writing on my last couple trips as my posts have gone missing using this app and really I’m coming to my wits end and I might have to just start my own website and carry on .... in the mean time I am still planning future trips and after Minnesota the next planned trip is to Turkmenistan πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡²! 

This Turkmenistan trip has been in the works for some time now and I am really excited to join the Friendship Hockey League on this exciting journey which just so happens to be near my birthday . Flights are not booked yet as I am using my Aeroplan points to do this one and as I juggle dates by adding a kickoff in Istanbul with the Tanzmanian Devil 😈 himself who is also coming to Ashgabat . I have a hockey buddy that I met in Macedonia years ago named Tarik Gocmen who is very well connected in Turkish ice hockey circles who has told us we can get on the ice while we are there . As you see above there is a flyer for a tournament in Kazakhstan πŸ‡°πŸ‡Ώ which is just after my stay in Ashgabat and it starts on my birthday so why not go there also ??? So I signed up πŸ₯³ honestly I don’t think I have ever heard of Fox Ice Hockey Cup which is a surprise but the organizer seems to be very well organized so far and has been very helpful . If anyone is looking to come to Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan then please follow the links provided and ask the questions you need to ask to make it happen . I am pretty sure I will be on a team of individuals in Kazakhstan at the tournament so there should not be high expectations hahaha ! 

Let’s hope work keeps me busy so I can pay for all this stuff ! Countries #41,42,43 would look nice on my stick bag .... I’m keeping this short and sweet in the hopes that the app doesn’t delete another long post that I put so much time into 😒

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tucson to Sedona

Yesterday was a long day , for me at least as I had to wake up and get ready for my 4 hour drive from Tucson to Sedona which we decided to stop over at on our way to The Grand Canyon . First we need to fuel up and I don’t mean the car ... gimme that coffee ! Can I have a grande flat white please ? The person obliged my request downstairs in the casino at the Starbucks at the ungodly hour we are waking up at 🀨 we both did a last lap of the premises and headed back to our room to pack up and leave . While packing Kathleen showed me two winning tickets she had from the slots and said what are we gonna do with this ? She had two tickets , one was for like 12 cents and the other was for around 65 cents . Basically if you’ve never played the slots I will quickly explain . When you win you can cash out and the machine prints out a ticket which you can take to the cash out booth where you hand in the ticket and the person in the secured booth gives you your winnings OR you can put that ticket into another machine and play your winnings . Ticket goes in same slot where you can also put cash . Cashing these small tickets would be almost as embarrassing as posting a topless picture of yourself posing as an MMA fighter lol 😝. So when she showed me the tickets I said , let’s give one more go on the way out and toss in $5 and leave . Sure ! After cleaning up double checking that we didn’t leave anything in the room and checking out we went to the van and dropped our bags and walked back into the casino with our very small winning tickets and a couple bucks to burn in hand and searched for a lucky machine . Kathleen spotted a slot machine with gorillas 🦍 on it and I looked at her and said let me guess .... you want to play this one because Ellen Degeneres loves gorillas and you love her show ? Kathleen responded with a yes and we sat down and fed the machine . Now I’m not kidding when I say that a few plays in we won !!! As we sat there and the machine was going crazy I was calculating it would cash out to something like $20 and we both decided we should just cash out and hit the road and when we pressed that cash out button the ticket began printing and to our amazement we had won a whopping $81.20 . I know it’s not a million bucks but it sure did cover a bunch of stuff we had paid for in the last few days . Both of us had huge shit eating grins on our faces as we walked out of the casino with our heads held high . We were both extremely happy with our 5 minutes that we spent to win this money on a whim . We jumped into the van and drove straight to the fanciest breakfast joint we could (McDonalds ) and splurged on a pretty gross breakfast hahaha ! I’m not gonna get into how badly the McDonald’s employee messed up my order . This is a McHappy story . 

Nothing crazy happened on the ride to Sedona as 4 hours of driving is nothing for me as I do drive a truck for a living . The scenery drastically changed the more north we went . All those cacti 🌡 disappeared and the landscape was covered in grass and smaller brush which sucks because I wanted to get a pic in front of one of those massive cacti . I had to gas up when we got close to Sedona and stopped at a random station where the pump first told me to lift and start gassing up , then it said please enter credit or debit card πŸ’³. The machine then asked for my zip code ? What if I don’t have a zip code ? I put in a random number and it didn’t want to accept it . How stupid is this shit ? I walk into service station and talk to the attendant who says I can prepay and I said honestly this van is a rental , I’m not from here and I have no clue how many gallons this vehicle takes because I’m used to litres and the brain surgeon behind the counter was little miss know it all . I wanted to choke her with her stupid attitude , I didn’t but I wanted to πŸ€” it was one of those situations where I thought to myself ... if you’re so brilliant then why are you working at a gas station ? Anyways I sorted that , got the van gassed and didn’t choke anyone . Mission success ! Back on the road we go ... 

We made our way into Sedona and almost immediately realized this is a massive tourist trap . This is just like a ski town with everything overpriced and townies that aren’t from here . You know that person that travelled here 20 years ago , found a job and never left. That’s Sedona ! As nice as the view is here I would not suggest coming here and staying for more then a night . We found our way to our motel which has an amazing view and is directly on the main strip but is really overpriced just as everything else is here . We got room 31 at The Matterhorn ... our room is decent but the bed is lumpy and I can tell you now that I did not sleep well on it and I woke up questioning if the place is haunted or not . I had some crazy ass nightmares and when I woke up the lights were on in the room .... at first I told myself that Kathleen might have switched them on but then she rolled over and asked me why I turned the light on .... yup not sleeping anymore , time to start writing and plan an escape route if I hear , see or feel anything weird . As much as I’ve always wanted to experience the super natural I would definitely run like the wind if it did happen . Before all this happened we actually dropped our bags and went for a beer . 

Kathleen found a dispensary and I know it’s not legal here but I could go for a spliff . It’s legal in my country and I’m on holiday πŸ€ͺso we walked over only to find out they only sell to people with medical cards . Before I left the place I told them to get with the times and make it recreational and the guys laughed but still wouldn’t sell me any . Oh well ther is a brewery right here also so time to sit and chug back a pint at the Sedona brewery . They had a rye PA ... it was good and hoppy and had just the right amount of rye flavour to it and would have gone well with a nice smoke as we watched all the people filing in and out of the dispensary coming out with big smiles and white paper bags full of goodies . It smelled nice around there . Oh well , time to wander and see all the tourist shops . Everywhere is busy on the strip as tourists flock to this town to see the sights and do outdoorsy type stuff like hiking . All the shops we walked into had happy and friendly employees which was nice and we found ourselves getting hungry . There is a pizza joint across the road that we have a 15% off coupon for so we tried it out and the pizza was pretty darn good . As we walked into every shop after we had realized that everyone was handing these discount cards to go eat and this restaurant must make a killing off this type of advertising . Again this large amount of carb intake had its effect on me and I needed a nap 😴 I’m getting so bloated from carbs and it’s making me tired . 

When I awoke from my nap I felt refreshed and got ready to go for dinner but both of us were not really hungry so we opted for ice cream instead . Most of the town closes pretty early and as the dark settled everyone began going home . This has always been a pet peeve of mine while travelling but there is no way to control this and I have to settle for the mediocrity that is handed to me . We found a very busy ice cream parlour poem called The Black Cow and we got our dessert settled as we both enjoyed our sundaes out front on a bench before going for a stroll to see the town when it’s not packed with tourists . Nothing wild going on here , the bars seem tame and the few restaurants that remain open really make a killing off everywhere else being closed  . I could go for some food but I’m not gonna finish a full meal and go to bed stuffed . There is definitely a lack of excitement in Sedona and we opt to get to our room and plan out our next day which includes this Pink Jeep Tour and driving further north to the Grand Canyon . Time to go to bed πŸ›Œ. Hopefully the next hotel has a comfier bed in a room with lights that don’t turn on by themselves in the middle of the night πŸ‘» 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Combate Americas 39

Weighing in at 215 and competing for his first time in the hotel room in Tucson , Arizona and hailing from Toronto , Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ welcome to the room Adrian “el drunko “ Mizzi !!!! 

Don’t laugh too hard ok πŸ€ͺ I might regret posting this for the rest of my life but right now I even think this is funny . Let’s just say I had a great time last night watching Combate Americas here in Tucson . Now let me tell you how this day ended up like this .... as you know I am travelling around Arizona with Kathleen for her birthday and we both love watching mixed martial arts and the only place I would ever want to chuck knuckles is on the ice and watching pugilists duke it out is the limit for me . There is no way I should ever be in a ring lol 😝. When we woke up here at Casino del Sol we immediately went for a coffee down at Starbucks which is in the hotel/casino and we decided to laze around the pool for a bit and go for a dip before grabbing a bite to eat . We did a bit of wandering while the casino was quiet and threw a couple bucks in the slots also ... I’m not much of a gambler and of course I lost my money but whatever . As we wandered we decided to move our van closer to the entrance and went to a convenience store only to be amazed by all the selection of different flavours of our favourite snacks and grabbed some for the drive the next day ( next stop is Sedona ) . 

We found out that the box office at the AVA Amphitheater opens at 4 pm and that’s the magic hour for us to pick up our VIP passes to the big event . We also realized that the amphitheater is an open air venue which is really nice especially with the nice weather here . The casino is nice and all but the smoke inside is kinda getting to me . People are allowed to smoke indoors at the casino so a little fresh air won’t hurt . After our wander we decided to go to a restaurant in the hotel called Moby which is a diner with your usual burgers and fries type of menu and if I didn’t mention is in the casino also . We have not had to leave here for any reason at all which is nice and having a nice gin and tonic with breakfast is a good start to any day lol 😝 the only knock I have about the casino is the people that all seem so unfortunate to be addicted to gambling which is kinda unattractive and did put a bit of a damper on my outlook of things here . It’s kinda sad but I got over it by the time I gobbled my burger then retreated to my room with a tummy ache πŸ˜– I am convinced that it has to do with all the carbs I’m eating . Imagine going keto for a few months then carb loading for a week ... I feel bloated and once again the time difference means a nap is very much needed . While I slept Kathleen went to the pool to chill ....

When I awoke from my slumber it was just about magic hour and with a bit of doubt in my mind we both strolled over to the box office to pick up our VIP passes . Yes I had some doubt that we would actually get these passes , I mean how crazy is it that Kathleen contacted Campbell McLaren who owns Combate Americas and she told him that she wanted to come see a fight and we are coming from Toronto only to have him respond by offering us VIP passes ? Does this seem real to you ? Kinda unreal eh ? So there was no surprise in my mind when we got to the box office and the ladies behind the window said our names are not on any lists πŸ€”.... we retreated to the bar and had a drink while Kathleen contacted Campbell and I shit you not when I say he responded and said our passes are there . Put it this way , he responded so quickly that we had not even got half way through our drink ! Kathleen went back to the box office while I nursed my g & t and we she returned she had a big smile and two VIP passes !!! Fuckin eh !!! Fights start at 7 and we were told to get there early to get seats in the VIP section . 

We decided to go throw some more money in the slots and test our luck . Kathleen has the magic touch today and walked away a winner while I just fed the machine my money . The last machine we hit up was a monopoly slot machine and Kathleen walked away with $65 in winnings and we called it a night as we wanted to have another drink while watching the Toronto Raptors play in the NBA Finals . I’m not a fan of basketball but I’m a bit excited at the prospect of having my home town team win a championship . The game tipped off at 6 pm so we watched a bit and left to go get our coveted seats . When we got to the AVA amphitheater which is also right beside the casino/hotel we were guided to the stage and grabbed seats right at the corner and grabbed a couple drinks and began watching the fights . We soon realized that we were sitting amongst the fighters with their families . Jose Alday who is one of the main event fighters was sitting right beside us for most of the match . It was crazy 😜 and I’m sure everyone was wondering who the fuck these two gringos are as everyone was speaking Spanish around us and clearly we are not Mexican ...maybe with a bit of tanning I can look almost Mexican but I’m sure my Blue Jays baseball cap gave it away that we were a couple crazy canucks hahaha ! 

The fights were all amazing with little to no wrestling involved and that’s why we really enjoy watching Combate at home and wanted to see this live . The fella that owns this company was the original owner of UFC and he is not a fan of fighters lying down and wrestling each other for the whole fight and he has stated that on numerous occasions .... this is more of a stand up and fight for your life kinda event and it didn’t let us down . Every single fight we watched was entertaining with all the fighters giving it their all and then coming to stand right beside us to get interviewed which was kinda neat . The only thing I kinda wanted was a merch table to buy a T-shirt and get a poster for home which they did not have unfortunately and I kept looking around to see if I missed it or walked by it and didn’t notice it but I didn’t and it wasn’t meant to be .... don’t get me wrong , it didn’t sully the event one bit . As the night went on and the giant cans of Tecate were downed I noticed Tito Ortiz at the event . Hold up , you don’t know who Tito Ortiz is ? He’s a fucking legend in mixed martial arts and he has just signed on to fight in Combate Americas which is huge . Next thing you know he is shaking my hand and I’m talking to him ... yeah holy crap . He was probably wondering who we were also hahaha ! I wish I got a picture with him but in true Canadian fashion I did not want to be a bother and just relished the idea of meeting him which I’m still happy about . 

After the last fights were over we witnessed some animosity between a couple fighters which didn’t get out of hand but I would really like to see them go at it as there were a few choice words that were spit at eachother with a venomous bite . As the amphitheater emptied out we met one of the fellas that works for Combate and we had a chat and mentioned the lack of merch table and he graciously gave Kathleen a T-shirt and gave me the gloves which I drunkenly tried on in my room afterwards ( as seen at top of blog ) . All we can talk about amongst ourselves is how gracious Campbell McLaren has been to us and how amazing his staff are at doing it the right way . We are already planning to travel for another event and would gladly pay for a seat to watch a fight in another city , it was such a cool experience being amongst the fighters in a foreign country and having that feeling of acceptance amongst them as everyone did speak to us and we all had a good time together . Maybe it was all the beer that made me feel this good ? Who knows ... but what I do know is that I will do this again and I will have a great time . If you wanna see some good fights don’t think twice and check out Combate Americas and if you have a subscription for DAZN then watch it on there . I’m so glad I have that subscription because if not we probably would have never found ourselves sitting on a stage in a VIP area in Arizona watching MMA . 

After the fights we went back to the casino and grabbed some Mexican food and swigged one more drink before calling it a night . The fighters were all at the bar celebrating their accomplishments and we were knackered and retreated to our room . This 3 hour time difference is having its effect on me and that’s when I ended up drunk posing with my new fight gloves on posing topless and punching things .... oh drunky Adrian hahaha ! What a great day πŸ₯³

Friday, June 7, 2019

Tucson or bust ?

First of all let me tell you all that you never get used to changing time zones and that is why I’m up at 5 am in Arizona . Some people say they do but there is a firm reason as to why I arrived here yesterday and passed out before 10 pm local time and that’s because it was almost 1 am on my watch which by all standards is way later then what I’m used to . I’m getting old and those early mornings are more for coffee then going to bed these days . 

Getting here yesterday was not super easy as we had to wake up bright and early to get packed and head to the airport which was a breeze aside from being chosen for extra inspection at security and no I didn’t get the full inspection πŸ˜› no rubber gloves were needed but it’s made me start thinking about what these foreign countries have against me ? I am never able to check in online and I always get pulled into security ... ok not always but it seems to be acceptably normal for me now . I remember how pissed off I used to get and now I just roll with it and go through the motions . Is it because I travel so much or because of the countries I visit ? Who knows but if that’s the case wait til they find out I’m going to Turkmenistan lol πŸ˜‚ I’m sure that elusive cavity search might be around the corner 😬 

We had seats at the back of the plane and the flight was full ... I popped on my Netflix and watched the Wanda Sykes standup which was pretty good and then watched Lego Movie 2 which was interesting as I’ve worked on a commercial this past year with Will Arnett and I was dying to ask him to say “I’m Batman “ ! I would have died if he did but you can’t just ask actors to perform for you when trying to be professional on set .... or maybe I can . Anyways I was entertained on the flight and when we arrived in Phoenix the first thing I wanted to do was to get a SIM card for my phone so I can use my GPS while driving here . I’ve always heard how dirt cheap it is here and I was blown away to find out that was wrong !!! I went to a shop and was offered two options .... one had 5 gigs and that was $65 USD which is way more then what I pay at home and the other was unlimited for $100 USD which is ridiculous times ten . I guess Rogers (my provider) will have to do at $7 CDN per day , may I add that I hate my provider or will it ruin any possible sponsorship opportunities ? At his point I’m sure it will and won’t and who cares ... money grubbing scum πŸ˜‘ so that didn’t work the way I expected and I have no time to run around pricing SIM cards out so we head to our car rental place which we need to get a shuttle bus to go to and when we arrive they were super friendly there . We rented a surprise vehicle from Dollar Rental  which I’ve never used before and the premise is that you get whatever car they give you and it will be automatic .... of course my luck puts me in a mini van just like the ones I used to drive as a production assistant which works for me ... we sort out the gps in the vehicle and only made one mistake driving to our first destination which of course is the Puma outlet so I can get me some new kicks ! I love Puma shoes and I’m always buying new shoes while travelling .

After buying my new red Puma kicks I jumped back behind the steering wheel and headed to Tucson which was almost a two hour drive and boy oh boy was I dying for an alcoholic beverage when we finally arrived at Casino del Sol in Tucson which happens to be where the Combate Americas event will be held tomorrow . I can get drunk and stumble back to my room after the fights yay ! Too bad we had just missed the weigh ins but we saw some of the fighters in the lobby and were too chicken to approach them as we were still getting our bearings on the situation . I almost forgot to mention that when we arrived here we saw a road runner in the parking lot before finding out that the hotel thought we were supposed to be here on June 9 instead of June 6 .... hearing that damn near made me shit myself and luckily we had a print out of the receipt which we always carry on us . Better to be safe then sorry . Apparently the hotel is full but they had a room for us ...does that make sense ? Sure whatever ... we got our room which is really big and super comfy and then finally we decided it was time for a drink. When we got to the casino we went straight to the bar and watched the rest of the Blues/Bruins game and I was happy to see Boston lose πŸ₯³ and I quenched my thirst with a lovely local IPA called Dragoon and it had some serious kick . Either that stuff has date rape drugs in it or the alcohol content is like 9% regardless I will likely have a couple more of those today hahaha ! 

With a good buzz going we then headed to the Mexican restaurant for some food and we gorged ourselves with carbs and whatever we could get our hands on . I’ve been on this keto diet for months now and I’m losing tons of weight but this week I’m probably gonna put it back on as everything goes while I’m travelling . No exercise, no diet and best of all no work ! The margarita I had with dinner put me over the edge and as I mentioned earlier that jet lag had its effect and by 10 pm I was fast asleep 😴. It’s a beautiful day out today and I should proebably hit the pool while my swimming trunks still fit me hahaha ! We are both enjoying the Casino del Sol and would highly suggest staying here if you are ever in this neck of the desert 🌡 I think today I will get drunk and try hugging a cactus . 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Arizona Trip

Hope you all love this pic I just snapped of myself . Take a guess where I am and if I’m happy or not ? 

I know I never finished writing about my last trip and let’s just say I didn’t want to get too negative to end off an amazing journey . And let’s just say I won’t fly through India again . For no reason , no way , never ! Those of you that have read my ramblings before know I can be a bit of a moaner and I’m trying to steer away from that negative approach to writing my blog . My guess is you’re wondering right now why I’m going to Arizona and why I’m not on my way to the Philippines .... well originally I was supposed to fly away on my girlfriends birthday to go play ice hockey for a German team I used to play for all the time but then I’m not sure what happened as the plan originally was to go to Kenya and then we gave up on that as the locals were trying to rip us off for ice time and we all decided to go to the tournament in Manila instead . This was decided and there is a message thread to prove it all where I said count me in and I told the organizer I would finalize and pay for when I got back from Australia and the minute I landed I wanted to pay but was then faced with some bullshit and some lies which basically left me without a team . Pretty shitty on that German teams behalf but let’s just say I won’t be bothering with them again anyways . A female goalie was picked instead of me and I’m sure the prospect of having relations with this other goalie had nothing to do with this decision which in the long run ended up that this team lost their female goalie and the team they merged with asked me to play for them lol 😝 by this time my decision to go to Arizona with Kathleen was made and here I am . 

It’s Kathleen’s birthday this coming Monday and we will be at the Grand Canyon celebrating with no hockey πŸ’, it’s not my birthday or it would be all hockey hahaha . Both of us have never been to Arizona and we have travelled all over the United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ and when we were looking for a destination Arizona was both our first picks but we needed a reason to go .... are the Jays in town ? Is there a big concert ? Hmmm nothing came up on our initial searches . One night we were watching Combate Americas which is an MMA company owned by former UFC owner Campbell McLaren which we have watched on numerous occasions on my DAZN app and we’ve always enjoyed the fights and the commentary . That night we found out that Combate 39 will be in Tucson the weekend of Kathleen’s birthday and we immediately jumped head first into the idea of going and began researching things to do and building an itinerary . During that one  broadcast Campbell McLaren gave out his personal phone number and I urged Kathleen to message him saying we will visit from Toronto to watch the fights live . To both of our amazement he responded ? Yeah no shit ! Not only did we get a response but we were also invited to be guests of Campbell McLaren with VIP passes . I know you’re wondering WTF lol 😝 . No joke. This story is real and this is why we are both sitting on a plane as I right this on way to Phoenix where I will jump into our rental vehicle and drive to Tucson . As much as I say this is not hockey related you can bet your bottom dollar that if I come across anything hockey related I will be all over it like white on rice . 

Plane is about to depart now but stay tuned for more pictures and stories over the next week . 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Adelaide Challenge Cup Championship Day

I can’t believe how time flies . This actually took place over two weeks ago now and I’m back home reminiscing over a day that definitely had its ups and downs . As I mentioned in my last post , I took it easy that night at Strats and really did stick to my self imposed curfew because to start the day off I had a massive semi final match for the B squad I’m playing for which is the home club , Adelaide Tigers 🐯. They are in it to win it and are playing for all the marbles and we have to face a team that has previously competed in the A division at this tournament and rumours do go around about how they have this guy and we should worry about that guy and basically the best thing to do going into one of these games is to not be worried about the players you have to face but instead worry about yourself ! Stick to the game plan and stay focused . The game before us was the other semi final match between the ADF Strike and Beijing North Stars and I got to the rink early enough to watch that game and man oh man was Trevor on fire that day . He was a wall out there for his squad that faced the same adversity every other team put on them after we solved them out ... take out their sniper and they don’t have much chance . I had to get to my dressing room to get ready for my game and we half heartedly all were listening to the other game as the cheers and jeers floated from an almost packed arena . Our room was preparing for our task at hand as the guys went over lines and plays that they had concocted as our dressing room leaders all stepped up and made their speeches . When we were all dressed we stepped out the room to watch the final minutes of the other semi and to my relief I knew I wouldn’t have to face the tough task of out duelling Trevor once again . As much as I felt bad for him I was more happy to have to face the team that had been the only team to defeat our semi final foes which should prove to be a tough task but first things first ..... Canterbury Kings . 

When the puck was dropped you could tell we were all ready to go and we struck first with the go ahead goal that we would never turn back from ! It was intense as the crowd began to grow in anticipation for the championship games to follow . The team we faced were no slouches as they pressed for an equalizer but we went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead . The bench was pumped but knew we would have to knuckle down to win this one and when the second period started we pumped a second goal in to go up 2-0 and our opponents turned it up a notch and soon broke my shutout and tied it up soon after that . We responded to their two goals in that frame by adding a third which seemed to be the nail in the coffin as our opponents began to seem more and more frustrated and began taking penalties . We also took our fair share of minutes in the box but the controlling factor was my teams composure . Going into the third we had that 3-2 lead and when the third began the Kings came out hard .... I mean really hard , like throw everything at us including the kitchen sink hard ! I have to admit my teammates played excellent defence and kept the puck to the outside for that whole time they swarmed us then we had our chance and took advantage of it . The nail in the coffin ⚰️. After we went up 4-2 the Kings gave it their all but they seemed tired and worn down and defeated . I’m sure they didn’t expect to lose but they did . We have a championship game to play and as crazy as this sounds , it’s right after my championship game for the Sniperz . Basically I have to play one game and win or lose I will have to go to the next room and get back on the ice . Two championships for two teams in two divisions in the same tournament . 

I had little to no time to do much between games but I did find the time to rush back to the hotel throw my wet gear outside to dry out in the crappy windy weather we were experiencing this day . Yeah why couldn’t it be sunny ☀️. I put my jersey and clothes I would wear in the dryer and took a quick snooze . All I can hope for is that my gear dries off a bit before I have to wear them for my back to back championship matches . When I woke up which honestly I wouldn’t even say I slept during that time as I was way too excited . I gathered my stuff and went with Nonny back to the rink to get ready for our championship game in the C division vs. a team called Aussie Heat . They seemed to have the same record as us and matched us in the scoring and defensive departments . This won’t be easy and when we arrived we noticed that the arena was pretty packed . Now I’m no idiot but if you ask me , we won’t be the favoured team on the ice this match as we are not locals . Well for the most part :) we do have locals on the squad but the team is from Okinawa . 

We got to use the Adelaide Falcons dressing room as their weekend had come to an abrupt end and were not using it and that room was nice but was wierd as we had to go down a set of stairs to get to . When I got tot he room I sat beside my buddy Brandon Bailey and we chatted about some things as we got dressed and then we got up to watch the end of the women’s final which one of our team mates was playing in for the Pro Look women’s team and we all thought they would win as they went undefeated all tournament . Cheyenne came to the room with a feeling of disappointment as her team lost to the Valkyries 2-1 in a nail biter 😒 I felt bad for her and then it occurred to me that losing this game would be my first loss of the tournament .... how much would that suck to play all week and absolutely dominate to get all the way to this point and then lose ?  It can happen .... 

We were prepared with a full lineup aside from missing Craig Meharry which we could have used but the rest of the squad are no slouches and the team fully agreed to shorten the bench if need be . When we got on the ice you could tell the crowd had filled even more as teams getting eliminated were joining in to watch and I don’t know if they were friends or foes of the Sniperz but I sure as hell know the majority were cheering for the Aussie Heat . When the puck dropped we seemed too nervous as the guys all gripped their sticks a bit too tight and immediately I could tell we weren’t playing the game we had played all week .... maybe it was us ? Maybe it was the pressure from the opposition ? Or maybe it was nerves .... I don’t know but immediately it seemed as though we were certain to be outshot and outplayed in our own zone as we didn’t play the puck properly and turned over the puck way too easily . Our breakout was non existent and I was getting frustrated . I don’t even think 5 minutes had passed when they took a shot which I stopped and didn’t control the rebound and made that save also only to have a third skater pot the puck into a gaping net as I saw my team mates all watch going in . That killed me . I didn’t know what to do . Do I get angry with them ? Will that change things ..... well I did get angry and I don’t think it had the reaction I wanted as it seemed to make things worse . When we switched ends I didn’t say much to the bench and I do remember a certain player being angry at me for being angry at him and I could feel the teams frustrations . It was only 1-0 but that feeling of needing to get some positivity rolling was definitely not there . Unfortunately it reared it’s ugly face to begin the second period as we gave up two more quick goals and the nightmare I had wished to never happen was upon me . Losing that one game that meant everything and the lost key moment is the last thing I had wished for but I was almost ready to prepare for it after the third goal got by me . Going into the third period we were down 3-0 and I just skated across the ice as I had nothing positive to say to the guys and figured it’s best to keep my anger penned up . That’s when Brandon Bailey steppes up his game . That feeling of helplessness became a feeling of hope when I saw my buddy break the shutout and get us to within 2 goals . Before this we had little to no attack at all and I don’t know what happened by it was like having a sleeping giant awake ! That first goal sparked the whole squad and soon after Marc Daigler potted the second for ya to come within one goal of a comeback . With under two minutes left I rushed to the bench to add an extra attacker and then I saw one of our players circle back into our zone and lose the puck . One of the Heat skaters gobbled that shit up and deposited it into the empty net to put them surely ahead with a 4-2 lead . We were doomed .... or so it seemed ? I was kept on the bench and with the blink of an eye Brandon got us back to a one goal deficit and you could see us attacking like a pack of sharks that smelled blood ..... those last two minutes felt like twenty minutes and we pressed as hard as we could only to be stymied by a post and a couple lucky breaks for the opposition ..... unfortunately we lost . Our first and only loss of the tournament 😭 when we all got on the ice there was a sense of relief that we at least gave it our all and didn’t pack it in . I was proud of my team mates and we all seemed to put aside our momentary differences as we shook the victors hands and congratulated them as the crowd went wild . They definitely got their money’s worth watching this one . I would have been happy to watch it unfold also . No time to waste though .... I have another championship game to play ! 

That fuck we fucking lost feeling didn’t have time to settle before I was dragging my ass into another dressing room where my team mates were asking how we did . Yeah we lost .... I don’t think they expected that answer and at the same time they brushed it off . Time for our big match . The thought of losing two games in a row and the only two games to be lost crosses my mind and what a horrible thought that would be . I didn’t even consider the fact that Cheyenne has to deal with that and I feel bad she had to as we really should have won . It will always and forever leave a bad taste in my mouth knowing that if we woke up sooner that final game we would have , should have and could have went home with a trophy which until the end of time I will say we fully deserved . A team of misfits that really didn’t know each other came together , partied together , won together and grew together and made it all the way to the final out of 12 teams . I would be more then happy to play with this bunch again and I hope it happens next year but for now I should get back to the task at hand and that’s finishing this story ....

Now playing for the home team after playing for a team from abroad does have its differences . First of all the crowd is in your favour and by this point it was a fully packed house ! I hope I’m not exaggerating when I say there was probably around 500 + spectators for this game and the only thing you have to do is block it out . When we entered the ice the refs looked at me and said you’re back again ? Hahaha yeah what can I say I’m a glutton for punishment . This was my tenth game of the week and all I could wish and dream of was winning at least one of these championship games . When the puck dropped the crowd roared and the ADF Strike swiftly jumped into attack mode and I had to make a few saves and then we attacked and it was back and forth action until I let one in .... oh no ? Is this it ? Will I buckle now and shy away from a win ! WTF ! This isn’t really happeneing is it .... well hell no . There is no way I’m letting this happen and neither are my team mates who were there to carry the team as we struck back swiftly and tied it up 1-1 before the end of the first frame . I wasn’t playing badly but I really needed to block out that earlier game and get back to my game .... winning and stopping pucks . Half the game for a goalie is mental . Not mental as in crazy but mental as in focus , shut everything out , play the game , stop the shots and eat up the rebounds and that’s what I aimed for . Unfortunately things weren’t going my way and the second period must have left all the onlookers wondering if I was that same goalie earlier this week that was so dominant . I didn’t have my best period and gave up two goals which I would like to have back as ADF pushed hard and got what they wanted .... a 3-1 lead going into the third . I really tried to stay focused and when I got to the bench the guys reassured me that I was playing well and I guess everyone will forget about everything now but this really wasn’t great . Losing one final after making a comeback and here I am in another final down 3-1 going into the third . 

Adelaide Tigers don’t give up so easily . That third period ended up being a real barn burner as we turned up the jets and I knew that the guys in front of me would do anything and I am dead serious when I say anything to win this game and right off the bat we scored our second goal which was soon followed by a third . We were met with some opposition but I’m sure they were in awe as they watched the inevitable happen as we tied it up . It was one of those things where we seemed to solve their goalie and get in his head and it felt like every opportunity lead to a goal as the ADF Strike team buckled under the pressure . We were fierce and then the magic happened ... I made a routine save which I steered towards the corner and Joey MacDougall ( hope I got the right guy ) picked the puck up off the boards and just fucking gave it his all and barreled his way up the boards cut in on goal and totally undressed their goalie to put us up 4-3 . That was amazing πŸ˜‰ it blew my mind how amazing that play was and how great this team can play . Soon after the pressure mounted against us and that’s when I heard the stands erupt .... the whole ice shook like an earthquake when I made what others call the save . Possibly the save of the tournament. The puck went to the point and the D man drifted towards the middle of the ice and blasted a shot that I freakishly saved with the ultimate windmill glove save . Now I don’t mean to brag but I shit you not when I say to this day I still hear about it and it sends shivers up my spine thinking about it and that wasn’t all as I had to pull another big save out of my repertoire to make a heel save that was sure to equalize as I stymied our opponents and finally came out of my shell . I still can’t believe the way that game had ended . We went on to win the title . It was a great feeling but I could still not help thinking about the loss with the Sniperz team I had travelled with . 

After the game we received our hats and banner and the crowd was cheering and everyone was feeling great as we went back to our room to celebrate . The beers were flowing and we drank out of both cups we received . One was the tournament trophy which will end up staying in Adelaide and will have a plaque with our team name on it and the other was given to us to take home which my team mates gave to me as a gift which will surely end up with my collection of trophies from around the world . This was my last game of the trip and I ended up with a 9-1 record at the tournament and an overall 10-2 record over the last 6 weeks . I don’t count the games that were scrimmages or practises but in total I skated on the ice 19 times on the continent down under . As the beers flowed I thought of my friends that I had travelled with and went to the other room to have a beer with them and grab my bag .... they were not there πŸ€” only a couple fellas were there with one of the Sniperz and they said the beer was all gone and congratulated me and I went back to the festivities πŸ₯³ we had to get out of the room to allow the Adelaide Tigers A team to go play their championship match and we headed to the rink bar which was rammed . The whole rink was rammed !  Everyone was drinking having fun and sharing hockey stories as we all watched the big final together which the Tigers went on to win as well . In fact that Tigers club dominated by winning A,B and C2 division only missing out on making it to C1 which we had lost with the Sniperz . As I was in that bar I felt conflicted ... do I hang with my Sniperz team mates or carry on celebrating with the Tigers ? 

The tournament party concluded upstairs where there was a feast of food prepared for us and I decided to enjoy some time with the Tigers . Unfortunately some people were a bit unruly as they came to our table to eat the food we had gathered and there was some weird shit particularly with one of the Beijing North Stars players who thought it was a good idea to come snatch as much pizza from us as he wanted without a thank you or excuse me and this only solidified the way I had been thinking about those guys for most of the week . They are dicks ! Not all of them though as I did have a few friendly words with Trevor who is their goalie and is a class act who congratulated me and was happy to see one of us win . I told him how awesome I thought he played and I’m sure he knows that he is one helluva keeper ! The time soon came that my Sniperz team mates were getting restless and they wanted to go back and shower and get the town for one last hoorah as they were all flying out in the morning . I left with them after saying by to the Tigers and that’s the last I saw of them .... before I carry on I want to thank each and every one of them for accepting me as one of their own and letting me be their goalie . It was truly an honour playing for you guys and hopefully I can come back next year to defend that title with you again . 

We got back to the hotel . Opened up our bags and showered then met in the lobby where we decided that we wanted to find a bar with good drinks to sit down at and hang out . We settled on that bar down the alley from Hungry Jacks and when we arrived the bartenders remembered us and we got a table on the patio which continually grew as more and more people joined us . Eventually even tournament organizer Glenn Foll joined us for one last drink and we all thanked him for putting on such an amazing tournament . Glenn you did a great job , thanks again ! I highly recommend this tournament ! Good people , good hockey and good drinks 🍸. Alas that deep sadness inside was growing as I knew I had to leave in a few days and I didn’t want to think about it and as we sat there we planned to spend the day with Steve Meharry tomorrow and do some sightseeing after Nonny and myself will have to move hotels . Those gin drinks I had were really good but I couldn’t drink enough to get a better buzz then what I had achieved from playing in this tournament this week as that feeling of camaraderie and winning and all that goes with participating in a great tournament like this sure do overcome any amount of alcoholic beverages . Regardless we stayed until last call , grabbed some grub on the way back to the hotel and said our good byes . I will sure as heck miss you all . 

I almost forgot to mention that thanks to my friend at Infinity Hockey I was able to bring some goalie sticks and leave them behind and seeing as how I’m leaving and didn’t have to play anymore I found Greg Harrison who is the goalie from the Darwin Evolution team and left him one stick and left the other with Cody Vogel who was a defenseman on my Sniperz squad but plays goal in Okinawa . His wife seen above messing around with one of the sticks . Cheyenne you’re hilarious and Greg is below and the last I saw of him he was carrying that stick around like a trophy while we were all drinking at the rink . Today two weeks later he has let me know he had two wins with that stick since beginning to use it :) I think this tournament really brought a lot of people together for different reasons and I hope and pray I can make it back next year to have fun with you all again ! 

Thursday, February 21, 2019


If you’re wondering about the title of this post , let me explain . These posts I’m writing about now actually happened almost two weeks ago . In my old age and with all the consumption of alcohol that occurred I have confused some events which took place during that time . In fact my last blog post mentioned that we went to Strats which is the tournament strip joint party and the fact is I messed that up because after my three games that day I was absolutely destroyed physically and instead of going out that night and whooping it up I actually went to my room which you will see in the pictures posted on this blog post and I crashed hard . Now I do try my best to take notes while I’m travelling and I do use photos and I do check in on Facebook so I remember names of establishments I’ve visited to give them props but I do make mistakes and if you were in Adelaide with me and were questioning how I messed that up then all I can say is sorry :( I’m not gonna change the last post but instead decided to just write all this and continue from then on . 

This was the Friday and I woke up feeling good and grabbed some McDonalds for breakfast and came back to the room to gobble it ! My one and only game today is at 10 am and it’s a big game for Okinawa Sniperz vs. Liverpool Saints who earlier handed the Darwin Evolution a hefty loss then we did which means a tie is not gonna help us get through to the finals . We need to win . Now remember the goalie I have to face is my buddy Waddo from Sydney and the guys that actually got me to my hotel from the airport are on this team as well . Good guys but this is for all the marbles and friends aside , we have to win ! 

As the morning slipped by I was getting updates about other games going on through Facebook messages and following online on the tournament website which was kept up to date . Around 8 am I decided to make my way over . My buddy Justin Harrison won his game for Pro Look B team and I was happy to see that but never got to see him or properly say good bye as he had switched his flight to leave the day earlier and avoided any of the big celebrations :( that was a bit of a bummer but we aren’t all big party animals and I totally understand as he did tell me so the first day I got him out . I did catch the end of that game and if I recall correctly the next game was Beijing North Stars vs. Adelaide Falcons to decide which team would go to semi finals from the same group that my other squad the Adelaide Tigers B team had already clinched a spot . Part of me wanted the Falcons to win because some of my Sniperz team mates were also on that squad and also because I really didn’t want to face Trevor Garrett again .... as I said before , he was the best goalie I faced at the tournament , hands down ! I didn’t go to the dressing room to bug Justin and as I said I never saw him again as I had to get ready for my game before I found out that the North Stars won their game to earn the second spot in our B division group . 

Back to the task at hand .... C division. Sniperz vs Saints up next . Goalie buddies at each end of the ice ! Not sure how sober Waddo is but I’m totally sober and ready to go for my one and only game today . When the game began I don’t think we even said hi or anything , I just got into my routine of dropping my water bottle on the net , doing a lap in my zone and stretching before scraping up my crease and getting a few warm up shots to feel the puck and work on tracking . Whistle blows and the game is on and it was a tight game , not sure if it was just both teams feeling each other out or just the tense gripping of sticks knowing this game has to be won to get to the final . Both goalies at both ends made the saves that were needed to be made in the first frame and when we switched ends it was 0-0 and there were no pad slaps or anything as we crossed paths to our respective ends . My squad was in the zone also as we got ready for second period action and soon enough I had given up a goal which was the first time this tournament that we were down .... was this the end or would we make a come back ? My questions were answered soon enough when we equalized to go into the third period with a 1-1 tie game which for us would mean elimination . Somethings gotta give ! I’m pretty sure Isaac Miller ported the first one . When the third started it was tight again and I had to make some decent saves to hold us in and you know that thought crossed your mind as a goalie where you think how shit it would be to let in that losing goal ? I was definitely trying not to think about it but it did cross my mind as I wondered what it would take to get the winning goal . We were in their end as much as they were in ours and with a few minutes left in the game my good friend Brandon Bailey scores !!!! We are up 2-1 with the bench now shortened we prepare for the last minute onslaught which would usually give them an extra attacker and we fought tooth and nail to keep them at bay and sure enough we conquered our opponents and won the game 2-1 . What a nail biter πŸ˜“ 

After the game I spoke to Waddo during team handshakes and I felt honestly bad for him and consoled him . It’s never fun losing and it’s even tougher losing those kind of games with so much on the line . He played well and deserved to win just as much as I did . We make plans to have beers later on and head to our rooms where the beers begin to flow and after we were chased from our room we head to the arena bar and drown a few more before deciding to head back to the hotel . That arena bar was always hopping but you can tell the energy is amping up as the teams begin to get eliminated and certain teams are cheering for other teams . Not too sure if we the Sniper have many fans or if most of the other players rather see the local Australian teams win . My bet is on the local squads .... we will find out tomorrow . At the moment I have a semi final in the morning and the C division final after and if we win the semi I will be on the ice for two finals in a row . That’s all tomorrow and tonight is the big tournament party which I spoke of in my last post accidentally . 

Our hotel room was becoming more and more of a disaster zone with leftover food and drinks from previous meals littering our eating area . I’m not the slob and my bets on Robert but instead of moaning I just go out for a meal with the guys to everyone’s favourite place .... Nando’s ! Now I don’t love it there and never have had a good chicken there as it’s always boney and never has enough meat but this one time I got a nice meaty half chicken meal which was more then satisfying and after that I had a nice nap before getting ready to go out and party at Strats . 

I don’t want to repeat too much about what I wrote the other night but another mistake I wrote about was that myself and Waddo did meet at the bar and we did hang and talked about the game . But instead of us talking about it in the future we actually talked about it in the past tense and I could tell Waddo really wanted that game but had come to grips with the fact it was gone and congratulated me as we watched a friend get his face rode by one of the local strippers which we all pitched in for . I wish I could post this one pic but I’m not going to as I know it would upset someone even though you can’t see his face lol 😝 as I mentioned in my last post .... I did set myself a curfew and I did not get wasted or do anything too silly and planned for a big day tomorrow which could include three games and two of those will be finals . These teams I’m about to face won’t be easy and whether you like it or not the level of hockey here compared to Canada might be lower but you have to remember for a goalie it will be just as tough since my squad will be at the same level . Not to knock the hockey here but to rather put those who shake their heads at all of our accomplishments which we speak of down because they are all NHL stars ..... and yes I have seen some chirping online as I’m being asked if I’m playing blind kids to get my four shutouts and all I can say is if you’re so good maybe you should come out here and match my accomplishments and until then shhhhh!