Sunday, August 26, 2018

Planning for Australia & New Zealand

Booked my flight to Australia a couple weeks ago and have been working non stop since . Figured I would find the time to start babbling about this trip and maybe get some info out there to help you help me if you’re someone living in either Australia or New Zealand and you’re reading this . The flight I booked has me landing in Sydney on Dec. 30th which is just in time for New Years Eve which I plan on spending with Kathleen in Sydney harbour . We are looking at booking a table and having dinner and drinks while we watch some fireworks . It won’t be cheap but who cares , you only live once . That’s really why I’m working like a dog as of late . Of course after that I will need to find ice time ! At the moment I have a fellow goalie trying to help me out named Justin Harrison and I’m really hoping to nail down dates so I can plan everything else around my ice times . Justin has also put me in contact with the Melbourne Nite Owls who are looking to help me out .  Two ice times a week will do me well and I’m spending one week in every city I visit any more and I think Kathleen will be a bit upset .

I promised to spend time doing things and not rushing around so much on this trip which enticed her to join me .... usually I would spend 3 days in a city and then hit the road and things would be hectic with ice times and events occurring almost simultaneously but this time it’s gonna be more spread out and that’s why this whole trip will be a 7 week adventure . I have a bunch of flights yet to book and it’s a good thing I have a bundle of Aeroplan points to use to make this trip a bit cheaper . Oh yeah I used 90,000 points and $226 to cover my flight into Sydney and my flight home from Adelaide which is where I will end my trip . After Sydney we plan to fly to Dunedin then to Auckland then to Perth then Melbourne and after Melbourne Kathleen will fly home and I will fly to Adelaide for a tournament :) 

It’s best that Kathleen isn’t around while I’m at a tournament ! We’ve tried it before and the idea of me leaving the rink to do things during a tournament just doesn’t work . I rather hang around and socialize and have a few pints with my team mates which as of now I’m not sure who they are or what team I’m playing for but the tournament organizer Glenn Foll has told me he has a team for me so Adelaide is sorted but I still have a ton of organizing to do . 

Flight to Sydney is booked and we booked a room to stay at a hostel which is quite fancy . Check out YHA if you are going to Australia . Our room is private with private bathroom and since it’s over New Years it is not cheap .... it ran me for around $1300 CDN for 8 nights but it’s in the heart of Sydney and not far from anything we are planning . Here is a link  YHA hostel .

Next thing to book which I’m probably gonna do tomorrow is our flights to New Zealand .... I’ve been pondering whether to fly to Auckland or Dunedin first and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna take the dive and go for Dunedin . I’m looking for ice time there and I have contacts that are helping me .... when I started planning this all I had a contact with one of their IIHF members but he recently left them and is moving away so that threw a bit of a wrench in my plans but I’m still positive that I will get ice time there . Now here’s the thing ..... playing hockey on this continent will mean I have played on all inhabited continents .... I am almost sure I will be the first goalie to ever do this and I will be joining my buddy Andi Tanzer who is the first player that I know of that his reached this feat . The big question is if I get on the ice in Sydney will it be my lucky number 39 and if I don’t get on the ice there will New Zealand be the 39th country I’ve played in ? Regardless I plan on coming home and adding my 40th flag to my stick bag ! 

So if you’re in Sydney , Dunedin , Auckland , Melbourne or Perth and you’re reading this ..... please hook me up with some ice times ! I have a lot of planning to do in the next 4 months and I can use all the help I can get . 

Last but not least I wanted to thank my sponsor Goalie Heaven for hooking me up with all my gear . If you ever need anything contact them and they will do their best to make sure you get what you’re looking for ! The picture at the top of the page was taken yesterday when I picked up my new set for my club team here . Gotta break these puppies in :) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

It’s been awhile

You were probably wondering if I’m still alive ? Ok maybe not .... or if I’m travelling ? Well that for sure is a big no . When I’m travelling I’m blogging and posting daily so don’t be surprised to find out that I’ve been plugging away at home in Toronto all the while planning my next big adventure ... and at the same time still paying for the last one . That World Record I helped set was not cheap ! And yes I am officially a Guinness Book of World Record holder or at the least I can say I am part of a group that have set a World Record . More to come about that in the near future .... 

Since then I have been playing host and having friends from all over staying at my place while doing my best to be a tour guide in my awesome city of Toronto . Luckily it’s been easy with the friends I have that are sports fanatics like my mates from Kidderminster who were lucky enough to come watch the Toronto Marlies playing in the Calder Cup Final which they eventually won . Before they were over I had a hockey buddy from England also visits named Jane Brown , we were team mates in New York City a few years back over Halloween and we found the time to catch a game also . Makes it so easy when there are so many sporting events going on :) after all of these people visited Kathleen (my much better half) had her sister Izzy over from Ringwood .... yes all these British folks ! She unfortunately isn’t into sports but we found the time to go check out this Banksy Exhibit which is not sanctioned by Banksy and in my opinion was not what I was really expecting but wasn’t bad even though I do feel conflicted going to see an unsanctioned exhibit for an artist who stands against the establishment with his free art that I paid to go see .... hope that wasn’t too confusing . 

Being a host isn’t cheap but has it’s upside , you gotta understand that all these folks do their darndest to make sure I’m happy when I’m visiting their respective cities so I’m a sense I owe it to them and would do it again in a heartbeat even though I do regret taking Paul and Heather on that 18 km walk along the lakeshore that day .... it knackered us to say the least and I probably shouldn’t have got so wasted that last night at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern but it was worth it . Being who I am and doing what I do means that I need to do these things to carry on doing what I love and that’s travelling . Without the people I meet and love all over the world helping me out I wouldn’t enjoy this as much as I do and I would hope that all my friends around the world would know they have a place to stay if they visit Toronto and they have a buddy to play hockey with and someone to grab a few pints with and check out some local sporting events with . Travellers really should be like this and we can all share and have this beautiful planet to help each other see . I know I’m getting a bit sappy .... must be the sun blazing on me as I’m sitting in my truck at work on set today hahaha ! 

Along with working and “trying” to be a tour guide here for friends I am also still networking to make the hockey world a better place for everyone and that’s where my friends from Infinity Goalie come into play ! John came to visit me before one of my Ghetto Blaster’s hockey games to film and interview as he has been intrigued about my travels and we touched base through instagram recently and there should be a video coming out soon . They have an online store and have recently opened a store in Kitchener where they sell goalie equipment and sticks . I got a new stick off them for myself and my good friend Brendan Krick .... he’s the guy that donated his gear for Egypt that I was wearing in that picture in front of the pyramids .... He really deserves the freebies :) anyways through the video we recorded John found out how I leave goalie sticks all over the world for other goalies to use and told me he will donate sticks for me to donate for him . How awesome is that ? So be expecting me to travel with a few extra twigs on my next journey ! Before I wrap this post up cause I should get back to work let me share his website and if you ever need any gear or wanna check out their sticks just give the page a gander .... 
Infinity Goalie

I have a few more things lined up and hopefully I will be able to announce some more stuff in the next few weeks . Until then keep your heads up and stick on the ice and don’t aim for my five hole :)

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Very Special Day

If you see the picture above you are wondering where my pads are ? Well last weekend I was invited to help out with a hockey club called the Tornadoes out at Grandravine Arena here in Toronto . One of my work buddies had asked me to go skate with them and to help out so I went last weekend and this was just after my dental surgery so I couldn’t strap on the pads so I grabbed my bucket and skates and went out to help coach a bit . If you work with me you all know who Stephen Sinclair is , he’s a great guy that is a very dedicated father . His son is autistic , not too sure how to explain this stuff as I don’t want to be rude or insult anyone so let’s just say that he plays for a team that is part of special needs Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ and that team is the Tornadoes . It is run by a group of fantastic people that really do care . Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Stephen’s son as he was busy at another program that day but I hope to meet him at another ice time . 

When I got to the rink there was a game on already and everyone looked like they were having a hoot ! And then Stephen showed up and tried to scare the pants off me with a sneak attack while I was standing there nervously thinking what do I do here ? Honestly I have never worked with any special needs kids so this is a learning experience to me . I was nervous , seriously . But once he showed up he made me feel better and I followed him into the room where all the kids were and their parents were all there helping out . I was introduced as The Travelling Goalie and felt a bit like a celebrity lol . Don’t worry I didn’t let it get to my head :) I strapped on my skates , put on the helmet I have never worn and threw my Hockey Foundation jersey on which I wore in that world record attempt game in India and grabbed the stick I had and yeah .... it felt weird not being in pads . When I got on the ice I immediately was draw to a fella named Brian , my new hockey buddy that I skated with and passed the puck to for an hour . There were a bunch of other volunteers there having fun with the guys and gals and honestly it felt good being part of a group of people that were doing something that wasn’t selfish . Lately I have met a lot of selfish people and they have made me feel bad about humanity and this was much better for my soul . 

It was my lucky day because former NHL player Pat Flatley was in the building and one of the organizers mentioned me and he wanted to meet me so during the ice time he came over to the boards and I was called over to meet him . He was there with a bunch of gifts from what I assume is the NHLPA for the gang . We spoke about my travels and he shared some stories about knowing someone who tried to build a rink in a foreign country and the difficulties involved . That rink was never built unfortunately :( while this was happening Brian was calling for me and I got my picture and headed back to the task at hand . A few of the volunteers had mentioned that Brian was very responsive with me and that felt good to know I actually contributed especially coming from the volunteers who are there weekly . 

I had to rush after our ice time to pick up George da Silva who lives near the rink so we could go meet and watch the national women’s team from New Zealand they go by the name Ice Fernz ( ) ! If you didn’t know George runs a page called National Teams of Hockey ( ) and we both have a good relationship based on our love for international hockey . Unfortunately there aren’t many of us or there are t many that I know of here in Toronto :( we drove out to Leaside Memorial Arena on the east side of the city as I was told they would arrive by 1 pm .... things don’t always go as planned so we watched some other women’s games and chatted about hockey of course . 

My main aim out of this was to meet general secrearary for the federation from New Zealand .... Dr. Jonathan Albright who also knows my buddy Adil El Farj who claims he is a Habs fan .... truth be told , he is a double agent lol ! Sorry Adil :p he is here with the women’s team as they are tuning up for the IIHF women’s world division 2 B tournament in Spain . I can’t thank you enough for the amazing gift basket you gave me . Love the jersey so much !!! We hung out with Jonathan and watched the women play a team called the Brampton Canadettes . We met their former coach and current goalie coach and I wish I took more notes so I’m sorry for not remembering names and I’m the end the Ice Fernz lost a close game 4-1 which was closer then the score shows . The women were winless on their trip here and battled illness and a tough schedule in preparation for the worlds which they are currently competing in . I wish them all the best of luck and I have watched one game and will continue following and watching this week . After the game we said our good byes and I am pretty sure I will see you all in New Zealand next January ! Yes that’s the plan :)  I dropped George off at the ACC to watch the Leafs and I went home .... 

As I said in the title of this post .... this for me was a very special day ! Before I end this post I want to apologize to Stephen for not showing up this past Saturday :( I went to the gym and had my mind on my semi final game that I had to play that day and it totally slipped my mind until I left the gym .... I will be back if you invite me again and I am hoping that more of our friends will come out to lend a hand in the future . If I can do it so can you ! And I’m gonna do it again .... especially now that my team was elimnated :( seems like I have no weekend hockey for the next couple months . 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Another yucky flight

Well that was a rough ending to another solid trip but what can ya do ? After that skate in Senden we got back to Rainers as I mentioned in my last post .... took my gear to his basement and prayed it dried which of course it didn’t .... I booked a flight to leave later in the morning from Stuttgart and had to get up around 6:30 am to shower and get ready . Nothing worse then flying a full day and being smelly and stinky and shweaty :( so that shower is much needed . I wish everyone else felt that way but that’s not the case is it ?  Rainer graciously drove me to Stuttgart from Aalen in the morning and that was around 1.5 hours with a slight bit of traffic and when we got there I didn’t really wanna say bye , we had a good trip together and I already missed him before leaving . We really are family ! Anyways I took a couple of his sticks with me to fly home with and left one of mine at his place for future use ... we will see each other in Montreal in a couple months and he won’t have to pay for his sticks this way but unfortunately I have to ... or was it the overweight bag that I had to pay for ? Not too sure but at the airport I paid about $150 CDN for my bags which could have been worse but the woman at the Lufthansa counter was much friendlier then the horrendous Finnair people we met on our other flights . Still haven’t heard back about that complaint . Great service , won’t be using your crappy airline again . 

So as I said I left Rainers around 730 got to the airport at 9 and was on my flight by 11 which was due to land in Frankfurt at the same terminal that my next flight was leaving from to Toronto . That flight was a bit late and it wasn’t bad or full or anything so it was nice . Just kicked back and started thinking about having to play for my Ghetto Blasters club when I arrived and it was tiring thinking about this so I squeezed in some zzzz’ .... when I got to Frankfurt the plane didn’t pull into the terminal and we got onto the bus and headed to the terminal where I dreaded having to clear security but thankfully I didn’t have to and did a bit of a sprint to get to my flight on time with just enough time to buy myself a bottle of scotch for my collection at home . Of course there was that couple that was crying that their flight was boarding in 10 minutes that needed to pass everyone meanwhile my flight was boarding in 5 .... the family in front of me had words with someone trying to create their own line which was responded with a “you could have said that nicer” .... now hold up , you are trying to bud in and you expect people to be polite to you ? What the F ! Anyways I sides with the family and we chased them off :) when I got through security I did get my bottle then I got into the boarding area which was utter and complete chaos .... and for some reason I felt like I was flying back to India and not Toronto ? And everyone was pushy and everyone felt as though they were VIP’s and honestly people suck .... they really do ! What happened to consideration ? Etiquette ? And common sense ? Are these diseases today’s people try to avoid ? I mean c’mon ... wait your turn and line up and be polite and we can all get to our seats that are assigned ! Or maybe is it that person that has 4 bags and a jacket that needs to hog the hole overhead compartment .... I think so . And why don’t the airlines make these people follow the rules they state ? Is it that bad that you have to put your second bag at your feet instead of making someone put their only bag at their feet so you can be comfortable ? Think about it , you’re a selfish pig if that’s you . And I don’t mind telling you so :) anyways yeah I saw a lot of that . 

When I got to my seat there was a guy in the aisle and I had the window then this fat slob of a man comes to sit between us and immediately legs wide open fighting for knee space leaning onto me ... I’m not using his arm rest but he’s so fat he turns and put his back up against me and it was a constant battle for my own space .... I wanted to choke this guy and the guy in the aisle looked at me while this guy was gone for one of his walks and said this is gonna be a long flight .... he was right . The flight was delayed and we arrived more then 1.5 hours late in Toronto and yes this dude in the middle was a stinker .... he obviously doesn’t have the same beliefs I mentioned earlier . Showering must be a weekly thing for this person :( yuck 🀒 anyways when we finally arrived in Toronto the plane again didn’t pull up to the terminal and we had to get on a bus and our luggage arrived over 1.5 hours later . My game was at 930 and I was supposed to land at 430 and in my head be home by 6 that night .... instead the flight landed at 6 . And I got home by 8 .... I got a rentagoalie for my squad because there was no way I would make it home and even my taxi home sucked because apparently those $40 rides I took for years turned into $55 rides ???? No clue why but I think I got ripped off so no tip for you and honestly after this trip .... tips are earned and not just given away anymore , I’m sorry if you live off tips but you have to do something to get something and this world of take take take has to end . Now ! 

When I got home coughing and choking from the lung infection I picked up in India I decided to order some Swiss chalet and call it a night .... not even sure if I made it to 10 pm .... do the math though .... I left Rainers at 7:30 am and arrived at my house at 8:30 pm which if you add 6 hours is 2:30 am the next day which is a total of 19 hours in transit !!!! Yeah that sucked but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to make these trips happen . 

Before I close off this chapter of my stories I want to thank my hockey family for having me with them especially Rainer Schmid and the Rainman Allstars .... Timo Korner for being real , you can call me a douche if I deserve it buddy :) and Andi Tanzer for showing me a good time in Erding ! Fasching will forever be in my mind Daddy Cool 😎 . Can’t forget the peeps I met in India that we battled our way through adversity to attempt a world record .... notice I said attempt ? It’s not official yet . Thank you Hockey Foundation for letting me be part of your great event ! And before I close this off I would like to say shame on all the people trying to steal others glory !!! You know who you are you lying scum bags . Tell the truth and stop claiming our glory , we all know the truth .... especially the people that weren’t at the event that wanna claim they are world record holders . I won’t even mention your names because you are not worthy .  Fake news is real and that’s all I’m gonna say . 

Last but not least .... congratulations Germany on beating Canada .... boy oh boy did I get ripped into on what’s app that day lol ! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gorillas Ice Hockey

Kinda fell behind on my posts and this actually happened on Monday .... what else is new eh ? We got back to Aalen around 4:30 am that morning from Denmark and we were both wiped out . I had some issues walking with some deep bruises on my left knee and we didn’t even bother pulling our bags out of the van . We have an ice time at around 9 pm in Senden which is about an hour out of Aalen . When we woke up it must have been 2 pm or something and we went straight out to eat at Duran Imbiss and I gobbled up that full platter of kebab ! Can’t help it I love the food at this place .... it’s my go to when I’m in Aalen and it’s right beside the old Irish Pub which is closed and it’s odd not going in there to see Servet but that’s the reality of life .... miss it there and it looks like it’s getting renovated to be reopened so hopefully the next time I’m there it will be there . If it was open I’m sure I would have got drunk there as I did quite regularly over the years visiting . After we gobbled our food we walked into the city centre to grab some Aalener Spionle cakes .... translates to the Spy of Aalen which is a great story if you look it up . The cakes are a must to bring home and on most of my trips I would be packing around 6 kilos of chocolates but this trip I decided to come back healthier instead of coming home and gobbling chocolate bars for 3 weeks and regretting the 10 lbs I have to shed afterwards lol . We went back to Rainers after and took a 3 hour nap then woke up and went for a coffee to wake up and head out to meet the Aalen boys coming with us in the van to Senden . 

This game we were invited to was between the Tussa Ice Eagles who I have skated with before a few times and the University of Ulm Gorillas . My good buddy Anton Fetzer is usually their goalie and let me have the honour of playing on a team that can’t play defense as he jokingly put it .... I found out he wasn’t joking really lol . The Tussa guys have all the Aalen boys except for Rainer who thankfully is on my team . When we got to the rink everyone was happy to see me again ... Ralf Dreiseitel it was especially nice seeing you buddy . Anton was the ref on the evening and we were all having a good laugh about India in the room ... everyone loves yak shit hahaha ! A few of the guys follow my stories so it made for some funny conversations with some good questions asked . This arena here in Senden is beautiful ... it has no walls and is exposed to the elements and it snowed a lot so the backdrop of trees dressed in snow was absolutely breath taking . That’s why I wanted our photos taken with the trees in the background as you see above . 

When we got on the ice we had about 20 minutes of quick drills and I was feeling the power from the altitude training which is great and I hope it never goes away but at the same time I was feeling all the bruises on my body .... I’m littered with them and will definitely look into upgrading some gear when I get home .... Toronto Hockey Repair will definitely get a visit in the next week or two lol ! After warmup we did the traditional greeting as you do in Europe by lining up tapping sticks and waving them in the air then we got the game going . I made a few nice saves and the squad was playing quite good in the first period . I think we were tied 1-1 or something going into the intermission .... we played 3 - 20 minute run time periods . The second period you could tell the youngsters on my team were either tired or lost their concentration or maybe just the Tussa guys woke up but I would say most of that period was in our zone chasing and having defense trying to play goal and not generally moving .... it was stressing me out as I was left totally hung out to dry and we went down 4-1 with hardly any possession outside of or inside of our zone . I tried communicating with my team but they weren’t understanding and they weren’t pressing their forwards and doing a lot of flat footed standing around which in turn makes them pylons :( Anton saw my frustration and laughed at me and it made me feel good and I’m sure it made him feel good seeing that he isn’t the only goalie that plays frustratingly with this group . He told me that since they are all students they have never time to gel as a team . Which he could be right and he also reminded me that this was a big challenge for them playing a team that had been around together for years so if you accept that we actually didn’t do so bad . Skating back to the bench between 2nd and 3rd we spoke and he told the Gorillas to stop trying to play goal and to start moving .... 

The third period started off better and the guys/gals were moving more and I was trying to communicate with them more . It helped but still I was left with 2 skaters open in my crease battling on my own at times and having 2 d getting trapped behind my goal ? This stuff frustrates me but I did what I could and made some nice saves and did my best to keep us in the game but with not much offence it was hard to get back into the game and I think the final ended up 5 or 6-2 . Not sure what happened to that first period team but I did bite my tongue and didn’t want to be the grumpy goalie and we all took some nice pics and all the pics in this blog are courtesy of Anton Fetzer who is such an awesome guy . We had a few laughs and then headed to the room , I think we were on the ice for close to two hours and I wasn’t really tired . We had a couple cases of Wasseralfinger beer in the room and I chugged 3 or 4 .... Rainer didn’t drink and was responsibly waiting for me to get dressed but we were all busy munching on pretzels drinking beer and having some good laughs . I always feel so welcomed in Senden with these guys and look forward to going back hopefully in the near future ! Thank you Anton for giving me the opportunity on my last night in Germany to get on the ice with you guys and it was an honour playing for your Gorillas squad for the first time .... they are good kids and I’m sure you can show them how to play a bit smarter with your patience :) and you were right , they don’t play defense lol ! As usual it was great being on the ice with Tussa again and I think that’s like the 4th time over all the years that we’ve had the honour to skate on the same beautiful ice rink together . You guys are very welcoming and I already miss you all . 

We had to get going because we thought McDonald’s was closing at midnight and we were all hungry . We got our orders in by 11:59 pm and I even ordered a hot dog .... had to since I’ve never had a McDonald’s hot dog ... it was ok at best and we all chatted about which fast food joint is better and the guys all seem to like Burger King more .... I told them about Harvey’s and how they grill the food in front of you and they were quite intrigued :) hopefully someday you guys will be here in Toronto and I can take you to try it out . We ate within 20 minutes and jumped into the van and had a few laughs on the way back to Aalen then said our good byes and when we got to Rainers I had to dry out my gear in his basement as I have only 6 hours before I have to repack and head to the airport .... we didn’t stay up much longer and hit the sack .... is there a better way to spend my last night of my trip ? I don’t think so , good people , good hockey , good beer and great atmosphere . Hope to see you all very soon and thanks to all of you that were there .... even the guy I won’t mention because he snuck out of work or something lol ! You know who you are buddy :) 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fatboys Championship Game

We celebrated like we won the championship already but unfortunately we didn’t . When I woke up around 9 am I could hear Rainer outside my window and I knew deep in my heart that he was just coming back to the hotel .... the truth is that yes he was lol ! Apparently he walked back from the city centre after a crazy night where he lost his sweater and his phone (again) like I always say , he brings two phones .... one for using and one for losing ! He only had that bloody thing for 2 days maximum after losing his other phone on our first day in India . Somethings never change and that’s why we love you buddy .  My room mates where in  fine form , Vess was totally sober and Andi took it like a man and battled but young Mikey was in rough shape but decided drinking more would be a good remedy DOH ! Not a great plan buddy :( 

We left the hotel at 11 am as it was checkout time and our game was not until 2:30 pm which gives everyone ample time to sober up ? I was ok even though I drank my face off until 3 am but I’m used to it and I know my limits . Some guys are not as seasoned as I am and couldn’t even play in the final which sucks especially when it’s your top forward and defenseman . I saw the Swedish team that have to play that morning at breakfast and they looked fine .... I highly doubt they went hard like we did . Oh well if anything we definitely won at the bar hands down . We are here for fun but I always have this burning fire to win . The reality was that we would be playing a much soberer team with more skaters then we have . Those Swedes won their game and got to play us in the final . Deep in my heart I know I had to perform a miracle to win this game . The other matches were all on and one by one I saw the teams from our group lose to the other group and you could definitely tell the other group was much stronger . 

When our game started first play of the game turned into a 3 on 0 play .... if there was a defenseman there he definitely did nothing at all to help as the puck moved between all 3 players before hitting the back of the net .... and that’s when I got frustrated . The next goal I had a defenseman standing beside me in the crease trying to play goal .... that went in also . And then more defenseman trying to play goal and screening me instead of playing defense and that’s when I finally flipped my lid and yelled at the guys to let me see the puck . This game was not even close , the entire game felt like we played short handed and when I say short handed I mean 2 men short . The Swedes dominated us badly . I was peppered with shots and at the half we were down 5-0 with 1 shot on their goalie . It was embarrassing to watch my team go from contender to pretender but as I said we still had fun . So please don’t read this thinking I’m blaming anyone for any reason because you would be wrong to understand this in that way .... just saying how the game went . 

When I got to the bench I told the guys not to give up and let’s aim to at least score a goal and please stop screening me . I can’t express how much I hate it when guys try to block shots instead of actually playing their position and honestly the guys did listen and the second period was still a shit show but I got to show my skills .... I’m not joking when I say I probably made the save of the tournament when one of the Swedes had an open net and I came diving across to bat the puck out of the air and right after that I had to make another diving save to freeze the puck . If we played like this all game the outcome would have been much more different for sure . We did reach that goal of scoring on our second shot but that small victory was still no match for the score line as we fell in the championship 7-1 .... I know the stats on the board showed the shots but I’m telling you I faced 40 shots easily and the funny part was when one of the guys agreed with the boards stats and said they blocked a lot of shots again that is not playing defense is it ? Yeah it helps but it’s much better if they aren’t getting the shots off because you are playing your position properly . I know any goalie will agree ! 

After the game we held our heads high and had the tournament trophies handed out and to my surprise I got tournament most valuable goalie which is a great honour considering the good goalies I had to face . I’m sure a few others deserved it as much as I did but I do have the bruises to prove my worth ouch ! Yeah got a stinger on my collar bone and my left thigh has a deep bruise which I’m sure will cover all the colours of the rainbow before it leaves . We were all proud to take 2nd place and then we hit the showers and got ready for our 12+ hour drive back to Aalen . The ride was pretty quiet aside from the first bit when we had a couple beers but after that it was snooze fest . Thankfully Rudy and Nobov were in good enough form to drive and they drove like F1 racers to get us back ASAP ! Thanks for driving guys .... Rainer was in no shape to drive and thankfully yak shit wasn’t shitting so it was much more pleasant to breathe lol . We stopped in Ashausen (hehehe) to grab our bags that our friends from the Night Hawks drove back for us and Mikey and Andi took off in their car making more room for the rest of us . It was a good idea that they drove to Ashausen with their own vehicle because I have no clue how we would have fit everyone and all our bags and luggage . 

Rainer drove after we dropped Bruno , Nobov and Rudy off and we didn’t arrive in Aalen until 4:30 am and we didn’t even pull our bags out of the van . We went straight to bed . Tomorrow we or I should say today we are on the ice in Senden with our friends .... sleep is needed badly . 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Fatboys Nordic Trophy 2018

Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go play 3 games for my team which is the Rainman Allstars . This tournament is in Fredrikshavn , Denmark πŸ‡©πŸ‡° at the Scanel Arena which is a nice complex with two rinks . One is considered a practise rink . There are also rooms to sit and eat in and the dressing rooms are nice and big . The tournament is comprised of 8 teams in 2 groups and the round robin of 3 games decides which teams cross over for placement .... so winning all 3 games should get you into the tournament championship . The games are 2 - 20 minutes run time periods and there is food provided at the arena for all the players between games . This tournament is very well organized by the Fatboys Hockey Club who are a local club . Most of the teams are staying in the same hotel called Hotel Lisboa which is about a 5 minute walk to the arena and we are able to leave our bags in the dressing rooms over the weekend which makes life so much easier . As I said this tournament is very well organized ! 

Our first game was against a club from Norway πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄ by the name of Idda Hockey . We watched them practise last night and they didn’t really impress me aside from their little speedster who I knew would be a bit of a pest :) he’s not a bad guy but on the ice I knew we would have some contact in my crease hahaha . The game went really well for us as we went up 4-0 by the half . When I skated over to the bench someone said I will have a shutout !!! NOOO !!! Don’t every jinx the goalie , omg 😲. That first period I might have seen 3 shots and when I went to switch ends I found out that the teams don’t switch sides after periods which is a bit odd but it’s not a big deal . The goalie for Idda was pretty good down low and his main problem was that he went down early and I let my team mates know that they should start shooting high on him and that’s when the flood gates opened up . This was obviously before the half and in the next period Idda came out strong and got a few nice wrist shots on me .... oh yeah no slap shots in this tournament . They did score a goal on a shitty play where we coughed up the puck in our end and that was bound to happen after being jinxed :( I didn’t moan or complain as we went on to win 8-1 and then went back to the dressing room for a shower before watching our locker room mates the Lunenburg Night Hawks with my good friend Karl McNelly play against our next opponent which is the host team Fatboys . If you read my blog you will know Karl is an old buddy from Toronto that now lives in Birmingham and usually has me staying over at his place when I’m there . So happy to spend some time here with him but first let’s see how our friends donin their game . 

Well they didn’t do so well but my buddy Karl stood his ground and played his heart out even though they went on to lose by the same score we won by and I knew watching this game that our match vs. Fatboys should decide which team goes to the championship game . Between games we went into town which was a ghost town and apparently for some reason or other all the shops close for siesta here ???? Weird as it’s normal in southern countries with the high sun but here ??? Ok well we all struck out looking for a tourist shop to buy magnets or patches :( hopefully the town is more lively when we hit the bars and clubs tonight after our players party . Back to the rink to face the Fatboys . 

When we hit the ice there were no pucks for warmup which is ok since we’ve all played a game today and I’m feeling pretty warmed up . I was a bit nervous as I wanted to win and go to the championship game . The Fatboys came out strong and I made all the routine saves a goalie should make and my positioning was great . My team mates played really well and we went up 2-0 before the half and even with a lead you know the home team is gonna come out firing on all cylinders and they did .... they broke my shutout in a very odd fashion as there was a scramble in my crease which lead to Bruno aka Yak Shit for his lovely scented farts diving into the puck and gloving it into our own net .... now before you blame poor Bruno you have to know that the referees blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line so this 100% should have not been a goal and in fact if you ask me it should have been a penalty shot since Bruno did put his hand on the puck in our crease ..... the referee even agreed but somehow still called it a goal . I didn’t get upset or anything and in fact we responded with another goal before they potted one on me that I probably should have had . The score ended up 4-2 but not before some exciting action in our end .... gotta hand it to the Fatboys , they played a great game . Flemming is their coach and is one of the tournament organizers , he is a Leeds supporter and we got on well with our love of English football , after the game he had a great comment when he said your chest is a target that we kept hitting . I said it’s just great positioning and we both laughed . 

We were all really happy after the game and headed back to the dressing room knowing our fate was in our own hands and that if we tie or beat our friends and dressing room mates the Lunenburg Night Hawks that we would earn that spot in the final . After we hit the showers we went to eat and chilled out . The Night Hawks won their second match over Idda Hockey 1-0 in a close game . Their goalie who has only been playing for a couple years played awesome πŸ‘. Let’s see what happens next as we are losing two of our skaters who are actually Night Hawks but have been playing for Rainman Alllstars and were even in India with us .... Andreas and Stefan ! We are now down to 8 skaters and I know a few of the guys have probably drank enough beer to make this more interesting . 

We had to play on the practise rink which is much darker and the mood there was not the best . When we hit the ice my team mates seemed to take the game really lightly and we actually played garbage hockey compared tom our first two games . I was a bit stressed but then we scored a goal to go up 1-0 and soon after the Night Hawks struck back to tie it up 1-1 .... all I’m thinking is that if we lose we may blow that spot in the championship due to +/- and that would be a nightmare come true . Rainer turned up the jets and scored us a goal then we got another to go up 3-1 but we were not out of the weeds yet as we gave up a penalty shot because of some lazy play :( I thought they would let Karl shoot on me which in my mind is added pressure but instead their captain took the shot . He came in and went across the crease and tried to get a backhand upstairs but didn’t get much on it and put it into my pads while I slid across the crease . We went into win the game 3-1 but we were outplayed and outshot which was pretty bad considering the players we have on our squad . Night Hawks really played to win and deserved more then what they got but it was a good game and now I can say we have booked our spot in the championship game which we have no clue who it will be as there are two games to be played tomorrow morning . 

We started our party in the dressing room where I must have had 5 or 6 beers before heading over to the hotel to change and take taxis to the tournament party . When we arrived we had the best seats somehow ? Closest to the bar and food area and best of all we were in perverts row for the strip show .... yes there is a stripper here hahaha ! Boys will be boys :) the food was great .... beef and chicken with potatoes and salads . All you can eat too , there was plenty to go around . The jagerbbmbs started flowing and I’m pretty sure I blew all my Danish Kroners there .... I had about $100 cdn which is 500 kroners but nothing is cheap in Denmark . To be fair they were selling liquor and beer at much cheaper rates then the Irish pub I ended up in . Remember I mentioned a stripper ? Yeah I didn’t see her as I took a nap during the show .... I wish I was joking as everyone laughed at me for taking a nap in perverts row lol ! Oh well I’m sure I didn’t miss much ? When I woke up we jumped into taxis and that was the last time I saw most of my team mates . When I got to this Irish pub I saw a guy fall down backwards like a tree getting chopped down and the bar didn’t call an ambulance when he wasn’t responding .... they dragged him by his arms on the floor to the other side of the bar where who knows what they did but I never saw that guy again !!?? I guess hey didn’t want to be responsible for serving him so much alcohol or something . Things got a bit crazy in there as one of my team mates who I won’t mention his name did some crazy things .... poured a full pint onto his own head then he tore his shirt off like Hulk Hogan and flung it onto the dance floor as me and the Aalborg team watched in amusement 😳 before we left he attempted to eat a cigarette and it was time to get him back to the hotel . It was around 3 am when we got back to the hotel and I’m praying everyone is ok for the finals tomorrow . What a crazy night !