Woke up quite early at Vince & Valerie's place when i went downstairs Vince was already making us fried eggs on croissants , and might i add they were very yummy ! Everyone was ready to rock and head off to Victoriaville which was about 1.5 hours drive from where we were ... didn't seem that long , i was pumped anyways . The whole ride i was getting myself more and more worried about impressing these guys and getting comfortable playing at their level . If i didn't mention these guys mostly played some form of pro hockey , i didn't ....
Our first game was against this team called Les Agents Libre , they were all young guys . I was still confident that i was on a really good team . They hadn't played together as a team in 13 years and as the team organizer Etienne put it that he was happy to wait so long so he could play with them . Etienne was the team physiotherapist but always a huge fan of hockey , he has also been a trainer with a few National Jr. teams . Etienne felt it was a good time as he may have caught up in skill level with the guys . On the ride to Victoriaville we met up with Alex's family and a couple other guys from our squad . We played at this rink called Arena College Claretain which is apparently a private school and 1 of 3 rinks in Victroriaville which has a population of roughly 60,000 people as i was told .
Back to the hockey ... when i get to the rink i soon find out i am the ONLY non french speaker at the tournament and everyone seems to be amazed by this guy here from Toronto , and yes i wore a Leafs shirt to the rink LOL ! We get into the dressing room and all the guys are having a great time re acquainting themselves and the jokes start flying around in French ... i backed into a corner and got dressed and started praying :) We stepped onto the ice quite early and had a long warmup ... some may say that was not a good idea as these kids we played were FAST !!! After the first period we are already losing and i am not feeling too confident about my play ... things got worse and then we went into the dressing room between 2nd and 3rd period and it was quiet . I wouldn't doubt that these guys were wondering why Alex brought this shit goalie . We got back on the ice and things didn't end up any better as we ended up losing 8-3 . After the game we had a beer in the room and headed back to Etienne's place to order some food .
I got a ride with Etienne and we acquainted ourselves and he assured me that i wasn't that bad but i think he was just being really nice :) We all put in our orders for food and i got a lasagna , which was tre tre bon !!! our next game was at like 5 pm and we had some time to chill . I don't think the next team is gonna be any easier and i know i have to step up my game if i want to feel more welcomed on this team .
After showering and getting dressed we headed out to a resto/bar called Cactus , we had a pint and some food there and spoke about what we need to do in our next game . I had some wings w/fries and let me tell you there was way too many fries LOL ! great food and good atmosphere there i would highly recommend it ! As we were sitting there the guys all assured me that we will win our quarter final game and i believed them , these guys are not used to losing . As a team playing for Concordia they were at one point ranked #2 in Canada !!! not an easy task and no you don't lose alot to get to that point LOL . We were crossing over to play the 2nd place team from the other pool which we all felt would be the weaker of the 2 pools as the 2 teams we had played looked much better then the teams we watched in other pool . I did know that the goalie we were about to play is a pro and i watched him make some ridiculous saves earlier in the day . My confidence level is high and i am ready for the challenge ! The weather outside was crazy , we were actually sliding all over the place when we left Cactus ... and Etienne had his winter tires on already as it is mandatory in Quebec to have winter tires on during winter !!!
When i get to the dressing room i hide in corner and get into my own world ...there is no chance i am losing this game and i know i have to put on a great performance to win this one . We step on the ice and it is all buisness , i can see it on everyones face that we weren't here to play , we were here to win ! At the intermission after 1st period we were tied and soon went down 2-1 ... it was a serious goalie battle between me ant the keeper for Team Sleeman . back and forth breakaway after breakaway were saved , opportunities shut down !!! i must have made about 4 crazy breakaway saves and he equalled me the whole way ... i had to hold us in there , i knew we would get that goal back and we did :) When we tied it up i knew it was all over for them as long as i did my job . We soon scored our 3rd and 4th goals to go up 4-2 and i knew with a minute left that we had won ... unfortunately i gave up another goal but we got the win and we were going to play tomorrow in semi final which meant a lot to us .
After the game we headed out to this Irish Pub , listened to some really really bad live music and drank beers . At this point after finally winning i felt like a part of the team :) We were all joking around having a good time , they were all telling me about some dressing room pranks that some of the guys have pulled . Some are kinda x rated stories ... might have to get into that some other time though LOL . After last call we headed out for poutine and witnessed this super drunk chick totally tackle a whole row of chairs in her crazy stumble ... it was like watching a train wreck hahaha. Drunk , filled with poutine and happy to be part of this team we head off to Etienne's place to crash . i seemed lucky to get the bed .....
tomorrow we have our semi final ... i need my rest :)