Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Just waking up from New Year’s Eve here .... feeling a bit fuzzy as everyone should but have this weird feeling that it’s almost 11 am here and the rest of the world is just starting to celebrate πŸŽ‰. My friends in Europe are just messaging me now with their New Years and my friends in Toronto will be celebrating when it’s 4 pm here ! It’s crazy how far we are from home and how big this planet is , we all know this but you don’t realize it until you experience it . We are experiencing it now 😊! 

So.... yesterday we started our day hoping to meet my buddy Jenny but she had to meet some friends she didn’t get to meet the day before so we altered our plans pretty quickly and went on a free walking tour . We walked over to Sydney Town Hall to meet the group and find the people wearing green shirts . We were one of the early birds and met one of the guides whose name was also Adrian , always nice to meet another Adrian as we are a rare breed . We chilled for a minute then got split into groups as there was pretty much a mob of tourists by the time we were to head off , no joke there was easily 200 people for 5 guides to wrangle . When we were getting split we just went to Adrian , obviously πŸ™„ and began our tour by introducing ourselves . There were a few North Americans and one in particular was wearing a Leafs cap which is always nice to see even though he spoke in broken English and was from Thornhill but I have no qualms with that . First stop was the QVB ( Queen Victoria Building ) and we soon found out that everything here with 3 words or more would have short forms . We then walked over to Hyde Park and saw the Archibald Fountain and then checked out the Rum Hospital which is a very interesting story if you have time to look it up . We saw the Sydney Tower and got some good tips on how to visit it on the cheap ! Apparently it’s $29 if you walk up and like $26 if you book in advance online but if you go up to the bar you only have to spend $20 so that is the cheapest option . Our guide was really good about showing us some good spots to visit while having a drink and getting a good view .... he told us there is a roof top bar at Sydney Square which is actually a round building and in fact not square then told us about all these hidden little specialty bars that are kinda like speak easy‘ sand we asked for the gin bar and he said to look up the Barber Shop which is a barber shop until 8 pm , I think we are definitely gonna do that ! 

Adrian (our guide) also showed us the artsy side of the city and this one particular one seen above is an alley with bird cages and on the floor there are  names of all the birds that no longer inhabit this region and there are speakers playing the bird calls of each one .... pretty cool stuff eh ! We also encountered a Salvador Dali statue we saw in Andorra about 3 years ago which was pretty cool to see again . I guess there is a travelling exhibit that hopefully we can find the time to go visit . Our tour winded through the streets until we reached the harbour where the one thing I really really wanted to see is .... the Sydney Opera House ! It’s fantastic to see in person , as a traveller it’s one of those things I’ve dreamt of seeing most of my life and as the travelling goalie it’s one of those monuments I hope to get a picture in front of with my gear on .... fingers crossed 🀞 our tour ended and we headed back down George St. to hit the spots we wanted to grab things , we passed a Woolworths that we know have these Fantastic Noodles we were told to try so we stopped in and it was chaos but they had everything . We grabbed a bottle of tonic for our evening drink and I picked up some beef biltong and kangaroo jerky which I didn’t really like ☹️ had to try it though ! I did like the Fantastic Noodles though . 

When we got back to our room it started raining ...really hard ! We took a nap and then showered up and got ready for the evening festivities which we paid a bundle for private spots . We booked spots at the Royal Botanical Garden and they have multiple events , some are geared towards families and some are more formal with actual reserved seating and the one we chose was less formal with picnic tables and no table reservation so we could sit with any random people . Doors are open between 5:30 pm -  7:30 pm and we decided to get there for 6:30 pm . When we left it was not raining and we took an Uber over to maximize chill out time here in our room 😏 our driver put in a good effort to get us as close as he could to the gate and when we walked in we were given our picnic meal to start the night which had a couple salads and healthy snacks and we started to look for a spot , we then realized that everyone probably got here for 5:30 and some people were hogging tables and we did a full lap of the event before seeing 4 gals at a table which Kathleen approached to see if we could join and they were friendly enough so we jumped in . Now did I mention that I paid $400 per person for this event ? Yeah not cheap but it was supposed to include buskers as entertainment (didn’t see any) there was supposed to be a palm reader (we looked and we didn’t find them ) and about a week ago on their Facebook event they asked us to post a song to hear during the evening which would be announced as our request , well I never heard Daddy Cool by Boney M ☹️ we also were sure that we were supposed to get complimentary champagne before midnight and when we asked for it nobody knew what we were talking about so we bought some . It was nice being there but when you pay this amount for anything you should get what you pay for ! And let me tell ya .... a beer which was like half a can was $9 so I battled to catch a buzz all night with Heineken half cans at least we got free ponchos to keep dry during to rain which just didn’t let up all night . Don’t get me wrong as I don’t want to bitch too much , we had a great view which we didn’t have to claim the morning of and the food we got was really good but all in all it was an expensive day out which I would finalize by saying was worth the view and experience ! The gals we sat with were all friendly nice people and we really got to see a spectacular fireworks display with no obstruction at all so if you ever plan to come to experience this then look into booking a spot early for this ! This one particular event sold out within a couple days and months in advance . 

As soon as the fireworks ended everyone charged the gate to get out of there and we started to make our way back to our hostel and on our way back we tried to get some ice for one last drink before bed with no luck .... we opted to get a cold bottle of tonic instead so we can have a gin and tonic and then called it a night . We survived New Years in Sydney and let me tell ya .... what an experience it was ! Happy New Year πŸ₯³ I know as I’m writing this my friends in the UK are now celebrating and I’m sure later on I will receive messages from home . Until then I’m gonna hide in my room until I figure out what to do today . 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Long Journey


And this is how it all began , my longest trip ever to the 5th continent that I am going to play ice hockey on . On Friday morning in Toronto we had to wake up at 2 am to get ready to get a taxi to the airport for our 7 am flight to Houston . Of course we ( myself and Kathleen ) went to bed mega early the night before but I couldn’t sleep as I was too excited , it’s been a while since I’ve left home ! These big trips are far from cheap and I was paying for that India trip for a long time after it occurred ☹️ so work had to take a bigger part of my life and then I started looking at this trip which is even more expensive but I came prepared and should be able to do more trips in 2019 ! Anyways back to the story .... we woke up , washed up and headed to Pearson International Airport and checked my bags in with United Airlines who now accept my goalie bag with my sticks as one piece of luggage which is great because I won’t have to pay any extra baggage fees but I’m sure I will run into that wall on my next flight(s) . It’s all part of my life as a travelling goalie . When we cleared customs we ran into one of Kathleen’s friends named Liz and the both of them caught up until the point that Liz almost missed her flight with her husband to Newark . If you guys are reading this I hope your trip is going well ! We got onto our flight soon after hitting up Tim Horton’s for a bagel and a coffee , make mine a double double please . When we got onto that flight I crashed out and when we took off almost immediately hit bad turbulence , not the worst I’ve experienced but it wasn’t great . Kathleen was freaked out a bit and she says she didn’t wake me up but she did lol ! It felt like the back end of the plane was gonna break off but all I kept thinking was that if we had to make an emergency landing it would just cut into our long layover in Houston so it wouldn’t bother me one bit hahaha πŸ€ͺ

That flight made it to Houston on time and we had to deal with a ten hour layover which we contemplated leaving the airport t o do something and honestly no offence to anyone I know from there but there is absolutely nothing interesting to do in Houston .... I know because I’ve been there before and trust me we did all the research looking for excuses to leave to go into the city to do anything remotely “cool” but instead realized that we were not about to spend upwards of $100 USD to go eat food and drink beer when we could do that in the airport .... let me ask you a question now , what would you have done ? Post it in my comments please ! Houston airport is massive and we got our steps in wandering around checking out stores and menus before deciding on our first meal which was at a place called Ember , we started off with a couple nice local IPA’s if you like IPA’s you should try Saint Arnold Elissa’s IPA we both enjoyed it and then dove into a couple burgers with some nice Idaho potato fries which were yummy but just one small problem .... the restaurant ran out of ketchup ? Yeah isn’t that odd ? Whatever , we got some mayo instead and gobbled our meals then had to walk it off . I felt so bloated , gotta lose weight and the older I get the harder it is ! I feel like I’m gaining weight by breathing these days ☹️ all this walking was making us sore though and Kathleen needs to stretch out and we found a nice quiet area that nobody was sitting in and we stretched out and got to use a low traffic bathroom which is the perfect place to “chill for a minute “ don’t ask I think you should know what I mean :) after all this we had a couple more hours to kill off so we went to use a couple of those massage chairs which are $5 for 30 minutes , honestly ..... so worth it ! Even the guys beside were talking about how awesome it was . So now I’m not feeling bloated and my body is feeling decent so the only thing to do now is eat again ? Wtf is wrong with me ? Ok I blame Kathleen for wanting this sriracha bacon Bloody Mary at this restaurant called Ruby’s Diner which is fashioned like an old school 60’s diner with good old school music and milk shakes on the menu . When we sat down my plan was to only have a Coca Cola but then the bartender showed me the menu so I ordered some chicken fingers for us to share and then added onion rings , no wonder I’m getting fat right ? Jeez! It was a good thing we ate though as you never know what you’re gonna get on a flight and this next flight is from Houston to Sydney ....17.5 hours !!!

We sat down near our gate and watched some Netflix that I have downloaded on my new iPad and waited ..... we met some Australian ladies who were nice but got almost angry when I pronounced Melbourne Mel-born and said it was Mel-bunn ... ok whatever just don’t get your panties in a knot hahaha ! Move along and we get onto the plane and Kathleen has the window and I get the middle and a nice woman named Claudia sits beside me and when I repeat her name I pronounced it Claw-dia and of course she corrects me , no shit eh ? Whatever , so I repeat her name and it sounds more German like .... ok time to pass out , have you ever passed out on a plane ? Jesus it’s fucking horrible ! You wake up and feel like someone hit you in the neck with a hammer .... ugh and then you realize you only have 14 more hours to kill ? Kill me now , please do it ! At that point Kathleen offered me the window and I had something to lean my head against and I guess I slept but in the most uncomfortable positions .... in between sleeps I watched some movies , The Meg and Venom were the two I didn’t sleep during but I have many flights ahead of me to watch others on . I slept during all the meals served except for breakfast which was pretty good to be honest , I had the scrambled eggs which came with potatoes and yogurt and a nice little cake . Good enough to give my fat ass the energy to drag my bag around Sydney airport πŸ˜„. Our flight arrived on time and my bags made it , we cleared customs with no issues and then I was on the hunt for a bank machine that I could get some loot out of .... I bank with Tangerine , and the bank machines at the airport don’t comply with my card ? In fact to this moment I have yet to find a machine to draw money out of 😑it’s ok , most places accept credit and thankfully my next stop which was to get my SIM card accepted credit so all is good . We grabbed a taxi to our hostel which is the Sydney Central YHA and of course we arrive around 8:30 am and their check in is 1 pm .... our room was not ready but they let us drop our bags and we were allowed to take a shower , I had some awful stank on me blah !!! I found a Puma store which was about a half hour walk to from our hostel and off we went . We encountered birds laughing at us and it is really hot over here , like 30 c ! So glad I put my shorts on but I desperately need a new pair of shoes as the ones I have are definitely not made for walking . When we got to the Puma Store we found out there is a 50% off sale !!! Damn , that’s good as gold ! I tried out a few pairs of kicks and settled for a nice grey and black pair that cost me $35 πŸ€‘ kinda wanted to buy couple pairs but I am almost at my limits already with this goalie equipment . I didn’t even hesitate to put on my new shoes and put those other shoes in the box and as we were making our way back to the hostel with hopes of checking in even a few minutes early I received a message from my buddy Jenny who I work with back home in Toronto . If you work in the same industry as I do then you know Jenny Sisko is one of the best food stylists in Toronto , small blonde gal with a kick ass attitude 😜we always have fun when we work together ! Anyways she’s here in Sydney and wants to meet for a couple beers , ummm yeah I’m down for beer but I gotta get checked in and wash this funk off my body before taking an Uber to her pub of choice . Let’s hope the hostel checks us in when we get back ....

We get back to Sydney Central YHA around 12:30 pm , yes check in is 1 pm but you know we’ve been waiting since 8:30 am and it would be so nice if you cleaned my room out when the people in here earlier checked out at 10 am which is checkout time ? You would think in a super organized service industry driven world that you would have our room ready by 12:30 right , wrong ! You made me wait until 1 pm and only for the reason that this is check in time right because magically my room was cleaned at that moment correct ? Ugh ! We had to get our bags from storage and then finally got into our room which I’m gonna be bold enough to say wasn’t thoroughly cleaned .... the floor in bathroom was sticky and there’s a stain on the blanket on my bed , I’m not gonna complain but I call bullshit on the room not being ready when we asked for it . I know I’m bitching but I’m not pissed off even though I may add there is no fridge or ice buckets in the room so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to keep my booze chilled for NYE . #firstworldproblems lol ! Took my shower and jumped into an Uber and headed to the Nelson Hotel to meet Jenny and Rich who is her really cool bf , when we arrived they were already there drinking beers and the atmosphere was nice . Got a couple nice local IPA’s which I think were Founders Brewery , I could be wrong but they were good and not too strong .... only 6.5% πŸ€ͺ . 

The woman pictured above was the local entertainment and I didn’t get her (their) name(s) but they were great ! They were taking requests from the beer garden patrons and even played a David Bowie song for Kathleen but all the requests they took were played with their own spin on the song which was really nice and original sounding but the time was coming where my beer buzz and my jet lag were taking over and as hard as it is for me to admit to this but I even was offered to play hockey last night when I received a message from Justin Harrison and I turned it down , don’t hate me but we just went back to grab some KFC and I passed out by 7pm .... this ice time was 7:45 pm and there was no way I would have made it alive especially after drinking a few beers . Don’t fret though as it looks as though we will be hitting the ice on Friday here and who knows , I might even get another emergency call to fill in between now and then . Looks like Australia πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί will be country #39 on my list of countries played in . I should get back to reality now and start getting ready to leave my room , tonight is New Year’s Eve . I hope you all have a happy new year and expect a very hungover post to kick off 2019 . Peace ✌️ 

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Hockey News

Didn’t want to release any pics of the actual magazine out of respect to the publisher but I think at this point it’s been out long enough for you all to have gone out to get your own copies 😊 anyways I’m sitting on a plane flying to Houston now and I figured it’s time to share the story of how I ended up in one of the if not the biggest hockey magazines on the planet ... no offence to my friends at the Eishockey News in Germany but this is huge and something most of us have dreamt of as I did when I was a young man , I used to get the paperback delivered to my mom’s place back in the day and I never though I’d make it onto the pages of this magazine and then I met Ronnie Shuker who wrote this well written article about me . 

We first met in Ladakh, India where together we set a world record with a group of hockey players from around the globe , I travelled there with the Rainman Allstars but unfortunately never had the chance to play for them and as fate would have it I was asked to play for The Hockey Foundation team which was one of the two teams that played in the world record setting game for the highest altitude . To this day I still think it should have been a tournament since so many people from around the world travelled there to take part in this event but this is out of my control . Before settting the record we were approached by Ronnie who was there writing an article about the event for The Hockey News and he was intrigued with my story , it is kinda interesting isn’t it ? I guess he thought so , enough to stay in touch afterward and pitch the story ! During the world record game Ronnie went on to score the opening goal in our historic win and I was the goalie on that same winning side filled with friends ( and some others ) 😜

When I got back to Toronto I was contacted by Ronnie and we met for the first time at a cafe on Danforth in the east end of Toronto , he pulled out a recorder and we chatted for hours and caught up with each other . I had way too many cappuccinos and then we had to go our own ways but I felt as though I didn’t say the right things and I think Ronnie was looking for more also .... he pitched the story and was told to pit together a two page article and all I was praying for was that they didn’t spell my name wrong like they did in the first article where I was quoted as Adam Mizzi hahaha . We continued to stay in touch and planned another day out and I was itching to get him back on the ice but Ronnie doesn’t have his gear in tow like I do and has many projects on the go such as the one where he got to interview Phil Esposito which was interesting for me to hear about , apparently he is quite intimidating it and those of us that know of his lore from the days of the Summit Series should not be surprised . How cool is it that a guy interviewing these legends is interested in my story ? We planned to meet once again but this time at Cafe Diplomatico on College St. which is more central and again I drowned myself in cappuccinos before we went to grab some wings with Adam Sherlip who was the main organizer of the world record setting game where we met and I had a new friend tag along from out of town who happens to also be a hockey related author who recently wrote a book called Hockeywood and goes by the name Garret Oppenheim , he was driving around the continent selling his books at rinks and book fairs and I met and bought his book in the foyer of De la Salle Arena before one of my Ghetto Blaster games .... yes I’m being a bit long winded but for me it was an impromptu meeting of some respectable hockey people that combined played 0 NHL hockey games . Good conversation and some good wings washed down with some cheap beer made for a nice day out but again I left feeling as though there was more to share to contribute to this article . This is about me and could be the ultimate article about me so I want it to do me some justice and hopefully lead to some other fantastic opportunities.

So once again we planned to meet but this time at Fran’s which is an all day breakfast joint down the road from where Maple Leaf Gardens used to be , it’s just off Yonge St on College or Carlton whichever you wanna say as I’m almost sure the street changes names at or around Yonge . Ronnie was craving breakfast and I think I had a club sandwich and we started yapping away and by this time the comfort level was there and we didn’t record this conversation so there was no pressure to perform or say things or key phrases that I though in my dreams I should be saying just like my nhl heroes did coming off the ice between periods of the big game lol ! I know I’m so corny but put yourself in my position all giddy knowing I am being interviewed for an article in a maagazine I grew up bewildering . On this day I found out that The Hockey News wanted Ronnie to put together a 4 page story and it would be in the goalie edition ... boy oh boy was I pumped hearing that I could be in a magazine filled with stories about Fleury , Luongo and other great goalies .... I sat there wondering if they would peruse the magazine thinking who is this Travelling Goalie guy ? Hey who knows maybe they did .... maybe they didn’t but I’m sure just like any other Canadian boy there was a time in their lives where they looked in that magazine and dreamt of being there also .

When the magazine came out I had friends and family contacting me about it and it’s a well written article so I would like to thank Ronnie for his efforts event though I never got him on the ice with me I’m still hoping to drag him out at some point and I hope to meet up with him again for another adventure . Thank you Hockey News for making the dreams of a young boy come true !


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Keep on plannin’

The past two weeks I’ve had off work ... as a freelancer that works in the film business these opportunities to stay home and catch up with life don’t come frequently and as most of my colleagues know , we work some crazy ass hours ! I mean I totally laugh when anyone tells me they worked a long day .... 10 hours :) we average 14-16 hour days and work 20-25 days a month . Do the math ! It’s mental isn’t it ? Doesn’t leave much time to socialize , do laundry , sleep or plan my trips which is more important then anything else I’ve mentioned . I’m joking πŸ™ƒ.... kinda .... 

During this two week span of freedom I didn’t even dream of putting the call out to get any work , nah f$&k dat ! I took full advantage of it and got shit I needed to do at home in order and spent as much quality time with my best friend and partner in crime Kathleen :) don’t get me started , I’m not trying to be a sappy sucka but it was nice being with her and I’m realizing this all as I sit in a parking lot working today on a Sunday . It’s actually nice to be at work , especially after realizing how much this trip to Australia πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί & New Zealand πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ is gonna set me back . As I mentinoned in my last post we are not holding back on anything , booking everything in advance such as hotels and tours and adventure stuff ! And we aren’t going cheap on the hotels either , I’m not the Air B’n’b  kinda guy .... I wanna make a mess leave my room and come back at night and have my bed made and my room cleaned ! I’m on vacation . I don’t plan on cooking or cleaning at all .... I might even pay a service to do my laundry while I’m travelling :) won’t be cheap but this is a big trip and as I said earlier .... no holding back , not being cheap and fully going to enjoy every moment ! 

Right now I have all my flights fully booked , hotels are fully booked in Australia aside from Melbourne and most of my schedule planned for Australia aside from ice time in Sydney . New Zealand is open for suggestions and I could use another week off work to start figuring all that out but at the moment only flights booked and I have ice time sorted in Auckland and Dunedin . Might rent a car while I’m there to see both islands instead of taking bus’ around and depending on strict scheduling ..... if anyone has any suggestions feel free to comment ? I have a lot of ideas but nothing in place yet .... just might have to wing it while I’m there and book stuff last second but will see how things play out over the next couple weeks . 

If anyone has any suggestions on cool places to stay or awesome things to do or see while I’m in New Zealand , do t be shy ☺️ please let me know as I want to make the most of my two weeks there ! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

This isn’t a cheap trip

This is probably the first time in my life that I’m booking everything and paying for it in advance as usually I just wait until the last second and book everything on the fly . This time I’m not going on the cheap either as it’s a big trip , going to Australia and New Zealand is no small matter as it’s a long flight and for a long flight you gotta make it a long trip . If you didn’t know this already .... I’m going for almost 7 weeks :) it wasn’t easy telling my employer this but thankfully I work for the best boss in the “biz” . Thank you Matt for being so understanding . Really hoping I don’t lose my spot on that Main Dish truck that I totally love driving around . I need that job to pay for my next adventure also lol ! 

As I said planning is in full force and the main part of planning is booking ice time .... so far I have not booked anything in Sydney where I go first but I do have my New Years plans sorted  in Royal Botanical Garden ) and my Bridgeclimb booked along with my hostel at the YHA central YHA Sydney Central  which was definitely not cheap due to the rates marked up for New Year’s Eve . Hoping Justin Harrison my fellow goaltender can hook up some ice times sooner then later . My next flight is to Auckland in New Zealand where I have yet to book anything ..... hoping to find some help as my contact there is moving away and one of my childhood friends I was planning to visit is also moving away which puts a twist on those plans . I do have contact with a friend of a friend and hopefully she can help but if she can't then if  anyone knows anyone there or in Dunedin please help me find some ice time , pretty please :) !!!! I have those flights all booked and plan to be in Auckland from Jan 7-14 and Dunedin from Jan 14-21 . I am really hoping that Alicia Thomasen can help me out though …. my buddy Timo speaks very highly of her and I am hoping to get the chance to meet her when I'm there .

After my stay in New Zealand I fly back to Australia all the way over in Perth where I have a lot of old friends to meet up with . It’s pretty crazy how many people I am finding out are there now . I have been hooked up with some ice times there and my hotel is booked up even with one night that we are spending in a prison cell .... Fremantle Prison Fremantle Prison YHAwill be my home for a night . Hope Kathleen likes it hehehehe ! I’m really excited about this part of the trip .... so many people to have pints with and get on the ice with . James Brown ( not THE James Brown ) will probably be my main man out there and yes I’m getting him on the ice ! I’m planning to see my old high school teammate Will Carey-Hill who’s good friend Lara Irons is hooking me up with ice time . I definitely have to go for an ice cream at Mati Kuld’s ice cream parlour Kuld Creamery and hoping to see former Ghetto Blaster Brandon Bailey on the ice and in the pub after also . Phew .... so many people and I’m sure I’m gonna make a few new hockey buddies there too . 

Flight to Melbourne after is booked and we are currently looking at hotels . The Melbourne Nite Owls (Melbourne Nite Owls Hockey Club) are gonna get me on the ice for a practise or two and I haven’t done much research there yet but I’m sure there will be plenty to do .... Kathleen has already been researching a few gin bars she wants to visit and I really have to make time for things she wants to do also or I might come home a single man 😳. Don’t worry I keep my promises *most of the time * 

I have not booked my flight to Adelaide yet for the tournament I’m playing in there but I’m currently planning with Kevin Mingoia from Okinawa Sniperz team I’ve joined . He might be in Melbourne also and when we can sort everything out I’m hoping to be on the same flight and we have a room booked in Adelaide together . He likes IPA’s .... you gotta know we are gonna cause some trouble lol 😝 apparently the plan is to have a keg in our room …. sounds like a recipe for disaster ? or the beginning of a joke …. a goalie had a hotel room with a keg in it ….. regardless , count me in . 

Lots to plan still and time doesn’t seem to slow down but I’m really hoping that I will have my ice times all sorted in the next month or so this way I can book some things Kathleen will be interested in doing and some other crazy (expensive) things ! So this being all said .... if you are reading this in Auckland or Dunedin , please hook me up with some ice times ! 86 more days to go …. 

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 !