Monday, February 25, 2019

Adelaide Challenge Cup Championship Day

I can’t believe how time flies . This actually took place over two weeks ago now and I’m back home reminiscing over a day that definitely had its ups and downs . As I mentioned in my last post , I took it easy that night at Strats and really did stick to my self imposed curfew because to start the day off I had a massive semi final match for the B squad I’m playing for which is the home club , Adelaide Tigers ๐Ÿฏ. They are in it to win it and are playing for all the marbles and we have to face a team that has previously competed in the A division at this tournament and rumours do go around about how they have this guy and we should worry about that guy and basically the best thing to do going into one of these games is to not be worried about the players you have to face but instead worry about yourself ! Stick to the game plan and stay focused . The game before us was the other semi final match between the ADF Strike and Beijing North Stars and I got to the rink early enough to watch that game and man oh man was Trevor on fire that day . He was a wall out there for his squad that faced the same adversity every other team put on them after we solved them out ... take out their sniper and they don’t have much chance . I had to get to my dressing room to get ready for my game and we half heartedly all were listening to the other game as the cheers and jeers floated from an almost packed arena . Our room was preparing for our task at hand as the guys went over lines and plays that they had concocted as our dressing room leaders all stepped up and made their speeches . When we were all dressed we stepped out the room to watch the final minutes of the other semi and to my relief I knew I wouldn’t have to face the tough task of out duelling Trevor once again . As much as I felt bad for him I was more happy to have to face the team that had been the only team to defeat our semi final foes which should prove to be a tough task but first things first ..... Canterbury Kings . 

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

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

We got to use the Adelaide Falcons dressing room as their weekend had come to an abrupt end and were not using it and that room was nice but was wierd as we had to go down a set of stairs to get to . When I got tot he room I sat beside my buddy Brandon Bailey and we chatted about some things as we got dressed and then we got up to watch the end of the women’s final which one of our team mates was playing in for the Pro Look women’s team and we all thought they would win as they went undefeated all tournament . Cheyenne came to the room with a feeling of disappointment as her team lost to the Valkyries 2-1 in a nail biter ๐Ÿ˜ข I felt bad for her and then it occurred to me that losing this game would be my first loss of the tournament .... how much would that suck to play all week and absolutely dominate to get all the way to this point and then lose ?  It can happen .... 

We were prepared with a full lineup aside from missing Craig Meharry which we could have used but the rest of the squad are no slouches and the team fully agreed to shorten the bench if need be . When we got on the ice you could tell the crowd had filled even more as teams getting eliminated were joining in to watch and I don’t know if they were friends or foes of the Sniperz but I sure as hell know the majority were cheering for the Aussie Heat . When the puck dropped we seemed too nervous as the guys all gripped their sticks a bit too tight and immediately I could tell we weren’t playing the game we had played all week .... maybe it was us ? Maybe it was the pressure from the opposition ? Or maybe it was nerves .... I don’t know but immediately it seemed as though we were certain to be outshot and outplayed in our own zone as we didn’t play the puck properly and turned over the puck way too easily . Our breakout was non existent and I was getting frustrated . I don’t even think 5 minutes had passed when they took a shot which I stopped and didn’t control the rebound and made that save also only to have a third skater pot the puck into a gaping net as I saw my team mates all watch going in . That killed me . I didn’t know what to do . Do I get angry with them ? Will that change things ..... well I did get angry and I don’t think it had the reaction I wanted as it seemed to make things worse . When we switched ends I didn’t say much to the bench and I do remember a certain player being angry at me for being angry at him and I could feel the teams frustrations . It was only 1-0 but that feeling of needing to get some positivity rolling was definitely not there . Unfortunately it reared it’s ugly face to begin the second period as we gave up two more quick goals and the nightmare I had wished to never happen was upon me . Losing that one game that meant everything and the lost key moment is the last thing I had wished for but I was almost ready to prepare for it after the third goal got by me . Going into the third period we were down 3-0 and I just skated across the ice as I had nothing positive to say to the guys and figured it’s best to keep my anger penned up . That’s when Brandon Bailey steppes up his game . That feeling of helplessness became a feeling of hope when I saw my buddy break the shutout and get us to within 2 goals . Before this we had little to no attack at all and I don’t know what happened by it was like having a sleeping giant awake ! That first goal sparked the whole squad and soon after Marc Daigler potted the second for ya to come within one goal of a comeback . With under two minutes left I rushed to the bench to add an extra attacker and then I saw one of our players circle back into our zone and lose the puck . One of the Heat skaters gobbled that shit up and deposited it into the empty net to put them surely ahead with a 4-2 lead . We were doomed .... or so it seemed ? I was kept on the bench and with the blink of an eye Brandon got us back to a one goal deficit and you could see us attacking like a pack of sharks that smelled blood ..... those last two minutes felt like twenty minutes and we pressed as hard as we could only to be stymied by a post and a couple lucky breaks for the opposition ..... unfortunately we lost . Our first and only loss of the tournament ๐Ÿ˜ญ when we all got on the ice there was a sense of relief that we at least gave it our all and didn’t pack it in . I was proud of my team mates and we all seemed to put aside our momentary differences as we shook the victors hands and congratulated them as the crowd went wild . They definitely got their money’s worth watching this one . I would have been happy to watch it unfold also . No time to waste though .... I have another championship game to play ! 

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

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

Adelaide Tigers don’t give up so easily . That third period ended up being a real barn burner as we turned up the jets and I knew that the guys in front of me would do anything and I am dead serious when I say anything to win this game and right off the bat we scored our second goal which was soon followed by a third . We were met with some opposition but I’m sure they were in awe as they watched the inevitable happen as we tied it up . It was one of those things where we seemed to solve their goalie and get in his head and it felt like every opportunity lead to a goal as the ADF Strike team buckled under the pressure . We were fierce and then the magic happened ... I made a routine save which I steered towards the corner and Joey MacDougall ( hope I got the right guy ) picked the puck up off the boards and just fucking gave it his all and barreled his way up the boards cut in on goal and totally undressed their goalie to put us up 4-3 . That was amazing ๐Ÿ˜‰ it blew my mind how amazing that play was and how great this team can play . Soon after the pressure mounted against us and that’s when I heard the stands erupt .... the whole ice shook like an earthquake when I made what others call the save . Possibly the save of the tournament. The puck went to the point and the D man drifted towards the middle of the ice and blasted a shot that I freakishly saved with the ultimate windmill glove save . Now I don’t mean to brag but I shit you not when I say to this day I still hear about it and it sends shivers up my spine thinking about it and that wasn’t all as I had to pull another big save out of my repertoire to make a heel save that was sure to equalize as I stymied our opponents and finally came out of my shell . I still can’t believe the way that game had ended . We went on to win the title . It was a great feeling but I could still not help thinking about the loss with the Sniperz team I had travelled with . 

After the game we received our hats and banner and the crowd was cheering and everyone was feeling great as we went back to our room to celebrate . The beers were flowing and we drank out of both cups we received . One was the tournament trophy which will end up staying in Adelaide and will have a plaque with our team name on it and the other was given to us to take home which my team mates gave to me as a gift which will surely end up with my collection of trophies from around the world . This was my last game of the trip and I ended up with a 9-1 record at the tournament and an overall 10-2 record over the last 6 weeks . I don’t count the games that were scrimmages or practises but in total I skated on the ice 19 times on the continent down under . As the beers flowed I thought of my friends that I had travelled with and went to the other room to have a beer with them and grab my bag .... they were not there ๐Ÿค” only a couple fellas were there with one of the Sniperz and they said the beer was all gone and congratulated me and I went back to the festivities ๐Ÿฅณ we had to get out of the room to allow the Adelaide Tigers A team to go play their championship match and we headed to the rink bar which was rammed . The whole rink was rammed !  Everyone was drinking having fun and sharing hockey stories as we all watched the big final together which the Tigers went on to win as well . In fact that Tigers club dominated by winning A,B and C2 division only missing out on making it to C1 which we had lost with the Sniperz . As I was in that bar I felt conflicted ... do I hang with my Sniperz team mates or carry on celebrating with the Tigers ? 

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

We got back to the hotel . Opened up our bags and showered then met in the lobby where we decided that we wanted to find a bar with good drinks to sit down at and hang out . We settled on that bar down the alley from Hungry Jacks and when we arrived the bartenders remembered us and we got a table on the patio which continually grew as more and more people joined us . Eventually even tournament organizer Glenn Foll joined us for one last drink and we all thanked him for putting on such an amazing tournament . Glenn you did a great job , thanks again ! I highly recommend this tournament ! Good people , good hockey and good drinks ๐Ÿธ. Alas that deep sadness inside was growing as I knew I had to leave in a few days and I didn’t want to think about it and as we sat there we planned to spend the day with Steve Meharry tomorrow and do some sightseeing after Nonny and myself will have to move hotels . Those gin drinks I had were really good but I couldn’t drink enough to get a better buzz then what I had achieved from playing in this tournament this week as that feeling of camaraderie and winning and all that goes with participating in a great tournament like this sure do overcome any amount of alcoholic beverages . Regardless we stayed until last call , grabbed some grub on the way back to the hotel and said our good byes . I will sure as heck miss you all . 

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019


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

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

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

Back to the task at hand .... C division. Sniperz vs Saints up next . Goalie buddies at each end of the ice ! Not sure how sober Waddo is but I’m totally sober and ready to go for my one and only game today . When the game began I don’t think we even said hi or anything , I just got into my routine of dropping my water bottle on the net , doing a lap in my zone and stretching before scraping up my crease and getting a few warm up shots to feel the puck and work on tracking . Whistle blows and the game is on and it was a tight game , not sure if it was just both teams feeling each other out or just the tense gripping of sticks knowing this game has to be won to get to the final . Both goalies at both ends made the saves that were needed to be made in the first frame and when we switched ends it was 0-0 and there were no pad slaps or anything as we crossed paths to our respective ends . My squad was in the zone also as we got ready for second period action and soon enough I had given up a goal which was the first time this tournament that we were down .... was this the end or would we make a come back ? My questions were answered soon enough when we equalized to go into the third period with a 1-1 tie game which for us would mean elimination . Somethings gotta give ! I’m pretty sure Isaac Miller ported the first one . When the third started it was tight again and I had to make some decent saves to hold us in and you know that thought crossed your mind as a goalie where you think how shit it would be to let in that losing goal ? I was definitely trying not to think about it but it did cross my mind as I wondered what it would take to get the winning goal . We were in their end as much as they were in ours and with a few minutes left in the game my good friend Brandon Bailey scores !!!! We are up 2-1 with the bench now shortened we prepare for the last minute onslaught which would usually give them an extra attacker and we fought tooth and nail to keep them at bay and sure enough we conquered our opponents and won the game 2-1 . What a nail biter ๐Ÿ˜“ 

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

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

I don’t want to repeat too much about what I wrote the other night but another mistake I wrote about was that myself and Waddo did meet at the bar and we did hang and talked about the game . But instead of us talking about it in the future we actually talked about it in the past tense and I could tell Waddo really wanted that game but had come to grips with the fact it was gone and congratulated me as we watched a friend get his face rode by one of the local strippers which we all pitched in for . I wish I could post this one pic but I’m not going to as I know it would upset someone even though you can’t see his face lol ๐Ÿ˜ as I mentioned in my last post .... I did set myself a curfew and I did not get wasted or do anything too silly and planned for a big day tomorrow which could include three games and two of those will be finals . These teams I’m about to face won’t be easy and whether you like it or not the level of hockey here compared to Canada might be lower but you have to remember for a goalie it will be just as tough since my squad will be at the same level . Not to knock the hockey here but to rather put those who shake their heads at all of our accomplishments which we speak of down because they are all NHL stars ..... and yes I have seen some chirping online as I’m being asked if I’m playing blind kids to get my four shutouts and all I can say is if you’re so good maybe you should come out here and match my accomplishments and until then shhhhh! 

Monday, February 18, 2019

3 Game Thursday

Sorry for the delay writing about this tournament but my app with Blogspot seems to be malfunctioning and it’s taken me a few days to find another way to write and post this . Good thing I’m not travelling anymore as I’ve fallen way far behind and this story actually happened on Thursday February 7th . That morning I had to actually get up a bit early to play my earliest game of the tournament which by comparison to others was like being on a holiday . 10 am games are actually not bad even when you are staying up until 4 am at strip joints with the boys ๐Ÿคช. And yes my girlfriend knows what I’m up to and no I’m not partaking in any extracurricular activities ... scouts honour ! And if you don’t believe me ,I’m sure the guys I’m out with will back me up . And no I haven’t paid them to lie for me hahaha ! We are now entering the stage of the tournament where my Okinawa Sniperz team has been able to move into the next round in our C division and we are in the upper half of the 12 team division in another grouping and we have been grouped with the Darwin Evolution and the Liverpool Saints whose goalie is Waddo my buddy that passed out on my couch the first night in Adelaide . First team up to bat is Darwin . .

This Darwin club have never really played on big ice as their rink is quite small but they have had a big following with a spotlight on them from around the country even having some funny commercials made about them in the past . I will try to link the commercial made a few years back if this website allows me to ๐Ÿ˜ก if not google Darwin ice hockey and I’m sure it will pop up and I guarantee you will have a laugh . I will post it on my Facebook page regardless after I’m done struggling to write this . These guys don’t have the highest of expectations but are simply here to enjoy the experience and make new friends which they are doing by hanging out at the arena bar constantly and by all means they are really great people ! The task at hand though is to beat them and then hope they beat Liverpool to give us an easy edge into the finals as only the top team from our group of 3 teams will face the top team from the other group ... going into this game I have yet to give up a goal in this division also . 

Full lineup today and unfortunately one of our key skaters Craig Meharry has to leave after our game to go play in Perth with his junior club . Even more unfortunate was that my shutout streak would come to an end . The Darwin club that was there playing against all odds decided to come out hard and put their best foot forward and honestly gave us a scare as they scored two goals against this Canadian goalie that seemed to have the tournament in his grasp … yeah i'm talking about me lol ! After the first period we were tied 2-2 and we knew we weren't playing a team that was gonna lay down and play dead . We had to step up and then our unlikely hero got a puck fed to her and she broke free on the wing and as the Darwin defender was catching up to her she shot a hail mary shot on goal that snuck by the Darwin keeper and that was the turning point of the game …. yes this is not a typo …. Cheyenne Vogel , our kickass chick scored the big goal that we didn't look back from . I'm not surprised she scored but more relieved as she was trying so hard all tournament and came so close on a few occasions only to be robbed in previous matches . You could sense that the whole bench knew it was time to step their game up as she celebrated with everyone . I didn't play a spectacular role in this match as the team rallied around her big goal and went on to win this game 5-2 basically putting Darwin in a really tight spot to advance to the finals . Its now time to wait and see what happens in the match between them and Liverpool …. lets hope Liverpool doesn't win and if they do hopefully its a closer game giving us the edge in +/- if we do tie . 

After the game I had a beer in the rink bar with some of the members of the Darwin squad and then grabbed an Uber to go back to the hotel . I was no longer willing to take the tram as its not too expensive to take Uber and I've bargained with Kevin to get him to the rink daily in exchange for dressing room beers . Nonny is usually tagging along and will get me back at a later date … all is good and everyone is getting along well . At the hotel we all decide to get a meal in and head to every one's favourite place to munch ...Nando's ! After my feed I head back to the room to take a nap as tonight is the big tournament party at this stripjoint called Strats where apparently you can catch hepatitis just walking in LOL ! All the locals speak very highly of this place and definitely wouldn't call it a gentleman's club . I can afford to stay out late tonight as tomorrow I have 1 game only and I have 2 more games coming up today and the third of the day is a big goalie match against the Beijing North Stars who have a really good goalie that has mutual friends that goes by the name of Trevor Garrett . I've already warned the guys that he will be the big test for the team and this game has all the marbles on the line . 

After resting up and getting a good meal in I headed back to the arena to play my second game of the day and play against the other team from Darwin ! Another underdog squad that goes by the name Territory Storm who we must beat to stay in contention to top two teams in our group to go onto the semi finals . I must say after giving up a couple goals earlier I was a bit relieved to not have the pressure of trying to get shutouts all the time and going into this game I wasn't too nervous about the outcome of my play as I wanted to save as much gas for the third match which should be a doozie ! My Adelaide Tigers team mates are not in any mood to leave the standings with any room for disappointment and immediately come out on the attack with a 4-0 lead after the first period . I think that period I faced two shots and one of them might have been an icing lol ! The bench is really loose between periods but the task at hand is to run up the score to gain a better +/- over the Adelaide Falcons who we would end up tied with if they continue their winning ways . If we end up tied with them because of the tie game then hopefully we have the upper hand in the +/- department . Next period was more of the same as we scored 3 more goals to go up 7-0 and at that point I had probably faced 4 shots all game . The boys made it easy for me to rest up for the next game and when the third period started I think we were all taking it a bit easier then we should have as the Territory squad came out firing or maybe we just came out slow but regardless they potted a couple goals on me and this was not the time to start a new shutout streak or to even think about it as the only thing on all our minds was winning . We went on to score a few more to bump up our stats and win the match with a final of 10-2 . After the game we all took it easy and I hung out at the rink watching games and staying clear from the bar . I ate a snickers bar and tried my best to air out my gear with no luck . 

Now because the Tigers tied their first game this match meant more then you can imagine as this Beijing squad was doing some damage in our division which is made up of 5 teams in our group and 5 in the other group . Some of the guys on my squad scouted these guys and we all knew going into this game that we had to watch out for a guy wearing red gloves …. #19 Lavoie . Apparently this guy was undressing full teams on the ice on his own which meant we had to play him hard and as much as most of the guys on other teams told me they dislike the way my Tigers team plays they should all understand that we are playing to win and not to make friends and this game we definitely didn't make any friends . #19 would touch the puck and then would get touched , usually with a slash or a cross check ! As we all know some of these guys with hands have a tough time when they are played rough and we took the penalties and kept him off the score sheet and played a true Canadian style of hockey without going overboard . My nemesis and the best goalie I played against by far stood on his head at the other end as he was peppered with shots that he stood up against like a brick wall and I have nothing but praise for my opponent . He made me nervous and probably made me play harder every time I saw him across the ice making that big save , until we finally scored ! In the 2nd period we went up 1-0 and that was all we needed as we kept their sniper off the sheet and in fact I'm not even sure if he even had a shot on goal ? This was my 4th shutout of the tournament out of the 6 games I have played and was probably the biggest game of the tournament to date for me . I made all the saves I had to make and didn't give out any rebounds as I gave it my all and this game put us in contention for the title . After our game it came to our attention that the North Stars filed a formal complaint over some apparent racist remarks ???? I was actually asked by Glenn Foll if I had heard anything which I didn't as I responded that I don't hear much from the goal crease which is not a lie . As this conversation was going on the player that filed the complaint walked in shaking like a leaf telling us it was him and low and behold it was their sniper Lavoie ! Now I don't want to sound like an asshole but what kind of sore loser files a formal complaint like this at a tournament and what does he expect to happen ???? This is coming from a team that had a guy named Frenchie on it and a guy named Buddy who was also a huge loser who punched me in the chest during the handshake …. talk about sore losers ! If they heard anyone calling them Frenchie or Buddy then maybe they shouldn't have those names pasted on the backs of their sweaters . I lost all respect for that squad and was more then happy to see this fucking baby with his elbows all wrapped up from the abuse we gave him as our game plan worked to a tee and my advice to him would be to wear elbow pads in the future or at least splurge the $16 on a cheap pair to wear when he has to lend his out to his father who apparently didn't bring a helmet to the tournament also …. how stupid is that ? In all my years travelling I have never witnessed this . Now don't get me wrong , I definitely don't condone anyone making any racist remarks but from what I know this is all fabricated and his word against ours as the refs did not hear this either and I definitely didn't hear any of this nonsense . Trevor if you're reading this … I mean no offense to you but your team mates were dicks . 

Its now time to party ! Everyone on my Adelaide Tigers squad were jacked up and pumped for the big games to follow as we rolled into the last couple days with a 3-0-1 record tied for first and the big game to follow tomorrow would be between the North Stars and Falcons . If the North Stars win they clinch a playoff spot and if the Falcons win they clinch … a tie would put the Falcons through . We have clinched a spot in the semis but don't know who we play . And my Okinawa squad also will be watching another match closely as this Liverpool vs. Darwin game will probably have some deciding factors as to what we need to do to make it to the final but for now its time to party . Off to Strats we go ! First I need a shower … badly as I don't want to scare the strippers away and at the same time I don't want them to bother me . 

When I got to Strats all the fellas where there and a couple of the women from the women's teams were there having fun also . Unfortunately we did not see much of the gals from the women's division all week ? Who knows what they were up to but plain and simple they weren't really mingling too much which kinda sucks because personally I would have rather talked to some of those gals about hockey then have a stripper come try to wrangle some money out of my wallet ! Strats is the same old shit and the talent wasn't up to par with the other establishments we went to but the atmosphere was great as I entered the goalie from Crown & Sceptre met me at the bar and praised my performance against his squad which was nice to hear but as usual is always a bit weird as I'm not the greatest goalie to walk the earth and rather be humble then praised but I thanked him and praised his performance in return …. after all , we only put 1 past him in that game and surprisingly they weren't fairing as well on their side of the grouping as we thought they would as they lost their opening match today . Waddo was at the bar also and we chatted about our big match up tomorrow … neither of us were spewing any confidence and as all the goalies were only talking with respect for each other which is the way it should be at these tournaments . Nobody likes a dick , especially in a strip joint hahahaha! And before I called it a night I saw some of the dicks from that North Stars squad walk in wearing their stupid green blazers looking like a pack of idiots . I still can't believe they whined like babies after losing to us . Tomorrow I have a big game and I set myself curfew of midnight and I stuck to it ….. some of the stuff that went on at the rippers that night are things I will keep to myself but I know one thing is certain , we all had fun ! 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Even I’m surprised

Day 2 of the tournament and today I have my second game of the ground stage for my C division team from Okinawa and later on in the evening I have my debut for the local favourite team in B division who are called the Adelaide Tigers . Yes I’m playing for two teams and if I had the choice I probably would have played for a third as I watched the A division and felt as though that was the division which would have suited me best and maybe I would be playing in the A division if I didn’t jump the gun months ago to play for Okinawa . Glenn Foll the tournament organizer is who I contacted months ago to put me on a team and I’m almost sure he was planning to put me on an A squad but I couldn’t wait as I’m an impatient person when trying to book flights for this trip and when Kevin Mingoia asked to play for him I let Glenn know which I felt was not exactly pleasing for him to hear as I’m sure he thought a Canadian goalie would have a better pedigree then most of the regular keepers . I’m not gonna argue that but in the end it all worked out and I did get added to this B squad as I was travelling and never had the inkling of a thought to leave my buddy Kevin hanging even though there were some tough moments leading up to the tournament as I followed our group chat online and saw players being added and disappearing along the way . These are the pains of running hockey teams and only the strong minded ones persevere . I saw it in Kevin to make it happen , he’s even more stubborn then I am lol ๐Ÿ˜. Now it’s a good thing my first game is after 2 pm unlike my counter part Robert Soliman who eventually ended up on that A squad that Glenn possibly had me earmarked to play for as they have a slew of 6 am games during the tournament which I rather avoid so I can enjoy the nightlife ... now all we need to do is get Nonny a pair of shoes so we can visit the Gentleman’s clubs ๐Ÿคช

When I woke up around 10 am Robert was gone and Nonny was on the couch and we didn’t bring any hockey buddies over to crash and the only th8ng on my mind was getting some grub in me and hoping for cheap and cheerful . We have these McDonalds coupons from the tournament and it’s time to make use of them , Nonny joined me down the road to grab some food and we hiked it back and gorged our greasy fare ! I stashed the free cheeseburger in the fridge and threw out the leftover bread I had purchased a few days ago when my idea was to save money by buying groceries .... no time to cook and or clean and the cleaning lady that comes into our room at the weirdest times avoids tossing anything out that is not in a garbage bin so I’m filling the bin to make room for other stuff on the table which eventually is filled by empty takeaway bags between the three of us . I’m really pleased to say I haven’t seen any creepy crawlies at the hotel even with all kinds of food left out for them and I have seen a couple big cockroaches on the streets out front and no I’m not talking about the local junkies . That plan of taking the tram into hockey died today when I decided to start ordering uber XL as it only costs $11 and Kevin and Nonny enjoy it also . Kevin is injured and very doubtful of playing today as he was tripped in the game yesterday and is taking it easy . Last night we added Brandon Bailey to our roster as he was hanging with us anyways and wanted to play more , naturally it was a good move and made me happy that we won’t have to scratch out anymore 1-0 wins .... hopefully . On the way out the hospital I met Marc Daigler who is also in the US military and is from Okinawa . We met yesterday but didn’t introduce ourselves formally and today I got to learn more about everyone as you do when spending so much time with the group and this group is spending a lot of time together and we are all getting along which is always great ! Marc is hardcore and opts to take the tram and we take our Uber XL .... my plan for the day is to take and Uber back after our first game to take a nap and air out my gear before my debut for the Adelaide Tigers ๐Ÿฏ 

I got to the rink in time to watch Justin Harrison play for his Pro Look B squad which I am to face later on tonight and there are 4 Sniperz team mates also playing for that squad so it should be interesting facing my team mates , friends and room mates in a match that has all the marbles on the table . The Tigers squad I am on tied their first match 3-3 against another local club called the Falcons which also has a few Sniperz playing for them so it adds to the animosity amongst ourselves .... animosity is a strong word .... let’s say friendly banter , but I’m the only Tiger so I’m amongst a room full of players that are all vying for those two playoff spots in our b division group of 5 teams . This all began today when we hit the dressing room and the chatter began as we got read6 to face our second opponent in our 2 game round robin against ADF Storm who had lost to Crown & Sceptre earlier on by a score of 6-2 . We know Crown has a good team and with the plus minus involved we know we need at least a tie to take topspot and go through to the next group round in the higher division . There are 12 C division teams which are in 4 groups of 3 playing 2 games in this prelim round robin and from that the teams will be split into C1 & C2 division with top 6 ranked teams going into C1 which of course is our goal . We were almost guaranteed that with our first win but since it was such a slim margin it might cause problems if we tie or lose . We all knew this as we hit the ice and we went through our normal warm ups and headed back to the bench to be lead through our chant by Cheyenne as she yelled SNIPERZ ON 3 1,2,3 SNIPERZ !!! And the game began . 

This game was an evenly balanced game as our team gelled more with the additions of Isaac Miller and Brandon Bailey to lead our charges and right off the bat we jumped to a very comfortable 2-0 lead and honestly I think I faced 2 shots in that opening frame as we absolutely dominated our opposition . We were not surprised as we felt as though we had a good strong blended squad and it was only natural for us to grow and progress as the tournament went on with our fearless leader Kevin making line changes from the bench now . I’m not sure if the online stats are correct but what I see is that we had more then one skater stepping up to pot goals for us . The second period was more of the same with us scoring another two goals and even though you would suspect our opponents to be frazzled and begin playing dirty it was the opposite as they were a bunch of friendly guys having fun just being a part of it all . This tournament is not about making enemies . We went on to win that game 5-0 and yes I now have two shutouts in two games and no I was far from star of the game as I probably only made 6 saves and as usual there was some luck involved to end the match as they did come close to scoring and my team mates did joke around about the last second moments of both games now but were all happy to know we have pulled through in first and will more then likely have a favourable position in our next grouping . We just have to wait and see how the other games pan out and find out who our next opponent is . 

One quick beer and back in an Uber XL back to the room and that costs me a whole $11 and I open my bag on the balcony and hit my bed for a quick hour snooze before waking up and eating my leftover cheeseburger and grab another Uber XL to go back to the rink to stretch and prepare for my debut with my other team in the higher division . I’ve watched a few games and I think I can handle it but as I said this is my showdown against my goalie buddy Justin Harrison who I know from Sydney and his team has 4 of my team mates and one of those team mates is my room mate Nonny from Japan . You never know what’s bound to happen when you play guys you know as they wanna beat me as bad as I wanna beat them for those bragging rights . I bumped into a few of my new team mates as we filtered into our dressing room and they gave me a Tigers jersey to wear which was a bit tight around the arms but I’m in no mood to moan about it so I put it on as a few of the guys ask questions about where I’m from and one of the guys named Jim Ryan is actually from Ayr , Scotland which is a small town that I have actually played in and it ends up we have some mutual friends from across the globe . I also got to chatting with Torbjorn Stolpe about travelling before the team funny guy Paul Sangster asked me for my resume and that’s when I provided my stick bag filled with flags . Maybe I was being a bit too forward and cocky going into a game for a team that I’ve never played for let alone ever met .... sometimes that doesn’t work so well . That tie game looms over the guys as we head onto the ice and I’m sure they are hoping they found themselves a goalie that can stop pucks . It’s a good thing they did ๐Ÿ˜‰! We stepped on the ice , went through my routine and stepped into my crease to face some stronger shots and got into my rhythm and I knew I would have to make faster movements and I was dead serious about winning more so to gain the trust of my new team mates . 

Pro Look is a squad made up of individual skaters and has not gelled quite as well as our Okinawa squad which can say there are a few guys that do know each other but are competing at a lower level and you could tell that Justin would have his work cut out for him . My night was no piece of cake as they do have some good individual skaters that would test me and at best they got close but not enough to scare anyone and for the most part my saves were of the routine type as I probably faced around 10-15 shots and we more then likely doubled that as we went on to open the scoring and never look back . Leading 2-0 going into the second I didn’t make any eye contact with my friends from the other team and there was no blocker taps with Justin as we were both there for one thing win ! The second period was more of the same as we potted one more to end the second with a 3-0 lead and the thought of my shutout streak popped into my head which I fought off as I didn’t want to jinx myself . I don’t ever remember having three shutouts in a row in a tournament or league or anything ever .... it’s not an everyday thing for most of us goalies . That 3rd period I was tested a few times as the opposition pressed to snap the shutout as we jumped to a 5-0 lead but it was not going to be their day as we went on to shut them out !!! My new team mates were quite impressed even though I didn’t make any game breaker saves and in my mind they were routine at best even when under pressure . There might have been a breakaway save but it wasn’t anything spectacular and as we entered the dressing room I asked Sangster if I could add that to my resume .... I can’t remember what the response was but I think he took the rooms attention as he does and turned the table to highlight one of his passes lol ๐Ÿ˜ we had some beers ordered to the room and dispersed and hit the arena bar for a couple before taking an Uber XL back with my Sniperz team mates and foes the match before . 

Before we left the rink Nonny found a pair of shoes that Glenn Foll sold him for $30 .... gentleman’s clubs , here we cum . Hahaha ! Ok no touching fine !!!!! I’m not really into that anyways as I’m happily involved but I’m not gonna say no to another night of debauchery . Our roommate Robert was already out and let us know where he was and as soon as we entered we were swarmed .... ugh ๐Ÿ˜‘ now this is why I don’t go to strip joints ! This is almost as bad as having the local Adelaide drunks sit at our tables except these women are absolute leeches . All I want is to sit with my buddies , have a few drinks which were watered down and crap and overpriced and look at some titties ๐Ÿ™ƒ The gals in the establishment are there to make money , not there to make friends , not there to console you , not looking for boyfriends .... only there to make and take your money . I’m not gonna go deep into explaining what happened this night but I am gonna say that there was someone that did believe the girls and the rest of us left him there .... the amount of money spent to have some companions dance for him was beyond ridiculous and for that cost he could have got way more in other countries but he was warned and didn’t want to listen to his friends and let his other mind do the thinking and it was pretty sad watching the leeches surround him at the bank machine as the rest of us decided to leave him there to check out another establishment down the road . Hindley St is littered with strip joints , sheesha bars and massage parlours and all the bars are closed in the evenings .... it’s pretty seedy to say the least but perfect location for a tournament hotel hahaha ! When we arrived at next location the ladies were not as pushy but again all over us like white on rice and we waited for an hour to go get our friend to bring him to this establishment . When we got to the door at the first place he was walking out and we took him to the next bar where he did pretty much the exact same thing ๐Ÿคจ some people don’t learn but he had his fun . I personally could not take anymore of this and when we left there were no dancers dancing and it was only us there with our drinks in hands .... that’s a sign that it’s time for bed . That last bit we were there was the best part of the night as nobody was bothering us and we had our drinks and got to shoot the shit just as it should be but never will be unfortunately at these gentleman’s clubs and at any other establishments we’ve visited in Adelaide so far ..... thank goodness I don’t have an early game tomorrow ๐Ÿค”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Adelaide Challenge Cup

Tuesday morning I woke up in a heap after crawling in at 4 am and my room mate Nonny was soundly still in bed while Liverpool Saints goalie Waddo who spent the night out with us was still on our couch . Justin messaged me about breakfast after skipping out on the night as he didn’t go out and hid in his hotel room because he was “tired” and as far as I remember none of us were being beckoned to play the early games that day . Tournament games start at 6 am and my schedule is blesses with afternoon games and today’s match is vs. Crown & Sceptre which as far as I know is a local club and that game is not until 10:15 pm . The only bad thing about these late starts is that I can’t start drinking before the game as I would like to impress my team mates with a win or two . I’m on two teams at this tournament and the team I’m making my debut with on this evening is the Okinawa Sniperz who mostly hail from Okinawa and are American service people which means they are in the armed forces . When I say mostly it’s because only 4 of the players are actually Sniperz and the rest of us are add ones because the actual team left their organizer Kevin Mingoia out to dry as they all bailed on him without making any payments ๐Ÿ˜ก this happens a lot and I’m actually dealing with someone in Toronto that owes me money for my squad still from December and is now just not responding or coming to games .... how fucking cool is that ? C&*t ! 

So when Nonny woke up we all went for breakfast to this place called Station City Cafe which is down the road we are staying on and in an arcade which over here is a mall or is it the same here in Adelaide ? Not too sure but we went into a building type alley and we found this place and grabbed some food and sat down and collected our heads before heading back to Woolworth’s as we’ve realized buying stuff from the shop is a much better option then buying stuff from restaurants nearby . Waddo left and went back to meet his team who were wondering if he was still alive and in all honesty they missed out on a good night as the tournament will start now and the time to have fun will surely dwindle . I grabbed myself some fresh bread and went back to the room and relaxed until my team mates Cody & Cheyenne came by and then I finally got to meet Kevin who are all Sniperz and are all in the armed forces in some capacity . I think Kevin is a private contractor to them and Cody is with the Air Force and Cheyenne is a marine and the last two are actually married which makes for interesting conversation ๐Ÿ˜ฌ our other room mate Robert Soliman who is on the Pro Look A division team also arrives and we all introduced ourselves and you gotta know it’s gonna be interesting having another goalie and a Japanese fella all sharing one hotel room . I’ve paid the extra loot to have a room to myself and the others are sharing a room .... I snore so hopefully it doesn’t disrupt them .

I wanted to take a pre game nap bit all the hype of meeting new team mates and making new friends is pumping through my veins like I’m on steroids or something . At some point we all decided to head over to the rink which is really close and is only a tram ride away . A few of us decide to head downstairs where we finally met Kevin Mingoia who organized our Okinawa Sniperz squad and we all walked the 4 minute walk to the tram which we almost missed and ended up jogging to catch with bags in hand we all caught it and made the one stop trek to get off near the arena . At this point my plan for the week is to tram it there with dry bag and uber it to the hotel with wet heavy bags as we can’t leave our gear at the arena (safely) . When we get off the tram we have to backtrack another 4 minute walk and we are at the arena which if we walked the whole route is only a 15 minute walk but that wasn’t in the cards for me . I am gonna need all the rest I can get going between hockey mode and party mode on a daily basis as these beer league tournaments are ... the teams that stay in their rooms really don’t know what they are missing ! I’ve been there before and when you show up to the tournament ending party and you don’t know anyone you really realize that you’ve missed out . It’s better to live in the moment and give it your all burning the candle at both ends and only the truly seasoned vets that have done what I’m talking about can understand what I’m talking about .

We got to the rink early enough to sit around and watch a few other teams including Brandon Baileys Tasmanian team the Van Demons who have the coolest logos and we watched Cheyennne play in her first all women’s match which she was so stoked to play in . She played for Pro Look which is the tournaments individual squads which have teams in every division and is all organized by Glenn Foll who runs the tournament and is working his behind off in the pro shop when I finally got to meet him . He looked frazzled as he must have had a million things running through his mind when I first met him and I decided to give him his room as he is a hockey legend in Australia and I truly understand the pains of running a tournament ... as I said to him we can talk later or tomorrow . Game time is soon approaching and our Aussie team mates filter in and we all introduce ourselves and hit the dressing room for our debut against Crown & Sceptre who by this time is apparently known to be the favourites in this match . We had other plans ๐Ÿ˜›

Our dressing room for the first game was room 5 which is like a large closet area that has no shower and is carpeted . We all get dressed and head down the corridor to our bench as we avoid the spots that are not protected from the concrete that can easily destroy the edge on our blades and we patiently await the ice to be resurfaced and then we enter the ice ... my first step on the ice almost threw me on my face as the ice was very wet and very soft and my first step sunk in instead of gliding but this is to be expected in a rink so far south of the equator that has been beaten up all day long . Our opponent step on the ice full of confidence and jump on us and continued to pepper us and outplay us for the majority of the match but my stubbornness prevailed as I continued to make the saves needed to get the win . I didn’t have to make any big saves as my defence played the way I had asked them by not being goalies themselves and picking up the passer instead of trying to block shots .... we did talk about this before the game and when we got our one and only chance of the game we potted it ! That one power play , that’s all we needed to grab us that 1-0 lead which we fought hard to hold on to . In the final minutes of the game we continuously iced the puck as we played the clock and just before the final whistle I made a blocker side save that almost rolled into the net but Cody Vogel came out of nowhere to save the day and maintain my shutout !!! Good thing he’s a goalie in Okinawa and knows not to just watch the play occur which is usually the outcome and his reaction was a game saver as we went on to win that game by that very slim margin of 1-0 . As I mentioned earlier I didn’t make any game saving saves but kept it basic and didn’t give up many rebounds and made the saves a goalie should make . This was a team effort and we all skated away with a win we probably shouldn’t have had as we were totally outplayed and outshot . The timekeeper as usual counted the saves much differently then what we saw and if you ask me we were probably outshot 25-5 but the way we played as a team of players that only met this afternoon I would say was very impressive . Hopefully we can get some more goals next game which is tomorrow afternoon which leaves us time to celebrate ๐Ÿคช

Kevin ordered us a cooler of beer which was $90 for 24 .... yes you read that correctly ! As I mentioned in an earlier post , alcohol is not cheap in Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ. We hung around at the rink while the only game later then ours was played and then hung out in the bar area enjoying our beers and I’m almost sure we were the last ones to leave the rink that night and Glenn Foll dropped us off at the hotel and Nonny , Kevin and Brandon all wanted to go out so we hit the streets in hope of finding a bar to drink at . It’s around 1 am and Hindley Street is a dead zone .... all the bars on the street are closed again quite early as they were the night before so we walked over to the bars I knew were opened later and they were closing and didn’t serve us and we were told the only place to get a drink was at the casino so off we went to the big casino . Along the route to the bars we did try to get into a couple strip clubs but were denied because Nonny was wearing crocs ? We told him to go back to the room to put shoes on but he’s only brought crocs with him ... yes this is a head scratcher but nothing is surprising with Nonny lol ๐Ÿ˜ we did wonder if we would get denied at the casino and we did agree if Nonny was denied at this last ditch effort to get drinks that we would go in without him but thankfully this fancy casino doesn’t have the morals of the strip joints . On the way to the casino we passed a bunch of drunks but the one that stood out was the native woman that had her titties flopping around as she lay in the middle of the street in front of police officers that weren’t even batting an eye .... she honestly had a face that looked like a monster . What’s in store for us in the casino ? Bright lights , machines making noise and a big beautiful bar with a bartender that seemed standoffish to begin with but he warmed up to us as I asked for my ever particular gin and tonic ...can I have a Hendricks with fevertree tonic and a lime ? That was my drink of choice when I was out on the town and the bartender made them nice and stiff . We sat down and of course one of the locals that we clearly didn’t know invited himself to sit down with us .... what the fuck is up with the locals in Adelaide ? Are we wearing a sign saying please talk to us , be our friends ? Ugh ... another person we have to ignore that won’t get the picture until we get up and walk away ! He wasn’t too annoying but the whole point is that we want to hang out amongst ourselves and not with some random drunk that has a story to tell us .... anyways .... we stayed until we were annoyed enough and a couple of us even played some games and then we made our way back to the hotel as we watched Brandon catch an Uber back to his team mates place . It’s 4 am and it’s time to catch some zzzzz’s . Next game is ADF Storm ... let’s see how that goes ๐Ÿค”

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Adelaide ... here I come !

Let’s just say I’m falling behind on my blogging again because this is when I travel into the eye of the shitstorm ๐Ÿ˜œ Monday morning we get up and it’s time to part ways with Kathleen . We’ve had a great trip together and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime over the last 5+ weeks but on this day she carries on her trip to Vancouver and I fly off to Adelaide to go to play in the Adelaide Challenge Cup tournament . And you ask why she isn’t coming with me ? Well at tournaments I spend a lot of time at the rink and then the rest of the time with a drink in my hand and for her to be at a tournament is just not a good idea as she rather not be around a bunch of drunk hockey players at an ice rink .... it’s just not her thing and we both know this as we’ve tried multiple times to find a medium but the fact in the matter is that I’m here to fully enjoy myself , play hockey and make friends . She couldn’t care about any of that and the only outcome would have us arguing so for her going to see her friend in Vancouver was probably the best idea . Both of our flights were at the same time so we took a taxi to the airport in Melbourne which was around $80 ๐Ÿ˜ฌ and we dropped our bags but not before I had some minor bumps . My bag is overweight and my sticks are way under weight and Qantas can’t add the two bags together for a domestic flight . Good thing the fella at the oversized baggage counter was friendly enough to help me out . First he called it in and they tried saying I didn’t prepay my extra bag . Then I showed him that I can pull a bag out of my hockey bag to carry on the plane and my weight was on then ..... then he called it in again and they wouldn’t accept the bags so I had to go across the terminal to talk to someone at the service counter where I showed them my receipt for the extra bag and they tried to put the blame on the oversized handler when I know I was standing right beside him when he called it in and I heard everything . Qantas ... you’re shit ! When I returned to oversize baggage counter the guy was friendly enough to let me out that carry on bag back in the bag to send off . He was a good guy . We then went for a coffee and said our good byes and headed to our own security gates to head off to our own destinations . 

That flight was not too long for me and I had no issues and just kicked back and watched another episode of Titans on Netflix with my iPad . When I arrive I’m supposed to meet Justin Harrison as he has a ride sorted for us with some of his hockey buddies from Sydney . His flight landed 20 minutes before me and he waited . When I got my bags I messaged him and found him near the escalator I had just come down and he was with one of his mates .  Within minutes of arriving I was tapped on the shoulder by my buddy Brendan Bailey who just flew in from Perth and the airport was filling up with hockey players and bags and sticks and one by one everyone began making their way into the city . When we got to the Breakfree Hotel I claimed my room and dropped my bags and Justin and myself went over to Subway to grab a bite and catch up before deciding to make our trip cheaper by finding a Woolworths to buy some groceries for our rooms . We did stumble around a bit as I was lost and Justin was struggling with jet lag as he just arrived from USA only a couple days earlier but I still talked him into going for a pint down the road . We had two options and we chose the one without all the loud rowdies out front and we settled in with a pint and before we grabbed our second those rowdies from across the road came over to the bar we were in ... great . Now we were just minding our own business and Justin ordered a big bowl of fries and we kept to ourselves while talking hockey and other things when one of the girls with the rowdies looked over and said .... “do these glasses look good on me “ and I said no you look better at natural without them . She was happy to say she wanted advice from the two sexiest guys in the bar and I already had known she was drunk but maybe she should take those beer goggles off ... and to be honest I’m not into the Sasquatch looking types ๐Ÿคฎ yeah she was not appealing to my eyes but she still sat at our table and began by saying I’m not sitting here to eat your fries , as she dug into Justin’s fries . She then had an argument with one of the bar staff and then made out with some guy in a city worker outfit while a man in a shower robe walked in and he would be what I described as The Dude from The Big Lebowski  but 50 years older . Adelaide sure does first impressions well and before we left our new friend who went by the name George even though this was a female decided to make amends with the staff and we snuck off shaking our heads at the amount of crazy going on . Justin went for a nap which ended up having him out for the whole night and I went back to my room to wait for one of my room mates to show up from Japan ...Nonny ! 

Waddo from Sydney messaged me and asked if I was still drinking and I said no but I am easily persuaded to get back at ‘er ! So he took an Uber in from the trailer park his team opted to stay at and his team mates turned down the opportunity to come out ... yeah they missed out . When he arrived my plan was to tell Nonny where we would be and he could join us but when I walked down to the lobby to meet Waddo low and behold ....there was a Japanese guy mentioning my name . I yelled out don’t let this guy in my room and we hit it off immediately . He was with Steve who is a local on my Okinawa Sniperz team here . The four of us went back to my room and had a beer and then headed out to find that same bar I was at earlier and it was closed ? But it’s only like 10 pm ... wtf ? Hindley St is a ghost town compared to what it is earlier and our only option is to go to a nudey bar and yes Hindley is littered with Titty bars , sheesha joints and massage parlours which at this point I realize is not exactly the place where I would bring Kathleen but has the recipe for disaster mixed with a hockey tournament  . Nonny grabbed some Hungry Jacks and just around the corner was an alley with a few bars opened so we grabbed a seat and I hit the gin . There was a table with a bunch of younger guys and that was the rest of the patrons at this establishment and they got up and left one of their companions there and within minutes he lingered over and asked about having a cigarette as Waddo and Nonny are chain smoking away . Nonny kindly gives him one and the guy pulls up a chair to our table and slumps over as Steve and myself look at each other with that oh fuck look . What is it with people wanting to join us at our tables in this city ? He slumps over wasted and we do our best to ignore him and carry on with our conversations which included a lot of laughing . We were told it’s last call and the drunk dude says his phone is inside .... Steve says well you better grab it before it gets locked in and drunkie says that he is friends with “Debra “ and they are closer then you’d think ๐Ÿค”. Now I’m assuming that “Debra” came out to give him his phone and then asked him to pay his bill and he retorts that he’s paid and she tells him she will double check and I’m thinking he’s clearly not as close to “Debra” as he thinks lol ! The ladies at this bar were friendly and told us there was another bar around the corner that is opened later and we were just starting to have fun . So we shrugged off this drunk dude and made our way around the corner for the next adventure . 

Two bars and two latch ones later we make our way into this establishment and order our next drinks and found our next latch on . No , I wish I was joking ๐Ÿ™ƒ this new friend was a millionaire that was an Olympic runner and had an Italian girlfriend that he loves .... or that is just what he’s telling us as he began his approach by saying he was scared of me but then became my best friend as he whispered weird shit to me and asked me for love advice . I must have a magnet on me for this shit ? I’m gonna call this guy Rico Suave but he was far from suave as he began talking to the three ladies at the next table and they wanted to kill him as I’m sure that his vibe sensors were wrong as I’m pretty sure they weren’t into dudes or into dudes hitting on them but he tried and they almost kicked his ass and we all shrugged our shoulders as if to say he’s not with us . Then his suave sensors took him to the next table which was another strikeout and then he opted for the big girl and at this point Steve had to leave as he works the next day .... on the way out Steve asked Rico Suave if the girl with him was the Italian girl he was in love with and the rest of us burst into laughter as this poor girl tried to get away from Rico Suave . That girl ended up at our table and Nonny loved her or at least we can say he did and she was nice enough and she was the first person to join our table that didn’t cause us any stress ... now Rico Suave wasn’t the only drunk that was at this bar and to be fair he did cop up to me and told me he was lying about all this millionaire mumbo jumbo . The bar staff at this establishment have their work cut out for them as they had to chase away some unsavoury people that I could only think were on some serious drugs like crack or something . When the bar closed we walked back to our room .... Waddo crashed on our couch as we drank some rum that Nonny brought and he snuck away to bed almost as swiftly as he snuck into women’s bathrooms at all the bars we were at earlier on hahaha ! Waddo and myself called it a night after watching a drug deal go down across the street .... what a first impression Adelaide has made ! Tomorrow night is my first game with the Okinawa Sniperz . Wish me luck  ๐Ÿ€ 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Last Day in Melbourne

Kinda glad to be leaving Melbourne as I really can’t say it has been a great experience here . I know some people might not get it but my trips are mostly based around ice hockey . I travel somewhere , play hockey with a group of people that are usually looking forward to meeting me as I am interested in meeting them also and usually I make a bundle of friends and let things fall into place from there . If it weren’t for Wayne yesterday then I wouldn’t even be able to say I met anyone here and it is sad for me that this happened here and really dampened my spirits and that’s why I’m not too fond of Melbourne and probably wouldn’t come back and wouldn’t suggest anyone visits here . It’s just another big city that you wander around and never find the true soul of the city without making friends . I know it’s sad and that’s why I was so pissed off when I wrote that blog a couple days ago . If anyone takes offence to it so be it but the question I would ask would be why didn’t anyone do anything to make it better ? 

Along with this being the last day here in Melbourne it was also my last day travelling with Kathleen who is now leaving for Vancouver and I love her to bits for being patient with me even at the harshest of times and I’m gonna miss her while I’m in Adelaide playing hockey , getting drunk and making new friends .... ok who am I kidding ? HA ! I’m sure she would call bullshit on that and that’s because she knows me better but the truth is yeah we’ve had a great trip here and time has flown by so quickly and you all know that saying , time flies when you’re having fun and that is so true .

It was a scorcher in Melbourne and we opted to laze around and chill at the pool at the Holiday Inn . Unfortunately there were people that were smoking , kids that were screaming and others that were complaining ... mostly about the screaming kids and for once I wasn’t the one complaining lol ๐Ÿ˜ I just put on some tunes and wrote about my experience with Wayne the day before and drowned out the noise as the day floated by . When the time came I aborted and went up to the room to chill and watch some tv while Kathleen got some me time by the pool and we both decided her last meal should be some Greek food at this restaurant Wayne suggested called Stalactites which of course is a 30 minute walk from our hotel . What can you do ? Sometimes even the savviest of travellers make the wrong decisions but at least our hotel has a pool and the staff are friendly and besides we could use the walk . Even though we have cut down our meals we are still getting stuffed and I am only guessing it’s because my body is used to burning more when I’m at the gym and here I’m only walking and playing hockey once or twice a week . Hopefully that changes next week in Adelaide when I’m at the tournament playing for two different teams . 

When the time came we took our hike to the restaurant and we were not disappointed even though once again pork was not an option and I wish some9ne could explain the absence of pork to me here in Australia ? Pig is so yummy , you are seriously missing out lol ๐Ÿ˜ I had some chicken souvlaki dinner which was really good and Kathleen had the same thing but with more salad . We got stuffed on our only real meal of the day ! Ok we had a small sandwich earlier but really we are both used to eating more so it’s beginning to baffle us both . After we paid for our meals which I would highly suggest anyone in Melbourne to try we then headed back to our room with a stop over for some gelato . Yes I was full and stuffed more into myself .... I might as well be that missing pork hahaha ! 

I’m gonna keep this short but sweet , we really didn’t do much after that aside from donating our Myki cards to the YHA hostel for some other travellers to use instead of paying the $6 for the card which they were happy to accept and then we hit the hay as we have an early start to our day tomorrow when we part ways at the airport . I’m not looking forward to saying bye to Kathleen but at least I know I will see her when I get home next week and I’m sure she will have fun visiting her buddy Sharon in Vancouver . Things are definitely going to get crazy from here on out and hopefully I can keep up with my posts as the drinks will begin to flow and the bruises will begin to show as the tournament begins for me in a couple days . Peace out ✌️