Tuesday, December 4, 2007

berlin

i'm recovering on a quiet tuesday from a busy weekend in berlin, germany, where we battled to move on to the finals of the european cup for women's hockey.

we set out last thursday morning to spend 5 days with our czech teammates, coaches, a few members of the media and family of the girls. thursday found us checking into our hotel and heading to the rink for a skate. friday we had our first game against lugano, switzerland. we had a tough battle, but ended up losing the game 5-2. we had about 3 minutes in the third period where they scored 3 goals. they never looked back after that.

saturday morning, much to our chagrin, we had a practice. slavia had never done that before (game-day skate) so coach karel wasn't exactly stellar at planning drills we could all appreciate on game day. alas, it all turned out okay in the end as we played france that day and wiped them out 8-1. i scored the first two goals of the game.

sunday, we had a quiet day and prepped for our upcoming game at 5:30. we were to play osc berlin, the hosts of the tournament, also tied at 1-1. the winner of sunday's game moved on to stockholm, sweden, for the final round to determine the european women's champion. we ended the game in a 3-3 tie, went into overtime in a fruitless effort on both team's parts to score a goal, then headed into a shoot out for the rights to move on. we shot first and after 3 shooters each team, it was still 3-3. we had to start in the second round of 3. our shooter missed; theirs scored. it was heartbreaking, to say the least. what a crappy way to lose. though i hear it's a great way to win. can't say i'd really know.

i learned a lot of czech over the weekend, having spent a lot of time with czech teamates and coaches. learned some new things, like that for a snack czech playerw would bring a bag of shaved salami to munch on. i thought that was pretty funny, but maybe she thought the same thing about my plain rice cakes with peanut butter!

even though we didn't move on, i feel like we gained a lot from the weekend. we saw that we can play with the next level of hockey, beyond what we see in the czech league, or even in the ewhl. i think there's hope for this club, but there are still so many things i'd like to be able to share with them about the game of hockey. if only i was fluent in czech!

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