I came across this article on the 'net from the world juniors last christmas... it made me think about the euro tourney that was held in turkey just last weekend that arielle and i didn't go to this year. but so many great memories!! and wonderful people to meet around the world. here's the story from mr. merk, iihf correspondent.
It's a small world
December 31 / Martin Merk
The 2010 World Juniors have many unexpected connections, even to international women’s hockey.
Chelsa Heywood, a volunteer working in media relations at Regina’s Brandt Centre, was excited to talk to Czech journalists. Prague is one of her favourite cities – for good reason. In Saskatchewan, she used to play for the University of Regina Cougars, but is currently just playing recreational hockey. However, she played a professional season on the Slavia Prague women’s team in 2008-2009, along with her friend from Regina, Arielle Schade. They also competed in the IIHF’s European Women’s Champions Cup, a competition for European club teams that won their respective national leagues.
Although playing professional women’s hockey in Europe isn't the road to riches, it was a chance for both women to see a new country, experience a different culture, and play in a different hockey league.
Earlier this year, the two got the chance to go back to Prague when they emailed the Turkish Ice Hockey Association, asking if they needed reinforcements for the European Women’s Champions Cup. That wound up getting them an invitation to join the Milenyum Ankara team for the tournament in the Czech Republic, including an honorarium and airfare.
That was reason enough for both to join the club,which also featured two Americans. It was an interesting experience for Heywood and Schade, since the Turkish players, all coming from an ice-skating background, were eager to learn from their North American teammates.
Although Milenyum Ankara's best result in three games was a loss by a seven-goal margin, the Saskatchewaners enjoyed their trip, which they extended for a few days to catch up with some good old friends in Prague.
Chelsa Heywood and Arielle Schade in the Milenyum Ankara jersey during the European Women’s Champions Cup in the Czech Republic last autumn. Photo: Slavia Prague
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