Bowey Blogs: Madison Bowey shares his experiences from the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Russia
Wednesday, April 17:
My Kelowna Rockets had a good playoff run, considering all the players we had injured. In the first series we were matched up against my now-teammate Shea Theodore’s Seattle Thunderbirds. We found ourselves down three games to none but managed to battle back and win the series in dramatic fashion in Game 7.
We then came up against a very strong and experienced team, the Kamloops Blazers. We battled hard throughout that series but couldn’t come away with it. It was a very sad way to end such a good season. The next day came, and even though I was mourning the loss, I was really hoping to get the call to represent my country again.
The day after losing out to Kamloops I got the call from Hockey Canada to join the U18 team in Russia. I was honoured and very excited after I got the call. In this case, I had to take the good with the bad, losing out of the playoffs was devastating but representing your country is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had a few days in Kelowna to just relax, hang out and say my last goodbyes to all my teammates that are like a family to me. I got dropped off at the airport at around 7 a.m. to catch my 8:25 a.m. flight to Toronto, where I’d spend two days until I departed for Russia. In Toronto, I was joined by my good buddy Nick Baptiste; it was nice to room with someone I already knew. We didn’t do much, just hang out in the room and rent a few movies. I was able to catch the Toronto-New Jersey game at the Air Canada Centre, which was a fun experience.
Tuesday came rather quickly. Nick and I were up at 5:45 a.m. so we could have a quick shower and get a quick bite to eat. We knew it was going to be a very long day, so we knew what to expect. Our first flight left at 8:25 a.m. to New York, where we had a four-hour layover before the longest flight of my life. By the time the flight to Moscow came around I was very exhausted, so on that 10-hour flight I was able to get a solid seven hours of sleep before I watched the movie Argo, which is a tremendous movie. After Moscow it was off to Sochi, the final destination of the long journey. We arrived in Sochi, where we were greeted by team manager Shawn Bullock and headed straight to the rink to meet up with team, which was awesome. We had a quick meal when we got back to the hotel. The food here is a lot different then back home, which was to be expected.
Now that I’m all settled into the hotel and the team it’s time to start focusing up on the main goal, which is to bring the gold medal back to Canada. I’m extremely excited to start the tournament and represent my country tomorrow. It’s a tremendous honour and I can’t wait to get started.