BUDAPEST, Hungary—Travel-weary but upbeat, the Thunder Bay Bombers arrived in Budapest, Hungary Tuesday in preparation for the Pannon PSM Hungarian Cup tournament Feb. 10-12 in Budapest.
Following a 24-hour adventure that included stops in Minneapolis and Amsterdam the defending Allan Cup champions landed on the banks of the Danube River in the Hungarian capital going quickly to the 3500-seat Budapest Skating Centre, the site of the four-nation tourney, for their first practice on international soil.
“It was important for us to get on the ice right away and get our legs moving after such a lengthy trip,” said Thunder Bay head coach and general manager Vern Ray. “Getting in this skate helped the new guys get a feel for the Olympic size ice and will only help us in the long run.”
Following another on-ice session Wednesday morning the club is slated be the guests of honour at a reception held at the Canadian Embassy in Budapest later that evening. It will hosted by Canadian Ambassador to Hungary & Slovenia Robert Hage.
Game action for Team Canada will get underway Friday as they meet the Croatian National team in a 3 p.m. (Hungarian time) 9 a.m. (ET) start. The club will also go against the Slovenian and host Hungarian national squads Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Thunder Bay earned the privelege of representing Canada at this event by capturing the 2005 Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey crown in Lylodminster, Sask.