|February 5, 2003
It was game day in Germany and we couldn´t have asked for a better start. The day began off with a pre-game skate first thing in the morning. Actually, we got to start the day 30 minutes later as the coaches cut our hour and a half practice down to 60 minutes, giving us an extra 30 minutes of sleep! The skate went well - we continued to work on our team play and working together to fine tune systems. After the usual post practice routine we went back to the hotel to eat. That´s mostly what we do here, sleep, practice, shower, eat and then sleep some more! Right after lunch many of us took advantage of the free time to do some more shopping. This time the destination was the local birkenstock store in downtown Salzgitter, which is about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. I think it is fair to say the sales man has never sold so many shoes at one time, but what a steal of a deal as we were getting the sandles for only 35 euros (about $50 cdn). Once we were back to the hotel, we jumped at the opportunity to have a nap before the game.
Finally, game time arrived. You could see that many of us were nervous and excited. The start of the game was interesting, as we had no idea of the protocal (as it was an exhibiton game, the organizers were sort of winging it... no big deal since we have become very good at adapting to everything that gets thrown at us). We simply just copied the German team in everything they did. There was a good number of fans at the game, however, the majority of them were smoking the entire time... the best way to describe it is playing hockey in the middle of a beergarden! When we were done the game, we smelled more like smoke than we did 'hockey smell'.
The game went really well and we scored on our second power play chance. We headed into the second period ahead 2-0 and then had a bit of a laspe as we gave up two goals less than a minute apart. It was really only a minute long let down, since our true Canadian character kicked in and we were back on top 3 -2 about a minute later. We never looked back after that.
One of the game hi-lites was the constant banging of the drum coming from the far end of the rink, just beyond our bench. It sure made communicating on the ice somewhat of a challenge as you couldn´t even hear yourself think! Changing during the game was a bit of a challenge as well, since there was only one door and it was a long way down when you jumped over the borads. Its a good thing we did a drill at practice where we had to jump over the boards... there were a few good wipeouts at practice but we were experts by the time the game came around.
Tonights game saw some firsts.... both Navada Russell and Val Hall scored their first international goals and Margot received her first win as a Head Coach with a national team. Overall, the game was a lot fun. Our time here is going by so quickly and its going to be over before we know it. We are trying our best to enjoy each moment and the time we get to spend together.
We are look forward to not only our next game against Finland, but also our next nap time tommorrow afetrnoon. Until tommorrw... good-bye from Salzgitter. GEHEN KANADA GEHEN!
For more information:
Kalli Quinn Director, Female National Teams | Équipes nationales féminines