Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Edition

To those of you that celebrate the most delicious and un-nutritious holiday on the planet, Happy Thanksgiving. Those of us who are in countries that don’t have boxed stuffing are extremely jealous.

Since the last blog, our team traveled about 8 hours via bus to play a very talented team in our league called SKIF. The SKIF program contains two teams; SKIF 1, a much more talented and experienced group of players, and SKIF 2, a younger developing squad. Our first two games of the weekend were against SKIF 1 whose roster contains ta couple talented Finnish national team players and multiple Russian national team players with great skill.

The first game got off to a slow start and we found ourselves trailing SKIF 2-0 going into the third period. Fortunately we were able to get a late third period goal, but it wasn’t enough and we lost our first game of the season. We were later told it was also the first time in over 70 games that our program had lost. Disappointing wasn’t even close to the right word to describe it. After a lot of reflection and discussions, we were ready for the second game the next day. Again we came out flat and didn’t make the most of our scoring chances. We lost 3-2.  Not experiencing a loss in over 70 games obviously made our program accustomed to winning. However, to win that many games in a row is almost unheard of in the game of women’s hockey (you’re almost there University of Minnesota) and especially when you are playing in a professional league that is composed of a large amount of players that represent their respective countries. That said, our team wasn’t happy or satisfied with the efforts we gave on the weekend and we know that in order to have the outcome we want at the end of the season, we cannot lose anymore games. Sometimes it takes a kick in the face to bring back the fire and the passion and the will to win. Watch out world.
Though our travel to SKIF wasn’t as eventful as the 8 our airport delay that we experienced on the last road trip. It was highlighted by two major accidents, one on the way there, and one on the way back, that delayed us significantly and allowed for some serious team bonding on the bus. Nothing like packing 20 girls on a small bus for 8 or 9 hours to build camaraderie.
Speaking of camaraderie, our apartment was home to the team Halloween party (which turned out to be only about 8 of us because most of the team left on our two off days). However, 8 people or not, Halloween in Dmitrov was one for the ages. We had two “cats,” one gypsy, one pirate, one robot, a swimmer, and two escaped zombie prisoners.  There was great food, awesome music, and a couple sodas here and there. The party started around 6 and ended with a noise complaint around 1am. Needless to say, we had an awesome time. Highlights of the night included watching the two zombie prisoners try to eat carrots through the tiny holes in their masks, throwing carrots off the balcony at unsuspecting passers-by, throwing a large kids bouncy ball at everyone in the room while they were trying to carry on conversations, and singing at the top of our lungs to Luke Bryan, Rihanna, and various Russian artists. Pictures are worth a couple thousand words in this case. If you’re wondering who the good looking little furry guy is. His name is Lenny and yes. he should be on the cover of GQ. 
Next up - a couple away games about 2 hours from Moscow and a trip to Germany at the beginning of December for Euro Cup qualifiers!

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