I left off with our first away trip to Toronto. We departed from Boston on Saturday morning, and arrived at Porter’s little island in Toronto around noontime. Porter is super accommodating to us, and speaking on behalf of my team as well as the rest of the CWHL, we can’t thank Porter airlines enough, and we are extremely grateful to have such a great traveling partner. So, thanks for keeping up with our adventures and our future adventures to come.
The gals had a little bit of relaxation time as soon as we got to the hotel. During this time we also took turns to get our baseline concussion testing done. Before we knew it we were back on the bus and en route to the MasterCard center, where our games were being played. After 60 minutes of some of the best hockey that I have ever been a part of, or played, the Toronto Furies scored the game winner in overtime to make it a 2-1 game, Furies. A cool down was definitely essential after a battle like that. This was a late game, so we knew that we had to be ready for the quick turn around on Sunday. Sunday morning rolls around and we head down for a team breakfast. A few of the gals were also able to complete their physicals that are required in order to play. Before long we were back on the bus and en route to the arena for game #2 of the weekend. To be honest, I thought that everyone played great, and the score didn’t reflect how we played. The Toronto Furies came out with a 6-1 victory. Like I said, I thought we played well, especially for our first weekend of team play together. I have to give a huge shout out to our goalie Lauren Dahm, who stood on her head for us. Unbelievable performance by her, and if y’all ever have the chance to watch us play, I highly recommend it.
Shortly after the game ended, the gals showered up, boarded the bus, and off to chipotle we went for our post game meal. From Chipotle we ventured off to the airport. Little did we know our flight was delayed a couple of hours, so the Bladies definitely had some quality bonding time in the Porter lounge. It’s a really cool lounge with drinks, snacks, coffee, you know all the goodies. While it wasn’t the results we were hoping for, I’d say it was overall an amazing first weekend with an incredible group of girls. This only made me more excited for the rest of the season.
As the week progressed, we again had our typical Tuesday and Thursday night practices. On Tuesday we took our roster pictures, so that’s always fun and exciting! Unfortunately there were no games played the weekend of October 21st. Instead some of the girls headed over to Hockey Monkey for a signing with our fans. It’s always great giving back to the community and remembering why we play the game that we love. Growing the women’s hockey game is something that we are constantly looking to do, so we take pride in giving back to the community and reaching out to the girls who will eventually be in our shoes some day.
Another week of practices, work, grad school, the usual, go by, but this time around we have our first two home games against Calgary to look forward to. After a week of practicing, the gals are ready.
Let me just tell you that my older brother and his girlfriend from Australia surprised me in Boston on Saturday before the first game of the series. Here’s how it happened. My twin brother, who also lives in Boston, texted me and asked if I would come meet him in the lobby of my apartment building. I had already made plans to go watch my best friends game before my game, so I said it had to be quick. He responded by saying that he would just come up to my room instead. A half an hour goes by, no message from him telling me he’s here, no knock on the door, so I ask where he was; “I couldn’t make it upstairs”. So I quickly grab my hockey equipment and leave my apartment. As I am walking down the hallway I notice a phone sticking out from one side of a wall. I was super confused but learned to find that my twin was actually not present and it was instead my oldest brother (who had been living in Australia for years) accompanied by his girlfriend. A surprise is an understatement, and it’s safe to say that I had no idea that this was happening. He had not seen me play hockey in who know how long, so this was definitely a fantastic start to the weekend. So, cheers to my family and friends who all knew that this was happening.
I knew that this was going to be a great weekend from that point on. Our first home game arrives and my best friends and family were in the stands at UMASS Boston. What a feeling it is to play in front of the most supportive people in your life. And, I know that I was not the only one on the team who had special people in the stands. So, huge thanks to all who came out to support us. Not the results we had hoped for, but its always fun playing the sport we love, at this high of level, against great opponents. It’s always a good idea to have some fun on Halloween as well, so one of my best gals and teammates Taylor McGee, decided to be the twin dancing emoji. We surprised the team and dressed in our costume for our Sunday morning game. Sharing smiles and laughs is important, so it was definitely a great start to the day!
Another week of work, school, practice, and everything in between lead us to the next weekend. The Bladies happened to have that weekend off from game play, so we just rested up, and prepared for the next trip.
On Saturday, November 12th , the gals hopped on a bus outside of the TD Garden and were off to Canada. Shortly after we departed we made a quick stop in Tewksbury to pick up the rest of the gals. As soon as the whole squad was accounted for our destination was set to St. George, Quebec. This was our first actual road trip of the season so everyone was fired up. Five hours of team bonding and laughs and we finally cross the border into Canada. That meant that we only had about an hour and a half left in the trip. ALL SMILES. We ended up driving straight to Boston Pizza for our team meal. Shortly after we stopped by the hotel quick to change, freshen up, and get ready for the big game against Les Canadians. This was a really special game, especially because we happened to be playing in Marie-Philip Poulin’s hometown in front of a sold out crowd. Before the 7pm puck drop both teams took the ice for an amazing pregame ceremony. The crowd was going wild, which made for an unreal environment to play in. We battled hard for 60 minutes but the Les Canadians came out with the win. Post game, we cooled down, showered up, and went straight to the hotel to get some rest. Team breakfast wasn’t until 9:30 on Sunday morning, so we were able to sleep in a bit. It was definitely a quick turn around, but the bus made a pregame stop at Tim Horton’s, which is always a nice treat when in Canada. Another huge thanks to Tim Horton’s for being a great sponsor! After the coffee run we went to the arena to get ready for game two against Les Canadians. Once again, we embraced another great opening ceremony in front of a full house. Both teams fought hard until the end of the game, but Les Canadians came out with the win. We made an effort to the board the bus quickly, so we could get back on the road to Boston. No doubt it was an extremely long trip back, but overall it was a fun filled weekend in Canada with even better people!
With quick trips, it is important to get plenty of rest and recovery. We happened to have another off weekend after our trip to St. George, so the gals were able to relax, spend time with friends and family, and focus on school, work, etc.
Next up, the Bladies have a trip to Calgary for another two game series against the Furies. In the meantime, I hope that all of you have the most amazing Thanksgiving with your best family and friends, filled with lots of love! There is so much to be thankful for, so I hope you cherish and embrace every second of this wonderful holiday. Best wishes, and I will chat with you soon!
Don’t forget to smile!