Get the latest from Women's Hockey Life straight to your inbox

Competing In Their Own Version of A Winter Classic Game!

This month has flown by and has been entirely hockey focused. Sorry no Italian adventures this month! The month started off with me getting my butt absolutely kicked in practice by our coach. He figured that we all spent Christmas stuffing our faces with cookies and turkey. Which is not entirely true, my weapon of choice was pizza! At university we would get just over a week off for Christmas break to spend with our families, but the entire break we were expected to continue training for the dreaded post Christmas weigh in and fitness test. Needless to say this year after two weeks of not working out and a diet consisting of strictly bread and cheese I would have failed miserably. Next Christmas I’ve already decided I’m going to head home, not only to spend time with my family, but so I can train.

After a week of no puck practices, and a couple non-asthma induced asthma attacks, I was back in game shape. Our first game of the season was against Zurich the best team in the league, a great way to start off the second half of our season. This game would prove if all the non-puck practices paid off! They did and with great goaltending we managed to pull off a win. The next day we played Rappersville on their outdoor rink . It was actually really fun and reminded me of when I was little and played hockey out in the frigid Manitoban cold, but Rappersville didn’t have warming huts and I didn’t get frostbite on my face, a pleasant change to my childhood memories. Some of the girls weren’t as excited about playing outside as I was, but after joking about how it was the Lugano Ladies team Winter Classic, their moods improved. Rappersville’s outdoor rink is really neat because it is right next to the lake with mountains behind it, quite different than the flat frozen plains of Minnesota or Manitoba. The ice wasn’t the best, but we got to play under the lights. The next weekend we played two more games both away.

A huge difference between playing in Switzerland and playing in University is that we never take any over night road trips. After we played in Zurich we took the bus back to Lugano arriving around 2:00am, then left at noon the next day for Rappersville. This is quite the change for me because I used to look forward to road trips. I loved staying in hotels not having to cook or clean, not to mention a full weekend of bonding with my teammates. We did the same thing the next weekend traveling to Reinach and Rappersville again. Our coach tried to compensate for all the travel by having the bus stop at Mcdonalds after both of our Sunday games. Everyone on my team absolutely loves it here. I think I must have overdone it when I was six because I don’t have any cravings for McChickens or McTasty’s and panic when I get to the front of the line because I don’t know what to order. I got yelled at by one of my teammates last week because I ordered a salad. I guess it is against the rules to go to Mcdonald’s and order a salad.

But, the best thing that I have done this month is that I’m taking an Italian course!!! A one month intensive course that is every morning for three hours from 9:00-12:00 and I have homework every night. I have never been so excited about homework before, but I can actually see my improvement from night to night. So, I kind of look forward to doing it, sad I know. You would have never heard me utter the words excited or looking to forward to homework, ever if you asked me in University or even elementary school. Not only am I learning Italian, but I have met some very interesting people. The first day, I walked into class I expected everyone to be English speakers learning Italian. There were only two of us. She is from London, and the others were from Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Brazil, Portugal, and even one girl from the German speaking part of Switzerland. I was the lone North American. But, it was great!  I was exposed to so many other languages, and points of view and my Italian accent didn’t sound so strange compared to a Russian Italian accent…or so I thought. After the first three weeks my Italian has improved a lot! I think it kind of has to when you only know three words to start. However, I still go into panic mode when someone asks me something in Italian and forget everything, I resort to my, me dispiace, no parlo l’italiano. You can probably figure out what that means :.



More about Jaclyn Hawkins