Since we have last talked I have been wrapping up my season with the Highlanders. We are not completely done yet because of Nationals, but we just finished playoffs. I’m proud to say that the Highlanders have won the silver medal!!
We came into playoffs having to play the first place team because we were in fourth place. Our team was in second place until the last weekend of play when we could not beat Italy. They beat us on back to back games and our team just really did not show up to play. So, like I said, as the fourth place team coming into playoffs we were matched up with the Sabres. The Sabres were the first place team that had not lost a game all regular season. They are a very skilled team with lots of Austrian National team members, and two of our teammates from Quinnipiac University. The week of the game, our starting goalie had gotten injured and was unable to play the rest of the season. We all were nervous because we would have to use our second team’s goalie. As the game was starting my roommate Felica and myself made a promise that we would block every shot we could in order to help our goalie. After the first period the Highlanders were up 2-0. We came into the locker room and looked around, and we could tell everyone was on the same page and it felt great. The second period we did not score but the Sabres did. It was now 2-1. The third period was the toughest but most fun period of all. The Sabres tied up the game 2-2 but shortly after that we responded with 2 goals. In the final few minutes up 4-2, a Highlander was called for a penalty. The Sabers pulled their goalie and had a 6-4 advantage. As many blocked shots as we made one got by and it was a 4-3 game. The Highlanders were relentless in their efforts and pulled together to block and clear every puck that came their way. The final score ended up being 4-3 in favor of the Highlanders, and it was the most amazing feeling. Everyone was so happy and so excited to be able to accomplish an underdog victory.
So many others were so proud of us and we received much attention for the win. The President of Austrian hockey called our manager from the Olympics in Sochi to congratulate us and wish us luck in the gold medal game. We were also mentioned on TV in Austria during the Olympic hockey game between the US and Sweden. They talked about the upset and wished us luck as well. Although excited to play we lost the next day in the gold medal game to Italy, but silver was a great accomplishment and we were so proud of it.
After the playoffs we took a much needed day off. The next day some of my teammates and I decided to travel 20 minutes down the road to the Alps for some skiing and snowboarding. I had never been skiing so I was really nervous especially before playoffs ha-ha. But I was safe and we had so much fun. The snow was perfect and we all shared some laughs. This weekend we play the Salzburg Eagles for the first round of the National Tournament! Wish us luck!