The End…is Near
We concluded our season like most teams this month. It was a decent second place finish in the Austrian league, but hard to lose any championship. After all, I like the girls on my team, and I want them to do well in the future. First place teams get to represent their country in the European Cup tournament the following year. Fortunately, our team was able to participate last year, since they won the previous year. Those are hard games and worth fighting for. So, it’s a tough loss. European women’s hockey is always trying to grow, but the opportunities to play internationally throughout the year are limited.
Although Austria doesn’t have March Madness, the men’s league has been buzzing with playoffs. Tonight in Salzburg is game 7 of the Red Bulls Salzburg versus the Vienna Capitals series. The winner will move on to the championship.
Other than that series, there is no more hockey to watch. Instead of turning to nhl.com, I have decided to make one more trip to Zürich for the women’s world championships in April. This may not be my last post. I have been asked to edit some hockey write ups, so I will try to simultaneously provide little post-game snippets. Unfortunately, the Austrian team plays at the Division I level, which is confusing, because that is a step down from the USA, Canada level. The Division I world championships are about two hours away in Ravensburg, Germany (if you drive through Lake Constance). It will be a bit expensive to go back and forth by train, so I haven’t committed to that…yet. I made it to Ravensburg last year while trying to find Spieleland. Next time you get a puzzle, check if it was made in the Ravensburg puzzle factory.
I’ll keep this entry short. I know I’ve run on in the past, but this month there is nothing too exciting as far as travels go. Some of Sarah’s family came in, and we went to the Salzburg Zoo again. Different time of year allowed us to interact with some new animals like the cheetahs. Time in Austria is running out, and I’ve been exploring and re-exploring many of the smaller mountains and hiking trails around the area. I try to always capture the scene with two cameras and a flip video recorder. Although I think Sarah and I learned a valuable lesson about altitude. If you spend hours hiking, and then run down very quickly, it can make you a little sick. We raced each other down a very long staircase with the flip camera rolling, and the altitude hit a little later (we may have been yelling wee the whole way while running). It may have had nothing to do with it, but somebody (not me mom) had to go to the hospital later (Sarah’s fine).
Last night our team held a little good bye dinner for the foreign players at a Chinese buffet restaurant, World of Asia. It was nice, and some of the parents made it along with a few of the boys that practiced with us all year. Marley is leaving in a week for home via London, but she is looking to return and has applied for school here next year. Salzburg, Austria is beautiful. After being based here for so long, I still love it and recommend it, especially if you are interested in playing hockey in Europe.
Photo Credit: Rainer Gmach