We are going to Finland!!! Yes we got through the first round of the European Champions Cup. This tournament determines the best club team in Europe. It is set up differently than tournaments in the states because it does not take place all at the end of the year and each round is based on pool play versus a bracket style tournament. The best team from each league plays in this tournament. The first round takes place in October at different locations (ours was in Vienna, Austria). There are four sections of four teams in the first round. The winners of each section along with teams with free bids go to the second round of the tournament in December. This year the second round is in Helsinki, Finland. Another pool play tournament is played and the top two teams from each section makes it to the final round in February where the location is yet to be determined. Here the top four club teams in Europe play a pool play tournament for the championship! I am really excited for the second round and was very proud of how the girls played this weekend!
We played our first game against Poland and won 12-4. Game two was a close one against Vienna where we won 2-0 with an open net. Vienna is a really good team and we were pumped to come out with that win! We then beat Slovakia 4-0 to clinch the spot in Finland. The tournament was so much fun. Our game against Vienna was very intense with the team giving it everything we had! Our goalie played amazing and it was fun to see the team come together.
Vienna was a cool place. We didn’t do a ton of touristy things because our focus was on the tournament but we did manage to ride the Ferris wheel. Built over 100 years ago It is famous in Vienna because it survived the bombings of World War 2 and was one of the first things to be reconstructed. It symbolized peace and the return of normality after the war. It had a really nice view of the city and got me excited to go back to see more in November!
As for food in Vienna the tournament carbo loaded us for games serving us lots of pasta, dumplings, and rice. After the final game we had an Austrian dessert called kaiserschmarrn. It was a pancake dessert with raisins, served with powdered sugar and applesauce. So good! In Prague, Andrea and I took her boyfriend out on a beer tour where we got to try four different Czech beers at different microbreweries and pubs. On this tour I found out that Czechs invented light beer and that Prague drinks more beer per capita than any other city in the world! It makes sense considering it is cheaper then the water here. I also finally made it up to the Prague Castle. It was so big and beautiful. We didn’t go inside but went around the gardens enjoying the different views and admiring the castle up close.
Coming up for me is more league games and training for Finland! I will also see how Halloween goes over here.
Thanks for reading…ajoh!