It’s been both a busy and good month here in Vienna. It’s Christmas season hear which means the advent of Christmas markets are all around the city. I am still as excited as the first time I experienced Christmas markets. They’re just a great addition to the holiday atmosphere and facilitate much holiday cheer.
Hockey has been on the up since my last post. We’ve played 4 more games. The first game was against team Netherlands. They were a team we should have beaten last year, but we couldn’t go into the game with that mentality. We’ve improved and so have they. They came out physically strong and were manhandling us in the corners. After a few minutes we got our feet under us and fought them hard. I opened the scoring for our team with a move around the defenseman and a backhand shot over the glove of the goalie. We won the game 5-4. Next, we recorded our first win against Salzburg since 2001! We dominated them last time and couldn’t find the back of the net. However, this time we made sure we capitalized on our chances, which still made it a close game. We won 2-1. Next we had a weekend away, first traveling to Budapest to play a friendship game against the Hungarian national team. They were a young group of girls, but they had lots of speed and 2 standout players. We were a little flat from driving at first. We shut them down, though, winning the game 5-3. The following weekend we traveled to Bratislava. The Flyers have never beaten (nor come close to beating) Bratislava and if you remember from my last post our previous game against them didn’t go so well. We came out on fire and ended up coming up with a 3-3 tie, which was a great step for the team. The older girls on the team never thought they would be in a game with Bratislava the way we were. Every time they scored we put the puck in the net right after and had sustained the forecheck. Unfortunately, we lost in a shootout, but we still got a point. It was a great moment for the team and a good mental step for the girls.
Outside of the rink it’s also been quite pleasant. I’ve been making neat media things for school. One assignment was photography which inadvertently almost lead to me being mauled by 4 angry swans. I was taking pictures of them as they were out in the water. They spotted me, and thinking I had food, immediately came running. Needless to say they were a little disappointed when I had none. We just celebrated American Thanksgiving with a 12lb turkey. That may not seem like a huge turkey for some; however for the oven sizes here it was a little daunting. It was a night of good food and good company. I am lucky to have a close college friend currently living in Prague, so I took a weekend trip to visit him and see the sights. Prague is a stunning city and people you meet on trains are always interesting. He also came down to join us for Thanksgiving.
Things are going well and I’m looking forward to our upcoming games in Minsk and being home to enjoy the holidays with my family. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and find themselves in good company and spirits.