Here you will find updates, stories, and photos from the ACHA Select team and UGA Hockey players. Vince DiCarlo, Peter Kacer, and Coach Hoos will be posted here approximately every other day. The most recent posts will be at the top of the page – scroll down to see posts from previous days. We hope you enjoy some of the trip highlights shared with you here! You can also follow the Select Team game updates and other trip information and anecdotes at the following links:
Trip Website with Daily Itinerary: http://acha-d3-tour-2012-13.blogspot.co.at/p/tour-itinerary.html
ACHA website blog page http://achahockey.org/page.php?page_id=47778&league_id=1063
Twitter https://twitter.com/UGAHockey or @achamensd3.
Dec 29 •Select Team Rides Mountain Rollercoaster, Then Wins Game #1
Saturday in Germany…started the day with a bus drive into the alps to Immenstadt/Alpsee Coaster, Germanys largest roller coater. The drive to Immenstadt included some spectacular views of the Alps to the south and Bavarian villages along the way. Once at the Alpsee center, we were treated to a ride up the mountain by chairlift to the traditional Bavarian hut “Bärenfalle” that served food, coffee, and of course large beers by the tall pint or extra large steins. Fantastic Bavarian and Austrian dishes! Following a break at the Barenfalle, the team headed for the spiel platz to ride down the mountain – the spiel platz is a single car roller coaster ride down the side of a mountain at high speed! Reaching breakneck speeds on a track that has hairpin turns and cutbacks, it was a fast and fun ride that included more than one scream. At the bottom of the mountain the team enjoyed a spaghetti and pasta late lunch at the Schnitzlwirt, then loaded up the bus to head to nearby Oberstdorf for the teams first game. Once at Overstdorf the team got to visit the Olympic ski jump run and stadium. It was humbing to see just how tall the jump run is.
Game 1 vs Oberstdorf. Our first European game had former NCAA and junior players, and presented a tough opponent for the Selects first game. After three practices and several days of travel for the select players the team was ready for some game action….and it showed! The Select team scored first as captain Steve Pelky from Saginaw Valley State sniped a shot into the upper right corner just three minutes into the game. Following a power play tally by the home Oberstdorf team, Michigan State forward Scott Drenchko scored next for the Selects. UGAs own Peter Kacer struck next for the ACHA as he snapped home goal number three for the Selects. Minutes later Kacers linemate UCF forward Josh Drazin scored to put the ACHA up 4-1 in the first period. Oberstdorf tried to rally in the second period and generated several odd man attacks, but the Selects defense and goaltending by Calvin College netminder Trevor Boardway turned away the German chances. A rare event in international play took place in the second period as the UNC Wilminton forward Blair Bigwood was awarded a penalty shot, which Bigwood deposited into the upper netting with a nifty backhand to ignite the Selects bench. Robert Morris’ (Pa.) Brenden Boyle and Drenchkos second goal rounded out the ACHA scoring. Final score ACHA 7-3 win. The team was treated to a Schnitzel Mit Pommes (fries) dinner with the Obersdorf team after the game, then headed back to our hotel in Munich. A great first game for the Select team, and congratulations to Peter Kacer for scoring his first international goal!
December 27-28 •Selects Land In Munich, Practice At Outdoor Rink
The team held a practice at the IceForum in Duluth Ga at 930 am. The team looked very sharp as players appeared to be more comfortable playing together. After practice the team loaded up on the bus land headed to the Atlanta airport. Wading thru a lengthy check in process at the Delta counter the team gathered at the gate for departure. With hope that this will prove to be the only hiccup from the team side of travel, one of the players became ill while waiting at the gate. Following evaluation that lasted right up until departure time for the flight, the player boarded the flight and the team departed for europe without further incident.
Following a very long but relatively smooth 10 hour flight the team arrived at the Munich airport just before 8am local time (2am EST). As the players and coaches made it thru customs, most of the team began boarding a charter bus with trailer waiting at the airport…after 2/3 of the bus was packed with gear and players, it was discovered that this bus was waiting for another group, and the Select team had to de-board and unpack their gear. The correct bus arrived a short time later, without a trailer, and a tight packing job got everything loaded and the team headed to our hotel in Munich.
Hotel: As anyone who has traveled to Europe knows, hotels are not the same as hotels in the US. European double rooms can be amply described as slightly oversized dorm rooms. Twin beds, confined space, and tiny bathrooms. The boys will get to know their roommates well in these tight quarters!
It was a rainy dreary day on arrival at the hotel, but the team forged on with a walking tour of downtown Munich, or “Munchen” as it is correctly pronounced according to our tour guide Marcus. Despite the cold and wet conditions the team was introduced to the Bavarian culture that residents are very proud of. We learned that Bavarians and Austrians have a friendly dislike of each other and Bavarians have standing jokes about Austrians similar to how someone from Georgia might joke about Alabama, only add a thousand years of history. Our tour guide also showed us traditional Bavarian clothing and how relationship status can be identified by the way certain clothing is worn. We were treated to views of traditional architecture including the central chapel. The team then entered the main pedestrian district that includes shopping , food, and beer houses and bars. A traditional Bavarian pretzel was taken in by most of the players before returning to the hotel for a much needed nap.
Following a.short rest, the team had dinner at a traditional Bavarian restaurant, the Walfino restaurant im Phönix, Ottobrunn. The meal included a roasted pork dish and rice dumpling covered by a beer infused gravy sauce. Deserts were a combination of a pudding based apple cake, cherry crumb cake and a dates based crumb cake.
Practice: Sportpark Ottobrunn Outdoor Rink.
Thankfully the rain subsided and the temperature dropped making for ideal skating conditions! The ice was in great shape despite the earlier rain and playing on the outdoor rink was exciting for all of the players and coaches. There were several hockey purists in the group who commented “this would be so cool to play all of our games outdoors!” The outdoor practice went well and the ice was heavily chewed up afterwards. Hot tea was served in the team dressing rooms to help warm everyone up. The Select team mill return to Ottobrunn outdoor rink on Sunday for a game. Saturday night game is at a different rink. Following practice the team returned to the hotel to get some much needed rest.
December 26, 2012 •DiCarlo, Kacer Start Select Trip
The ACHA 2012 National Select team held their first practice on Wednesday night at the IceForum in Duluth in preparation for their upcoming European tour. Players from around the country joined Georgia goalie Vince DiCarlo and leading scoring forward Peter Kacer in Atlanta for two days of practice before flying to Munich, Germany to start their 6-game European trip. “We saw a ton of speed on the ice tonight,” coach Sean Weaver of Central Florida commented after the teams first practice. “For the size we have our players are very agile,” Weaver added. Peter Kacer looked sharp and in stride running thru offensive drills, and DiCarlo appeared comfortable in net facing a barrage of shots from the best collegiate players in the country. The National Select team with Bulldogs coach Hoos as one of the three coaches for the team, will practice again on Thursday at 9:30 am, then head to the Atlanta airport to head off to face teams from the Euro professional leagues for 6 games in 10 days.