Hello everyone! This is the page where I will share with you my experiences of traveling with, and broadcasting games of, the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 Select Hockey Team as we travel through Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy from Dec. 26th, 2009 to Jan. 7th, 2010 through words, pictures, and video. Enjoy! Steve

WSR To Broadcast Select Games

In a last minute scheduling adjustment, the 2009-10 Select hockey games in Europe against teams from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and France will be broadcast live on WebSports Radio.com's Live TV starting with game one against Val Vanoise on Tuesday, December 29th at 8:45 pm European time from Pralognan, France - (1:45 pm Central) or 2:45 pm Eastern.

All games will be videocast live, as long as we have high-speed Internet capabilities, which at this point we should. The live feed can be accessed clicking on WebSports Radio broadcast link in this story or below at right.

Steve Casson and Phil Sweeney, an Assistant Coach with Davenport University, will bring you all the action. The pre-game show will be 10 minutes before game time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 13 - Zurich, Switzerland

After the game in Ehrwald, we stopped a few miles away and were treated to a post-game meal, our last in Europe.

Then at 1am we took off for a 6 hour bus ride back to Zurich, Switzerland.

Most of us we would be in our same clothes for nearly 36 hours.

We received word that some players' flights were canceled due to impending weather, and some were delayed, but everyone arrived safe in New York.

I want to send along a special thanks to Isabel (L) and Mary (who live in Fussen) for helping translate for us during the trip, their help with coordination of daily non hockey events along with Jim Tibbits our tour director, and for Mary's help running the video camera during the Select's hockey games.

Coming soon.....extra stuff.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 12 - Ehrwald, Austria

Day 12 was a long cold tiring one, which was so big, it rain into Day 13. Starting in Fussen, Germany, it ran through Ehrwald, Austria, and ended in Zurich, Switzerland. We checked out of our hotels at 11:30am (10am for me) and stowed our luggage on the bus.

Then we headed for a walking tour of the Neuschawnstein Castle in Western Fussen, a castle that was the basis for Walt Disney's castle at the Disneyland theme parks.

Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life - now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge.

Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.

A long 30 minute walk up hill to the castle was filled with amazing sights.

Had the weather not been about 15 degrees fahrenheit, we would have taken the horse drawn carriage. The uphill walk kept most of us warm.

Halfway up to the castle, we stopped for a rest to take a look at the scenery in part of the Swiss Alps.

The castle was not designed for royalty, but as a place of retreat for Ludwig II to escape into his dream world. Movement in the foundation area has to be continuously monitored, and the sheer rock walls must be repeatedly secured. The harsh climate also has a detrimental effect on the limestone facades, have been endlessly renovated section by section over the years.

We arrived at the top, and after a 15 minute wait, started the tour. Unfortunately, we were told in a stern manner by our tour guide not to take pictures of the inside. Yes, there was a sign as we walked in, but nobody reads signs, right? We could, though, take photos from the inside out through windows.

The pictures on the walls of the castle deal with love and guilt, repentance and salvation. Kings and knights, poets and lovers people the rooms. There are three main figures: the poet Tannhäuser, the swan knight Lohengrin and his father, the Grail King Parzival (Parsifal). These were Ludwig's models and kindred spirits.

Swans also adorn rooms, including Ludwig's. His room, complete with a secret door which leads into a cave, is lined with swan patterns which is the Christian symbol of "purity" for which Ludwig strived.

Although the castle looked medieval, Ludwig used the latest technology of the time for comfort. The rooms were fitted with hot air central heating. Running water was available on every floor and the kitchen had both hot and cold water.

The toilets had an automatic flushing system.  Walls were thicher than usual to allow servants to move through out the castle, and to stock the rooms with wood in the fireplaces for heating.

The king also used an electric bell system to summon his servants. On the third and fourth floors there were even telephones. Meals were carried upstairs by a hidden lift.

Technology was also used for the construction process. Cranes were driven by steam engines, and the Throne Room was built using steel construction.

Ludwig II spent most of his childhood in the Hohenschwangau Castle (above) while the Neuschwanstein was being built.

Hungry from the long trek down hill, the team stopped at the Hotel Muller restaurant for a nice German pregame meal before heading to Ehrwald for an open air hockey game on the side of the the Zugspitze (2950 meters above sea level), Germany's highest mountain, but it is shared with Austria.

5:45 pm - We arrive at the Ehrwalder Gaisbachstadion ice rink during a cold (2 degree) evening in the mountains and had some time to get out on the ice - those of us who dared to jump on the surface without skates.

An hour later, it was time for me to find a broadcast location. Finally after an exhaustive search, we abandoned the safety the outdoor concession stand (where the parents decided to call home) for a corner of the rink away from fan traffic.

Carved into the side of the mountain, the rink's seating area is cold and snow-covered. Fans stood the entire game cheering and appreciating the game between both teams.

Braving the elements and trying to keep warm, Phil, Mary and I were able to get an umbrella as protection from the light snow that fell throughout the game.

Our broadcast location.....

A 5-2 ACHA Select team win, the game was well played. From the EC Ehrwald website: "Coach Mario Bellina was very pleased with the overall performance (of the team) and saw this game as a good preparation for (league) games in the playoffs of the ongoing championship."


Per 1 - 03:14 - SEL - Kevin Mixon (unassisted) PP
Per 1 - 08:38 - EHR - Stefan Somweber
Per 1 - 16:58 - SEL - Bill Allen from Matthew Morang
Per 1 - 19:24 - SEL - Kent Arsenault (unassisted)
Per 2 - 00:58 - SEL - Kent Arsenault from Adam Thomas and Michael Truex
Per 3 - 14:51 - SEL - Kent Arsenault from Bill Allen
Per 3 - 16:00 - EHR - Florian Wilhelm (unassisted)


Selects - 1 for 2, Ehrwald 0 for 3


Selects: 49 (on Christian Schreibmayer), Ehrwald: 44 (14 on Adam Brown, 18 on Mike Poepping, 12 on Justin Sand)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 11 - Fussen, Germany

For the first time on this trip, our start was a little bit later then usual. We began at 11am for a guided walking tour of the town we have been staying in - Fussen, Germany.

The players hotel in the downtown area.

The restaurant we had our meals at in Fussen....

They have a Woolworth in Fussen!  I thought they went out of business in the U.S. many years ago.

Don't park here??!?!

Changing things up a bit, we stopped at the St. Mang Monastery and Basilica in Fussen, and put off a tour of the Neuschawnstein Castle until Wednesday.

Jonathan Juliano and Kent Arsenault

After lunch, it was time to head for Memmingen, Germany and a game with the Indians.

An 8-3 win for the Select team, the game was well played and seemed closer then the score indicated. The people in Memmingen were great!  The arena was filled with lots of drums and an appreciation for Select Head Coach Paul Lowden's playing time (4 years in the early 90's) with the Indians.

The Select team is now 5-0 on the 2009-2010 European Tour and improves to 10-0 dating back to 2007.


Per 1 - 01:41 - SEL - Jonathan Juliano from Jordan Jakubik
Per 1 - 02:59 - SEL - Devin Zimmer from Joe Dabkowski and Shaun McTigue
Per 1 - 05:47 - SEL - Matthew Morang from Bill Allen and Michael Truex
Per 1 - 10:19 - SEL - Jordan Jakubik from Jonathan Juliano and Brett Galbraith
Per 1 - 12:11 - SEL - Adam Thomas (unassisted)
Per 1 - 16:35 - MEM - Martin Lohle from James Nagle (PP)
Per 2 - 10:44 - SEL - Jordan Jakubik from Brett Galbraith
Per 2 - 10:56 - SEL - Brett Galbraith (unassisted)
Per 2 - 11:59 - MEM - Manfred Jorde from James Nagle and Mike Dolezal (PP)
Per 2 - 18:19 - SEL - Steve Black from Shaun McTigue and Matthew Morang (PP)
Per 3 - 13:26 - MEM - Martin Lohle from James Nagle and Daniel Pfeiffer (PP)

Selects - 1 for 4, Memmingen - 3 for 6

Selects 41 (24 on Patrick Vetter and 17 on Dominik Wagner)
Memmingen 37 (7 on Justin Sand, 20 on Adam Brown and 10 on Mike Poepping)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 10 - Munich, Germany

I'm sure you know what I'm going to say.....another early morning and a 9am train ride to Munich, Germany.

Kevin Brojek gets some fresh air.

After our trip on the train we started our walk toward the main center of Munich.

We made it to the center of Munich and arrived there just in time for the playing of the Glockenspiel. Everyday at 11am and 12pm in the winter months and 11am, 12pm and 5pm in the summer months the Glockenspiel starts to chime. The life-sized statues rotate around each other in a mock dance.

The Glockenspiel celebrates two separate events from Munich's past with two levels of mundane clockwork action. The dancers are coopers (barrelmakers) and are depicted doing the Schafflertanz, or "Dance of the Coopers".

This is done in memory of the end of the plague in 1517 and every seven years some locals dress up much like Morris Dancers without the bells and perform the dance live. The other part is jousting knights.

These re-enact a famous tournament that was held for the royal wedding of Duke Wilhelm V which took place on Marienplatz in 1568.

A view of the Glockenspiel from another angle. The building that houses the famous clockworks is the only building, the residence of the Mayor of Munich, to stand in the area after the bombling of the city in the 40's.


More photos of Munich......

Team photo in Munich square.

The Museum in Munich (below) was rebuilt after a fire without a dome. The dome originally built to capture rain water that was used for fire sprinklers was thought of as an amazing invention. The problem was the fire had to burn for a few hours before the water, which froze as ice on the roof, melted enough to be used as water.

Getting a ticket!

This is the spot and building where the Natzi party started. In a building called the Hofbrauhaus, which is a popular beer pub in the Marion Platz area of Munich.

Some of the best pastries are found in Germany, especially Munich, where the true Bavarian sweets are made. I had this pretzel looking treat....mmmmmm.

Yep, it's time for my 1am treck back to my hotel...but this time we get to sleep in for a little longer. We have a 10am tour of Fussen, Germany which is where we are staying, and the Neuschawnstein Castle.