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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 5 - Yverdon-Les-Bains, Switzerland

10:35am - Wow....morning comes early. Seems like I've been up all night. Ha!  Three hours of sleep is all I was able to get, others grabbed about 5 hours.  Once again there's just enough time to send a short note before we're headed out for a trip to Lusanne, about an hour from the hotel, to visit the Olympic Museum.

Tonight's game will be (should be) live on the internet. Just note that the game is at 7pm and not 8 pm. So, using my conversion skills.....that's 12 noon Central time, 1pm Eastern, and 10 am West Coast time.

Talk to you soon.......

8 pm Swiss time - Unfortunately, once again internet capabilities are a problem. I have just a few minutes to tell you that we will be taping the game and hope that somehow we can post the video. (Video available below)

It's 2 am Swiss time now, and once again I'm filing this under Day 5.

We left the Ramada Park Hotel in Geneva at 11am for a trip to the Lausanne. It's an incredible place situated on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Lausanne is built on the southern slope of the Swiss plateau, with a difference in elevation of about 1,640 ft (500 meters) between the lakeshore and its northern edge (Ouchy the city's marina) and the Le Mont-sur-Lausanne and Epalinges mountain range.

This is where we stopped and took a tour of the Olympic Village and the Museum.

After the tour we went into Yverdon-Les-Bains, Switzerland to eat.

Because the restaurants close between 3 pm and 5pm, and lunch was on our own, we had a difficult time finding a place to eat.

Others found the only place still open..... as Coach Lowden poetically put it, "I came all this way to Switzerland just to eat at McDonalds?"

Luckily, a few of us, including Coach Lowden, found Gesipa willing to serve us Pizza and Lasagna after a few minutes of negociation.

Then we headed to the rink for game two, against HC Yverdon in Yverdon-Les-Bains.  A 4-1 win, the Select team is now 2-0 on this European trip and 7-0 in the two trips.

GAME VIDEO: Click here


Per 1 - 5:53 - YCV - Kevin Bonzon from Thomas Stastny (SH)
Per 2 - 00:14 - SEL - Adam Thomas from Kent Arsenault
Per 2 - 11:07 - SEL - Kent Arsenault from Chris Wagner and Ryan Hernandez
Per 2 - 14:10 - SEL - Kent Arsenault from Steve Black and Adam Thomas
Per 3 - 03:09 - SEL - Joe Dabkowski from Andrew Trainor

Shots:  42 on Fabian Zaugg (YCV), 29 on Justin Sand (Michigan State) who gets the win.

YCV was 0-4 on the powerplay and the Select team went 1-5 with the man advantage.

Well, it's off to the same routine tomorrow.....ah....today..... breakfast at 9am and and 11 am departure for a tour of Geneva. We're supposed to have some time after to come back to the hotel and grab some sleep before the big New Years celebration in downtown Geneva. 

Let's hope.....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 4 - Pralognan, France

9 am - After breakfast, the team assembles in the lobby for a tour of Switzerland and a 3 hour bus ride in a double-decker bus to Pralognan, France. Since the bus is here, this leaves me with just enough time to tell you that tonight's game probably will not be broadcast live. Internet may not be available....I'll keep you posted. I will upload the game after we get back to the hotel if necessary.

3:30 am (Day 4 December 29th) - We're back at the hotel in Geneva. It's late and because I'm not really going to try and figure out what day to put this under.....here we go......

It was an hour bus ride to Annecy, France where we did some sightseeing and walked around an amazing town tucked in the mountains.

Annecy (448m/1470 ft; pop. 52,100), is situated on lake Annecy. It has a considerable amount of industry, including the bell-foundry which made the famous "Savoyarde" bell for the Sacré-Coeur in Paris.

A busy college town, Annecy also played host to Stage 18 of the Tour de France on July 23, 2009.  It's also set to host of parts of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

All the walking around left us hungry, and good thing we were set up to eat at Le Vivaldi Pizzeria and Restaurant. The food was C'est excellent ! Then we gathered for a group photo.

After lunch is was time for the 3 hour drive to Pralognan, France and Game #1 with the Val Vanoise Savoyards.

Located in the mountains, and running short on time, our bus driver Pierre Lungdique decided to best the time of the previous driver and get us up in record time.

Taking the corners wide and coming close to the guard rails, we made it alright, but with alot of trepidation. As Matthew Morang put it, "This is like a video game without a reset button."

The bus, a modern double-decker chartered rig, gave everyone sitting on the top and in the front (Ryan Hernandez, Kevin Brojek, and Kent Arsenault) something to remember.

The best part of the trip was passing through Albertville, France, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. In fact the Select's first game is being played in the Pralognan La Vanoise rink where the Olympic Curling event was held.

Alright, now what you have been waiting for, and again it's 4:30 am in Geneva, Switzerland, but the results of the game between Val Vanoise and the ACHA Select Team.....

The first game was amazing, not from the standpoint that it was a 17-0 Select team win, but because the 2072 fans stayed through the end of the game, shook hands with the players afterward, and many kids asked for autographs.

Per 1 
3:17 - Jordan Jakubik from Jeremy Barber
6:32 - Brett Galbraith from Joe Dabkowski and Jonathan Juliano
14:06 - Von Mondevergine
14:13 - Devin Zimmer from Jordan Jakubik
14:49 - Kevin Brojek from Jordan Jakubik
Per 2
2:24 - Jonathan Juliano from Brett Galbraith
4:23 - Jordan Jakubik from Jeremy Barber
5:48 - Kent Aresnault from Adam Thomas
13:16 - Bill Allen from Kent Aresnault
17:01 - Jeremy Barber from Jerry Holden and Shaun McTigue
Per 3
1:41 - Jonathan Juliano from Brett Galbraith
2:56 - Jordan Jakubik from Kent Aresnault
5:12 - Matthew Morang from Shaun McTigue
9:59 - Jordan Jakubik from Devin Zimmer
17:04 - Ryan Hernandez from Kent Aresnault Adam Thomas
17:38 - Matthew Morang
18:34 - Michael Truex from Matthew Morang
Shots: Selects: 55 on Jeremy Provost,  Val Vanois: 26 shots in Mike Poepping (Missouri State), who gets the shutout win. Both teams were 0-1 on the powerplay.
As for the game. It's saved but it's going to be a while before I can figure out a way to upload it. Time and internet capabilities are a factor.

Well, it's 5:30 am and the contacts are blurry, it's time to get to sleep. Assistant Coach Jim Martin of Michigan State, who's the only one left down in the business center with me, suggests I stay up all night and have breakfast at 6am. Sure...whatever!

We have an 11am departure time for Lusanne, Switzerland and a tour of the Olympic Museum tomorrow......ah.....I mean today.

Good night, Jim!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 3 - Geneva, Switzerland

9:27 am - Geneva time - We have arrived!  Flight 023 was great, relatively smooth. The 7 hour trip didn't seem that long. Customs, baggage, transportation, all went well. With the time change, it's now 1pm as I write from the lobby of the Ramada Park Hotel Geneva.

There are several differences in Europe from the United States. One is the lack of internet access. I will try to do my best to keep everyone updated on things, but at the moment, photos and video will be a bit difficult to post.

This also reminds me that tomorrow's game with Val Vanoise may be broadcast on a delayed basis. The latest word is that there may not be internet access because we are playing in a different arena than originally scheduled. I will keep you posted.

Another difference is the European computer keyboard. The Z and Y keys are reversed.  Punctuation marks are in a different place, plus there are several symbols to deal with: é, ö, ä, à, £, ü, è  among them.

1:10 pm Geneva Time (6:10 am central time) - Some players have met their parents, who are here for the trip, and some took off to walk the town.....actually we have a rail/bus pass through the new year. Most didn't get that far though. Some want to sleep, but it's best to stay up and get accustomed to the time change.  They do know it costs $12 for a combo meal at McDonalds....good thing we have most of our meals paid for.

At 4:30 pm we are heading for the rink for a practice then to eat dinner.  Hopefully, there will be more photos and video to come. I'm working on it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 2 - Albany, NY

Day 2 - Albany, NY - December 27th - After an 8 am breakfast, it was time to head to the Albany County Hockey Facility for a third practice and team photo before packing up all the gear and heading for New York City to catch a flight to Geneva, Switzerland.

Before looking pretty on the ice, the team put on their game jerseys to look pretty for the camera. The team will bring three jerseys: red, blue and white.

Then it was time to get to work. Many players were a little rusty, having not played in a few weeks, but after the third practice things looked alot better. "We're looking good," Head Coach Paul Lowden said.

Kevin Brojek, decked out in the red Select jersey, shows his style..minus the skates. He says he doesn't need skates to move backward. Actually, he was in the back row standing on a bench and it was easier not to wear them for the team photo.

Kent Arsenault looks intently during the last practice.

The team is decked out with black helmets and uniformly placed stickers, which have each player's number on it, will make it somewhat easy for me to know who's who.

Here's a drill..... did you notice something different about this video?

Goaltender Adam Brown, of Sienna, starts the drill and Mike Poepping, of Missouri State, finishes the drill.

12:22pm Eastern - Well, that's all for now..... we are about to get on the bus for a 3 hour drive to New York City!

2:04 pm - We are packed in like sardines on the chartered bus. Luggage down the aisles, and hockey gear packed below. Somehow most of the players managed to grab and hold an empty seat next to them. Coaches and other non-players...well, we're one to a seat. I wonder how that happened!

Looking outside the window it's great weather! Sunny and 70....ok more like 40, but it's still a great day!

The DVD "Bodies of Lies" plays on the overhead screens in the bus. Never having seen it before, it does seem a bit violent, although I wouldn't mind seeing it at a later time.

I just looked at my computer battery and I have just enough time to save and send this. Talk to you when we get to JFK!

2:52 pm - Coach Lowden let me use his laptop. We're stuck in traffic on I-87 asfd;kl;kl ..... Arrghhh! A driver decided to squeeze between us and stopped taffic. Our alert bus driver stopped short of a collision. It's a Sunday, where does everyone need to go so fast?  That's the consensus as we all recover from the jolt.

3:05 pm - Traffic seems to be moving better now. I finally get to look at the Appalachian Mountains. Baren trees due to winter, it would be interesting to see what this aea looks like in the summer time.

3:22 pm - More traffic!  The Garden State Parkway is a mile away. Flashing red lights of a New Jersey State Police car heads down the right shoulder. Several cars are on the road, but there is no rhyme or reason for it. We inch along at 20 miles an hour.  We'll make it sooner or later.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 1 - Albany, NY

Day 1 - Albany, NY - All players arrived in Albany, New York. That's the good news. The bad news is that 5 players (Michael Truex, Kent Arsenault, Brett Galbraith, Devin Zimmer, and Bill Allen) are without their equipment due to the winter storm that played havoic with the Midwest. At last report, the hockey gear should arrive by midnight.

Uniforms and all accessories line the locker room before players arrive for the first of two practices this evening.

Just like a scene from the movie Miracle, where players were given a first hand look at their new "teammates" who weeks ago they were battling against, it was an hour to get to know one another.

After introductions, players spent about an hour to fix sticks, helmets, and face masks getting ready for the first team practice.

Once they got the new gear the way they like, it was time for Select Head Coach Paul Lowden to adress the team.

Goaltender Mike Poepping, of Missouri State, works on a deflection drill during the first practice.

Yea, I'll post more video of other players - promise - but hey....I've called Pep's games for 5 seasons. I know the Ice Bear fans want to see him in action.

SELECT Games Broadcast on WSR!

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 at the 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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Preview Of Things To Come

Day 1 - Although I will arrive on Friday, things get serious on Saturday, December 26, 2009 in Albany, New York. The team will meet at the Albany County Hockey Facility for team meetings followed by the first team practice.

Day 2 - Sunday, December 27, 2009 - After breakfast, we'll head to the rink for a 2nd practice, then we'll pack our bags and board team bus for a trip to JFK airport for an overnight flight to Geneva, Switzerland.