Catching our return train was a bit of an adventure. After all the walking the girls needed the ladies room but were surprised to find out it cost money to use!!! Then the track your train leaves on is not announced until 2 minutes before it leaves so it was a mad dash. But we did not lose anyone and we all made it back to the hotel. Dinner then blackboard practice then the girls had a couple hours to them selves before bed check.
Day 3 - Let the games begin! We opened the competition against
Catherine (Cat) Santo from Chelsi Wells
24:35 Allison (Allie) Era unassisted
27:34 Courtney (Court) Orner assisted by Allison (Allie) Era
28:40 Charlotte (Char) Nicholson unassisted
30:07 Celeste (Cheese Wiz) Loyatho from Courtney (Court) Orner for a 8-0
The game was the 1st of the day so we were all done by 3pm so time for more team building. I am a Philadelphia Firefighter so we went to visit the Beroun Fire House. We stopped for a little lunch on the way at a road side stand leading out of town. It was a nice 20 minute up hill walk through the small Czech town. What a great time the girls had. The Beroun Firefighters were awesome to the girls. The pulled out the trucks they took pictures with the guys and were putting on all the gear also got to spray some water. Pictures should be great! As we said goodbye and Thank You all the girls were given patches form the fire company or the Czech Republic. We were not done yet on to the Bears, that’s right the National Animal is the Grizzle Bear and just north of town is a park and 3-4 10’ Grizzlies. The girls watched them being feed by hand by a handler. They walked and took some great photos of the bears then back to the hotel. Dinner a little free time then bed check at 11pm, all accounted for!
Day 7 - Semi-Finals vs the home team the Czech at 5pm. The girls got to sleep in breakfast was optional. 12 noon team meeting, walk over bridge to soccer field light work out and then walk through of our systems and what to expect from the Czech. Lunch 1:30 – 2:30 then nap or rest till 3:30 then to the rink. It was game time the girls looked ready but just :17 into the game USA was called for hooking and the Czech wasted no time scoring :17 into the power play on a back door play that we had went over at practice but 1-0 Czech. The rest of the half the USA played well hitting a couple post and crossbars but no goals. The last minute of the period things went bad and at 19:07 the Czech made it 2-0 off a bad bounce goal. Then at 19:33 the USA took a tripping penalty but the half ended and it was 2-0 Czech. The 1st and last minute of a half are tough to give up a goal and we did both. Then when the 2nd half started we were still short and could not get a good clear it cost us 3-0 Czech. The girls could of folded right there but they didn’t they dug deep and started to create some chances and create power plays. Then at 25:42 on the PP Char Nicholson scored assisted by Cat Santo and we were right back in it! The USA created another PP and this time was robbed! Cheese Wiz Loyatho hit crossbar and the puck came straight down over the goal line the USA players thought including the goal judge who turned the goal light on it was a goal but during the celebration the Referee waived it off??? Her explanation was she did not see it go in so NO GOAL! The USA did not stop coming then at 33:20 Char Nicholson got her 2nd of the game assisted by Cheese Wiz Loyatho and it was 3-2 and we had a game. The Czech called time out to regroup. The USA was coming but right after the time out the Czech at 33:50 got a loose puck off a point shot and it was 4-2. The USA pressed and at 36:57 the Czech would go up 5-2 on a 2 on 1 break add an empty netter and the final was 6-2 Czech Republic. Very tough loss for the girls, sad locker room but we had to get past this as the Bronze Medal would be up for grabs the next day in a revenge match for France. It is hard to Beat a team twice so the USA had it’s work cut out for them. Late dinner somber mood free time bed check 11pm all accounted for!
Day 8 - The Bronze Medal Game 5pm no time for looking back, the USA was in a must win game to win the 2010 World Championships Bronze Medal. Same pre game plan as day 7 except no soccer field. The team meeting was followed by the team taking time to sign jersey’s and photo’s for our sponsors and themselves. As the team prepared for the game they took time in the locker room to thank our team guide John. John is a 23 year old college student from Beruon. He was great, he helped the girls with anything they needed. Took them to the bank, translated at stores anything. They presented him with a signed Team Jersey. Then Pat Steidle our team trainer. Pat was the ultimate professional with the girls and took care of them all week. He to received a signed Team Jersey. Then I was presented a signed Team Jersey words could not express my thoughts. We took a couple minutes then back to the business at hand the French and the Bronze Medal. The game started with a nice pace both teams creating off of their speed. The USA would go up first scoring at 5:19 Court Orner would take a lead pass from Char Nicholson and walk in off the wall and score on a nasty backhander top shelf. The USA would get great goaltending from starter Michelle Vedder and would lead 1-0 at the end of the 1st half. The decision was made to keep Michelle Vedder in the game for the 2nd half. Vedder and Jetta Rackleff were splitting the games as the heat was a factor. It was great to have 2 outstanding goaltenders who both supported the other. The hardest part for the coach was telling Jetta but she handled it like a true athlete and understood, what else could a coach ask for!
The 2nd half , it was the last half of hockey for this team and they made it a point to tell each other not to leave anything in the tanks and go for it. At 21:29 just 89 seconds into the 2nd half the USA was called for hooking and the French had their chance. Michelle Vedder made a couple nice saves then with just :09 remaining in their PP Cat Santo intercepted a cross point pass and was in on the breakaway, she dropped her shoulder to freeze the goalie then buried it for a 2-0 USA lead. The USA would put 2 unbelievable shifts together and would hold the puck for almost 6 minutes as the French could only chase them. The USA played almost a perfect game and put it away with 1 minute remaining when the Wild Dogs forces a turn over, Kelly McCormack from Chelsi Wells and it was 3-0 USA and the winners of the;
2010 FIRS Women’s World Championships Bronze Medal
The girls came for the Gold but worked hard a little unlucky maybe but a well earned Bronze Medal.
The girls stayed and watched the Gold Medal game, traded items with players from other country’s and talked with friends they made over the years. The closing ceremonies were very nice then it was a night to themselves but they had to be packed and in the lobby by 5am for their flight home. All present and accounted for and on the bus by 5:15am