Over the past few days, we've been spending time in Jerusalem touring the sites as well as attending the opening ceremonies. The ceremonies were very festive and energetic, and it seemed all athletes had an exceptional time barring the logistical nightmare of trying to get home that night.
We had a couple of practices in a rink just outside of Tel Aviv, which allowed us to get the legs going after the long journey over from the States. With our first game taking place yesterday afternoon, the team headed up to Metula in the morning. The ride was about 4 hours, and we were able to take in the beautiful and picturesque scenery of Israel and the Golan Heights as we ventured up to the northern part of the country.
In terms of the rink, it is located only yards from the Lebanon border, therefore, one would notice a significant presence of Israeli and UN security forces in the area. The rink itself, called the 'Canada Centre', is an Olympic size sheet of ice, and if one is wondering how the ice is, well, at this time of year, it's a little slow and slushy. Of course the 90+ degree weather outside doesn't help matters. But hey, this is hockey in Israel!!! As all teams took to the ice yesterday, we had our first game against Team Canada. Unfortunately, we ended up one goal short with a 6-5 loss, but we can take comfort knowing that we clawed back from a 4-1 deficit and had some very good opportunities to make it closer.
With a long day of traveling and playing yesterday, we can use this morning to unwind a little, and get ready for our next game this evening against Team Russia. It will be another good test, and I know we are all looking forward to getting back on that ice!
Thanks for checking in!