Archive for the ‘Winter Sports’ Category

Heartbroken but proud

Tonight’s semi-finals at the World Juniors was a re-match of last year’s gold medal game, and Canada suffered a second defeat at the hands of an aggressive Russian squad.

Russia started the scoring and at the end of the first period were up 2-0. Early in the second, Connolly scored for Canada only to see Russia respond with another three goals before the period came to a close with a score of 5-1. Russia scored first again in the third making it 6-1 and it appeared as though the results of the game were already written. The Canuck kids fought hard with a never-say-die attitude, and in a performance reminiscent of their Russian counterparts from last year’s gold medal game, they scored four unanswered goals in less than a five-minute span. With the entire nation on the edge of their seats, Canada played hard – desperate to net the equalizer. Alas, that final goal eluded them and as the buzzer sounded, you could see the heartbreak written all over the young players faces.

A win for Canada tonight would have cemented an epic comeback, but regardless of it being incomplete, the game was one for the books in the long history of Canada – Russia hockey. The Canadian boys fought with everything they had and made their country proud.

This will be the first time since 2001 that Canada has not played for the gold medal. Instead, the home squad will lace up to face Finland for the bronze medal while Russia moves on to face Sweden for the gold.

So here I sit, heartbroken but still proud of the young guys who played hard and have represented Canada well. I’ll cheer them on as they play for the bronze, confident in their ability to bring home a medal.

World Junior’s is here!

All year I look forward to boxing day. It’s the first day that the puck drops in the World Juniors Hockey tournament and kicks off 11 days of great hockey. I love watching the juniors play. It’s fast-paced, give-it-all-you’ve-got hockey. These young guys are the rising stars in the sport and are working hard to make a name for themselves and prove their ability, skill and heart for the game.

There has been a lot of talk about Canada’s exhibition loss to Sweden. I don’t think it was necessarily a bad thing for a few reasons. First, it was a good wake-up for the team and exhibition is the time to have that. The loss helps the boys realize that the caliber of the talent on the other teams is right up there with their own and they can’t let their guard down for a single minute.

Second, I’m hoping the exhibition games showed coach Hay that he should really consider putting Wedgewood in as the starting goalie. I think he’s a really skilled goalie and will impress people (he already has playing with the Plymouth Whalers) if he’s given the chance. That said, I have to give it up to Visentin in the way that he has handled himself well since giving up 5-unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes of the gold medal game last year that resulted in perhaps the worst collapse in World Junior history and forced Canada to settle with the silver medal. He has had to answer a lot of questions about that performance and has been scrutinized endlessly. Throughout it all he has held his head high and patiently and politely answered those questions. So props to a young man who has conducted himself very well since that historic loss. All that said, my confidence is with Wedgewood and I hope he gets the nod to start today.

Finally, I don’t think the exhibition loss was the worst thing because it has removed some of the pressure from the Canadian squad to move through the tournament undefeated. Every year the Canuck kids have enormous expectations placed upon them to win every game, from the exhibition games right through the finals. With some of that pressure relieved, hopefully the boys will settle into the tournament and let their skills shine.

Canada plays their first preliminary game today against Finland in the tournament opener. Canadians are 20-7-6 all-time against the Finns and are heading into this game on the back of  a six-game winning streak against Finland. Game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET.


Our anthem, their soil…

One of my favourite parts of the Christmas season is the World Junior Hockey Championships. I love watching the up-and-coming players have a chance to show what they’ve got on the world stage. Plus, let’s be serious; I’m Canadian, I love hockey and I love the way it seems to bring us all together under the veil of Canadian pride. When I’m watching a game, I know that a huge portion of Canadians all over the world are watching the same game, at the same time (much the same as during Olympic hockey). Makes me feel like we’re all connected. Plus, it’s awesome that we, as a country, are so damn good at something 🙂

Sooooo…Lee is going to the gold medal game tonight in Buffalo (I’m only a little bit jealous…..).

Keep your eyes open for him on the big screen and let me know if you see him!


Sausage making and snowshoeing…

Lee harvested a doe with his bow last week. This weekend we butchered and made sausages.


Venison, pork belly (venison is so lean, we add a little pork fat to prevent the sausage from being too dry), local garlic, local honey (from a co-worker of Lee’s), crushed tomatoes from our garden, salt and pepper.


And we did lot’s of snowshoeing. We hit the Brandt track and were the only ones out there without a sign of anyone else having been down the trails in awhile. I love being the first one to break trail! The trees were all heavy with snow and it was beautiful!

Paisley looked so lovely this weekend (as always) -like a perfect little snowglobe!

Snowed in….

Well, today is day #2 of being snowed in in Paisley! All local roads are closed and the snow just keeps coming down! The biggest problem is the high winds which are causing white-out conditions and building giant drifts in the middle of the highways.

(*home from a snowshoe in the blizzard to the warmth of the fire in the barn with a nice cold beer!)

(*into the hot tub, still in the middle of the blizzard, still drinking cold beer)


Snowshoe pictures to come once I can get them off my neighbour’s camera – it was really beautiful being the first ones down the trail. Definitely looked like Christmas!

Sifted through the winds that blow, Down comes the soft and silent snow. White petals from the flowers that grow In the cold atmosphere.

I haven’t been home in over two weeks and I am homesick and missing my hubby and pups terribly. I am counting down the days until I get back there this weekend……only 3 more sleeps! In my time away, TONS of snow has fallen and I’ve missed it all! One of my favourite days of the year is when that first big snowfall occurs. I love watching the big flakes come down and blanket the world in white and transform our surroundings. I find it so beautiful and it gets me excited about all the fun winter activities that will soon be possible to partake in!

I’m also sad that I’m missing the first “snow day” of the year. While it can be frustrating to live where we do in the winter when you have plans to travel and the weather prevents you from being able to, it is the most amazing thing when so much snow is falling and blowing that you are forced to stay home. Since these are generally unplanned days off, snow days are an amazing chance to slow down, catch your breath and enjoy yourself. On these special days, we generally go snowshoeing or tobogganing and then curl up in front of the woodstove with boozey hot chocolate and our pups and engage in tense battles of Battleship.

I hope the pups and Lee are missing me today as much as I am missing them.

(**photo lovingly borrowed from Verena Rohner – a local Paisley-ite, friend and amazing photographer! This scene was captured last winter on one of our infamous snow days!)

On another note and before home time (and I am just as excited about this!), I get to make a trip to Grimsby tomorrow to visit my big cousin, his beautiful fiancee and my gorgeous baby nephew. The wee one grows so fast and every time I go more than a few weeks without seeing him, he is a completely different child! I can’t wait to snuggle with him and see how his little personality has continued to evolve and emerge! It also just so happens to be my cousin’s birthday on Wednesday so I intend to make him feel old throughout my visit – haha…….I can’t wait!

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness

I’m getting paid to talk about “outdoor activities” and rate outdoor gear. Seriously this might be the best “job” ever!! I filled out an online survey a few weeks ago about outdoor activities and these folks contacted me and asked me to help them out. Tomorrow I’ll be spending a couple hours with a consulting group, going around an outdoor equipment store and giving them my feedback on different products. At the end of the 90 minutes, they’re paying me a bunch of $$ and giving me some free products. How cool is that?

This is really perfect timing since I’m looking to buy some new classic cross-country skis and considering some new snowshoes as well. I fully intend to get back into cross-country skiing this year and since there are very few skate groomed trails around us and hundreds of miles of trails that are perfect for classic skiing (ok – really for backcountry but if enough people hit the trail, it almost grooms itself into classic tracks), it’s time for some new classic skis!! The money I make tomorrow is being directly rooted into the purchase of new skis – yay!!!

I’m also considering new snowshoes because the ones I have (Atlas Elektra) are spring loaded and I find they throw a lot of snow up my back on ungroomed trails. They are fantastic on groomed trails -light, quick, good traction- but since the majority of ‘shoeing we do is on ungroomed trails, I think it’s time to find something that keeps me a little dryer. I’m looking at a few different options and am actually hoping that I might see something interesting tomorrow. Merry Christmas to me?!?