|A couple fans warming up before the game|
The 2011 Women’s International Hockey Tournament ended Sunday night in a pretty wild fashion. The last game (Australia vs Netherlands) of the tournament to decide which country takes home the gold and in turn bumps up to Division II and which takes the silver and remains in Division III came down to a pretty gut wrenching shootout after 3 intense periods and an overtime. Netherlands ended up taking the gold with a point scored in the first pass; Australia silver; Hungary bronze. The after party was at the campground-lodge-ish thing in the middle of nowhere and to be totally honest, I was a little intimidated. I’ve never been surrounded by so many women at one time. There were at least 120 women from 4 or 5 teams left when we got there (Australia, Hungary, Croatia, Netherlands, and I think Slovenia) and maybe 10 of us guys… and of those 7 were coaches or family members.
|Hulk Hogan's Doppelganger|
Ok, so I think I need to provide a little backstory real quick so you don’t think I’m the creepy perv guy who sneaks into a party packed with women in a foreign country. I managed to get lost during my layover in the Los Angelos Airport on my way to Sydney and randomly met one of the girls who plays on the Australia team. She was traveling with two other women who also lived in Canada and were on their way to Australia for the tournament. We got to talking and they invited me to come watch the tournament which was hosted in Newcastle. I took a bus to the first game from the hostel I was staying at in Newcastle to Warner’s Bay, where the tournament was being held, and ended up meeting the parents of one of the girls I had met in the airport. It turns out that they had been staying in an apartment about 50 feet from the hostel I am staying in and they offered to drive me to and from the tournament. Over the course of the tournament we hit up the beaches, hung out with the players, had quite a few beers, and blew obnoxiously into vuvu-zelas until our cheeks hurt and the rink banned them from the tournament. Bummer.
|Before the party kicked off|
So back to the party… When we arrived, most of the Croatian team was already well into their post tournament celebration. Bathing suits or not, they were all crashing around in the pool booze in hand. It didn't take long for the other teams to catch up. The main party was set up in a basketball court turned discotheque. Not long after, the international shirt swapping ensued, which I am totally a fan of. By the end of the night I managed to score a Croatian tshirt that’s about 10 sizes too small and a couple of Australian ones . They don’t quite fit at the moment, but maybe I’ll grow into them someday.
|No homo - Found myself in a woman's dress at one point during the night|