Day 4 Blog – A long walk and being swept was not an option
What a day! The fellas knew it was going to be a good one from the start. Breakfast in the morning was hosted at “The Back Door” restaurant. Bacon, eggs and, of course, biscuits and gravy were the choices for fueling the body.
Following breakfast it was time for our pregame walk, a long and stored tradition among the Rebels. This walk is used to keep the legs and mind fresh prior to games. This walk, however, wasn’t just any normal walk. Instead, it involved a lot of exploration into the Alaskan tundra. There the fellas enjoyed a snowball fight, tree climbing and fun!
One can only walk in the cold for so long. So after 30 minutes in the freezing cold we headed back to the Uptown Motel for a little rest.
The next destination on the trip for the team was across the street. A good lunch is deeply needed to jumpstart the boys before the game. Pasta, of course, was the obvious choice for the program meal and let me tell you it was excellent! The rolls were spot on!
As the boys rested one more time before the game, the focus level turned to the Kenai River Brown Bears. Being swept by them was not an option!
The game was no easy task but the boys weathered the storm and trusted in the process. A win was inevitable and we came out on top 3 – 2. There was nothing more rewarding than silencing the Keani fans. Team bonding pursued following the game, and the Rebels looked forward to a relaxing Sunday in Kenai.
Day 3 Blog – Adapting to a wider rink & game day
Game Day! We started our day with a trip to the Double O Express restaurant, which was actually in the Kenai airport for some breakfast. Right after breakfast we got on the bus and headed straight to the Soldotna Sports Complex, home of the Brown Bears for our morning skate. The ice surface in the rink is wider than the typical 85 feet so we tried to get used to the change during our skate.
After our 25 minute morning skate, we showered up and went to get our pre-game pasta. Then it was time to go back to the hotel and rest up before heading to the game.
The game itself had many ups and downs and in the end we didn’t come up with the result we wanted. We are putting it behind us, and we are looking to respond in the second game of the series tonight.
Day 2 Blog – Breathtaking scenery and stretching out the legs
Boy, oh boy. The first day in Kenai was quite an adventure! The morning began with a refreshing breakfast at Louie’s (the hotel’s restaurant). You can never go wrong with a couple of eggs and reindeer sausage meant to fuel the start of a cold Alaskan road trip.
Next the boys took the party outside to see what Kenai had to offer. The scenery was breathtaking! The temperature may have been a negative 18 degrees Fahrenheit but that didn’t stop the fellas from trekking through some boot high snow to see what games could be played. It was a little winter’s exploration.
After freezing our faces to the point of numbness it was time to head to the rink for our first practice. A typical Thursday practice proceeded to prepare us for our upcoming weekend. It took some time to get the plane legs out of us but it was much needed. Following practice we made a quick pit stop at the local grocery store so the boys could stock up on fluids and nutritious food to get us through the week.
A little down time pursued and then we headed to dinner at the famous Firehouse Barbecue! Pulled pork sandwiches and brisket were the two options. As the night wound down to a close the boys found sanctuary in their hotel rooms. The only thing one could ask for after a previous day of traveling was some sleep to prepare for a big weekend of hockey!
Day 1 – The long travel day: facing -13◦ temperatures and 3 hour bus ride
The first day of the Rebels trip to the last frontier was a very long travel day. The boys started the morning with a normal practice at IceWorks in Aston. After practice we all packed up our hockey gear and long underwear and headed to the Philadelphia International Airport. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to kill before taking off, so most guys roamed around the airport to find some food while others took a nap.
Our first leg of the trip was a five hour flight to Seattle, WA. After landing in Seattle we had a quick layover and got right back on the plane for a three hour flight to Anchorage, AK. As soon as we landed in Anchorage all they guys pulled out their heavy winter jackets, hats and mittens (no, no Mareks Mitens). The temperature was -13 degrees Fahrenheit and there was a strong wind blowing. After gathering all of our gear from baggage claim, a bus picked us up outside of the Anchorage airport around 1am Alaskan time (5am ET).
The last leg of the trip was a three hour bus ride through the mountains to Kenai River, AK. At this point everybody was exhausted and slept the entire bus trip. We finally made it to our hotel at 4am Alaska time (8am ET). After traveling for over 14 hours it was time to get some sleep.