Concordia University Women’s Team December 2018

The Concordia University Women’s Hockey Team beat Swiss Champions Zurich along with touring the Swiss Alps, Northern Italy and Rome. The entire group including many parents, supporters, and faculty had an amazing time. The ‘Grand Finale’ was when one of their players sang an opera tune at the final dinner whereby the entire restaurant gave her a standing ovation!

Hamline University Men’s Hockey Team In Italy 2016

Head Coach Cory Laylin:

What a great learning experience for our team. Our guides were the best I’ve ever seen and the things we saw was absolutely priceless. The games were all exciting and the Swiss Teams really pushed us! I received tearful thanks from numerous parents and players expressing that this was the trip of a lifetime!”     

Bethel University in Bellagio, Italy 2016

Women’s College Hockey Teams recently have been traveling more often to Europe in order to play quality hockey teams, experience the various cultures, languages, arts, and amazing venues. We pride ourselves at Eurosportours in being able to deliver great hockey for both D1 and D3 College teams.

The MIAC Women’s Hockey Teams have discovered that the combination of Italy and Switzerland is an ideal tour for a multitude of reasons. Whether it is in the winter of summer, the Italian culture is a great fit for these students who really want to explore the landscapes, and learn about the architecture, monuments, history, artworks, cuisine and magical aura of the most beautiful country in the world. This was the second time around for Coach Carlson and he says he will be back again.  Brian remarked “Once again, Brad and his staff made it a trip of a lifetime for our team and supporters.  The addition of going to Rome for three days was the icing on the cake. The hockey was competitive, and a couple of teams are right at our leveI. I believe everyone agrees it is about the experience, the team bonding that goes on, and all that you learn on a tour of this nature. We will be returning in the future as it is turn-key operation from start to finish.”

Saint Lawrence’s First European Tour A Success!

While St. Lawrence University’s men’s hockey team has had a taste of international competition in the past, there has never been an opportunity nor an experience like the August 2015 tour of Italy and Switzerland. Coach Greg Carvel took advantage of a NCAA rule which allows teams to take a foreign tour once every four years and with the help of alumni, parents and friends of the program, funded a ten-day tour which included three exhibition games as well as the opportunity to soak up the culture, history and cuisine of a beautiful part of the world. It was the first such tour for the men’s hockey program, but after the experiences of the 2015-16 team it is unlikely to be the last.

“We went into the trip with a little a knowledge because teams from the league have done it before and raved about it,” Carvel explained. “But the trip went beyond my expectations. The hockey experience was great…we played pro teams which were a good challenge for us. The places that we went were just beautiful, from Lake Como to driving through the Alps for every game we played, to touring the Mediterranean Coast and the Italian Riviera, to Venice to Rome…we were there for ten days and every day was better than the next.

“Probably the best part of the trip was to be together as a team for ten days straight and it was a great bonding experience. As a coach I am excited that it springboards us into the season, especially in a year that we will probably have some expectations on us as a hockey team.”

“The two Swiss Pro Teams were at our level. It was good competition…we won the first game 2-1, but we had four posts and the shots were pretty much unbalanced in our favor. The second game we won 6-2, but it was 3-2 in the third period. We scored to make it 4-2 and they pulled the goalie and we scored a couple more. The third game we played the Italian A League SG Cortina Team, but they were missing some Import Players. It was still a real good level of competition because we had to play hard and well enough to earn the wins.”

The team arrived in Lake Como and spent the following day touring the area with a guided tour by boat. Game one of the competition aspect of the tour followed a guided tour of Zurich, Switzerland. The Saints beat GCK LNB, a Swiss professional team which currently plays in the National B League 2-1. Tuesday included a trip to the Ligurian Coast and opportunity for another boat ride, a day at the beach, sightseeing and shopping.

Wednesday included a tour of Aosta, Italy with an evening game against Martigny Red Ice, also a member of the Swiss National B League. The Saints won that game 6-2 and the next day headed for Cortina to play the Italian Pro team in that former Olympic town. The Saints recorded their third win of the trip against the SG Cortina team 6-3. The rest of the trip included tours of Venice and Rome and the chance to see some of the sights of two of the world’s greatest cities.

“We were fortunate the weather was beautiful every day and it wasn’t too hot. We had a couple of chances to swim in Lake Como and the Mediterranean Sea. From the sights to the people to the food to the experience of playing a different style of hockey in different venues, it was simply an awesome trip. And for me as a coach, even though you are with your team continuously during the year, it provided an environment to interact with the players in a different way…more informal. We like to preach that we are a family here at St. Lawrence and this provided an opportunity and an environment to really fortify and nurture relationships that we all have with one another.”

“The trip was nearly flawless. Carvel said. We did have some bus time but most of it was in the Alps with unbelievable scenery. It was a well-run tour and it is fun when you have a lot of people who haven’t had that experience before. The Eurosportours staff and people we interacted with were all great and we had a couple of team meals in unique locations…the basement of a medieval prison for one…and the opportunity to spend two days in Rome and see some of the sights that are world famous was awesome. It is not a cliché to say it was a trip of a lifetime.”

Colgate Raiders Return to Europe!

The Colgate Raiders returned to Italy and Switzerland in August for the second time in five years and once again challenged Swiss and Italian Pro Teams, illustrating once again that ECAC College Hockey has risen to an extremely high level of play. Here are some of the highlights of the trip provided by the players and staff.

“Even as I look out from my hotel balcony at the mountains surrounding Lake Como, it’s hard to believe that we are actually in Europe. The views, architecture, and historic monuments are simply spectacular. After walking around Como, we went to lunch at a restaurant that served us more Italian-style pizza than we could possibly eat. This evening we went to this amazing restaurant with a stunning view of Lake Como! All I will say is if these first two meals are any indication, we will be very well fed during this trip!!!”

“Colgate Men’s Hockey Team played the first game of its European tour on Friday, squaring off against a Swiss Pro Team, the GCK Lions. Despite playing a little more than 30 hours after a transcontinental flight and short-handed due to injuries, the Raiders mounted a furious third-period comeback that erased a 3-0 deficit and forced overtime. The game was ultimately decided in a shootout. The Lions won the shootout by a 2-1 margin to take the game, 4-3!

“It is extremely interesting to see how the other side of the world lives. It has only been two days since arriving in Europe and I have already experienced many things that I would never have experienced back in the States. From the beautiful views, the intricate languages, and the delicious food, this trip has already proved to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are excited for many more adventures throughout the rest of the trip! Arrivederci!!!”

“After a tough day of travel and hockey, the boys enjoyed a well-deserved day off on Sunday. Enjoying a nice breakfast at our hotel in Como, we departed by boat to Bellagio, a small town located about two hours from Como. On the way, we were able to see some of the world’s most famous Italian Villas on Lake Como. The guys were extremely excited to see George Clooney, and Richard Branson’s prestigious and luxurious waterfront properties.

After docking in Bellagio, our tour guides, Ellie and Lou, gave us a quick tour of the small city. Afterwards the team was able to explore the city and experience activities such as fresh-made Italian cuisine, and beaches to swim in. What is particularly clear with this team is that we always seem to find a way back to each other after we split up. This group is truly comprised of twenty or so best friends. We scattered at first, but after a while apart, we were able to end up at the same exact restaurant to enjoy all that this little Italian city had to offer. Some fun facts from the trip:

 Best at speaking Italian: Anthony Sanniti and Emilio Audi

-Michael Phelps Comparison: Derek Freeman (thinks he can swim across Lake Como in 30 minutes.)-Italian food is definitely something to write home about!”

“The Raiders journey throughout the beautiful country and tackled the amazing Mediterranean Sea by boat. We saw some unbelievable yachts during the cruise along with Portofino. After a quick pit stop on a hidden beach off the coast, the boys took to the water for some swimming. Once back on the private boat, we then stopped off in Camogli and took to the villas, shopping, lunch and then spent the rest of the day beaching it!’

“The last couple of days were in Bassano Del Grappa, Venice, and Rome which made for the best part of the trip by far. We went on a walking tour in Rome, saw the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, The Ruins and all that this city has to offer. More importantly, we hand the chance to just hang out with our teammates for three days straight which will certainly energize us going into the new season!”

St. Thomas Women’s Hockey Team in Italy 2015

Tommie Women’s Hockey has returned from its successful 11-day trip to Italy during the recent holiday break, Dec. 26-Jan. 6. Coach Tom Palkowski’s team won all three exhibition games capped by a 4-1 win over Bolzano from the European Pro League. The Toms played one game in Zurich, Switzerland, and two in Italy, and also toured Venice and Rome during the trip.

“The rules allow us to go on an international trip once every four years. We like to take a trip when we can to give our players this opportunity, as it helps as a team-bonding process,” Palkowski said. The UST coach said he prefers a winter trip to Europe over traveling in August, when tourists are in the peak season and the incoming freshmen players aren’t eligible to come along. His current team has seven seniors but otherwise has two transfers and 11 freshmen blending together.