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Beaver Hockey Travelog – Day 1 To Air Force

Travel to Colorado Springs: Well, let’s just say that a foot (or more) of snow can cause some issues while traveling. The original departure time leaving Bemidji was 8am. On Wednesday, I got word that the start time was being moved up a half an hour. By Wednesday afternoon, the departure time got moved to 7am. Let’s just say that it was a good decision!

Bemidji got nearly a foot of snow from 5pm Wednesday to 7am Thursday. Slow going to say the least!

My wife Kelly drove me to the Sanford Center so that my car didn’t need to be at the rink for 9 days. It’s trips like this that make me happy we bought a BIG snowblower! If she had to shovel that much snow while I was gone…that wouldn’t be good!

We got to the rink around 6:45am. I was the third person on the bus! Turns out, some members of the staff got stuck in their driveway. We left Bemidji at 7:10am. Not bad considering 4 wheel drive and snowplows were needed to get some people to the rink!

The trip from Bemidji to the MSP Airport is usually a four hour drive. It took us five hours today. All things considered, good driving Ben from Bemidji Bus Lines. Got us there safe…and mostly on time!

There were only EIGHT players that left from the Sanford Center. Nine others met us at the Minneapolis Airport. The rest met us in Denver.

The flight to Denver went off without issues. Once we went to baggage claim…that’s another story!

Have you ever flown to Denver? The airport is MASSIVE! There were four flights that were assigned to the same baggage claim area. It took an HOUR to get all our bags. Let’s just say, a hockey team travels with a lot of bags. We didn’t leave the DIA until almost 5pm.

A 75 minute drive to Colorado Springs awaited us. If you’ve never been to Denver or Colorado Springs, it looks like one giant city! There’s nothing like 70 miles of rush hour!

Coming into the Air Force Academy, it brought back a lot of memories from the CHA days. The Security Checkpoints at the border of the Academy have changed over the years…but I was brought back to the 2004 regular season finale. Andrew Murry broke his collarbone…and was out for the playoffs…and the NCAA Tournament. We can only ask ourselves…would BSU have beaten Denver with Andrew Murray on the ice? We shall never know!

The team had their first practice since the Anchorage series tonight. I could tell! The first practice at altitude is HORRIBLE! The first practice back from break…at altitude? Even worse!

That’s why we’re here a day early. The second day at altitude is ALWAYS better. The team will practice again on Friday…and then again during a pregame skate on Saturday. That should be PLENTY of practice time to get their legs back.

Colorado…and Colorado Springs in particular…is my favorite spot. The sites are beautiful. The weather is fantastic. I would love to retire here.

Some pics later on today….

Brian

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