The bus rolled into the parking lot of the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna around 5:45 last night, about 6 1/2 hours after picking up the gear at the Spokane Arena.
It was a gorgeous drive up 395 and crossing the border at Laurier, WA. The picture is of the Columbia River just North of Kettle Falls, WA, just a few short miles from the Canadian border. It’s hard to think of the Columbia being that far north, but it is still a major river, even that far from the Pacific.
The roads weren’t bad and we didn’t really hit any major snowfall until about the last hour heading into Kelowna. We stopped for lunch at Grand Forks, BC, and got treated to a post-meal stop at a Dairy Queen for ice cream. Luckily, those were the only “Blizzards” that we came across on the trip.
We did have some wildlife sightings…some deer and a few wild turkeys that were wandering in the road that we had to pay attention to as we rolled down the road with Hancock and Tropic Thunder going as a double feature on the bus.
We got into town in time to catch the final two periods of the Team Pacific vs. Team Ontario Gold Medal Game at the World U17 Championships on TSN. While Pacific fell 5-1, it was good to see the Hawks play, although Brad Ross didn’t see much ice time as Pacific Coach Tim Kehler only played two lines for most of the last 30 minutes. For a team that played the night before, it didn’t make much sense to me to reduce the bench that much…but he’s the coach.
Troy Rutkowski got a lot of playing time and played well.
Rutkowski, Ross and Hamilton are due to arrive in Kelowna today as is Radim Valchar from the World U20 Championships where Czech Republic fell to USA in the 5th place game yesterday. All should be available to play Wednesday providing they make it to Kelowna…snow could be an issue to travel.
Today, I’m getting ready to watch the Bronze Medal Game between Russia/Slovakia and the much anticipated Gold Medal Game between Canada and Sweden.
I’ll post more updates during the week as I have them…