Today a year ago I suited up in my goalie equipment for the last time and played my last game as an active goalie… It’s somehow surreal to realize that this has been 1 year ago already.
Throughout this year I’ve been asked a lot whether I miss it… I always hesitate to answer, because do I really miss it or not?
When I announced my retirement, I knew I wanted to stay involved in hockey and share my knowledge, my experience and my skills with the future of hockey. At this point however I didn’t know where, how and to what extent. Receiving the job opportunity as assistant coach of the U18 national team had been a blessing and made me almost completely forget that I’ve just recently retired from the sport I loved so much.
I say almost because there were 4 occasions throughout this last year where I had a bit of a heartache…
- In August last year when I was on the bench for my first game, I watched the on ice-warm up and I saw a goalie do something that I always used to do, and seeing someone else do the exact same reminded me of my playing time.
- In that exact tournament in August, I was watching the end of another game while our girls got ready, this game went into shootout. Some emotions came up while watching that shootout, reminding me of many shootouts that I went through as a goalie and how thrilling that always was.
- In January at the Worlds in Japan seeing the girls go out on the ice with the IIHF anthem, that used to always be “showtime” for me.
- When we lost against Russia in a nerve-racking shootout to Russia in the quarterfinal, I was so upset for the girls cause they played so amazing and they would have deserved to move on to the semifinal. I wish I could have done more for them but my hands were tied as a coach in such a situation and it’s all on the players.
So I had 4 heartaches in 365 days, I would consider that not missing active hockey, but it has been a very eye-opening experience and I am more clear on what I want to do in the future now than ever.
I want to become a coach, not just a hockey coach but also a personal coach for athletes and non-athletes!
Besides the hockey coaching courses that I will attend this summer, I will be coaching at different camps (still to be announced) and also organize a showcase hockey camp with Steve Huard in Halifax, Canada this summer.
Also, I am doing a school to become a Certified personal Coach because I strongly believe that everyone can achieve their dreams with the right guidance! I hope that by the end of this summer I will be able to take the first clients!
And lastly, the Girls’ Hockey Day that I’ve been organizing in Kloten will expand Switzerland wide! 😀
Hockey has and will always be a very big part in my life, even if I don’t miss playing it actively! 😀
It’s been quite some time since I last travelled and spent the night somewhere else then at home. Mission fit-to-fly started some time ago because I am travelling to Sweden and Finland next week and needed to see if I’m actually fit and will manage the stressfulness of travelling and everything that comes along with it.
I decided to accept the invitation from Greenhope for the “Dinner for Hope” in Lugano almost last minute and it was a decision I would not regret. The travelling was tiring, however I managed quite well and only needed one break on the way.
Once we got there, I would relax by the pool and not do too much, knowing that the evening with the apero and the dinner would be quite challenging, and I needed to be well-recovered for that. At 6pm I meet with the founder of the Greenhope foundation, Luca Cereghetti and the moderator for the night, Julie Arlin. They would walk me through the evening and I would then prepare myself for the upcoming interview questions.
I first heard about Greenhope foundation and their cause of Sports against Cancer in Davos through a Charity-Game they had organized there. And then through my own call for action last year about donation of my sports clothes. Their concept of organizing events for the entire family of a kid that is suffering from cancer struck me right away. Other concepts I heard of so far have always been about the kid that’s suffering. Greenhope however organizes events where whole families participate and get to forget about cancer for a day, most of the time not even able to pin point the kids suffering, which in my opinion makes the Greenhope foundation so special and worth supporting.
The dinner at the Villa Sassa in Lugano was a success even though I was completely exhausted at the end of the night! 😀 11’000 CHF was raised, not bad right!? Greenhope is organizing a Greenhope Day #MadeInSweatzerland on the 8./9. June 2019 where you could participate and add to this cause of #SportsagainstCancer!
Get your spot now on Greenhopeday ! Or you get a chance to win 1 of 5 vouchers for this day! How? Let me know ideas of exciting sporting activities that the Greenhope foundation could maybe organize in the future for their families and we will pick 5 winners from these ideas! A little hint: They’ve been organizing really fun stuff like an Olympic Day, Husky Dog sledging, hockey games and much more! So be very creative! 😀
6 weeks ago I had a skiing accident where I feel on my head and fractured the sixth cervical vertebra of the spine. The doctors’ predicted 6 months until full recovery, of which I have to wear a neck brace 24/7 for the first 3 months. Besides wearing the neck brace, my only physical activity that I’m allowed to do is walk and absolutely not lift heavier than 2kg at all time. Additionally to my spine injury, I suffered a concussion and also partially tore my MCL on the left knee (same one that I had surgery on 2 years ago). It goes without saying that I was extremely lucky and will make a full recovery, however it’s a long way to go.
Today I had my first major medical check-up at the hospital in Chur (where I had the surgery) where I got x-rays taken and got everything controlled by the operating doctor. I’m smiling big time right now writing this because the doctor is more than happy with the progress I am making and everything seems to heal the way it should or even better! 😀
I was told today that in 4 weeks (instead of 6 weeks) I can start partially taking off the neck brace and start adapting to my own neck again, so that in 6 weeks (instead of 8 weeks) I can move around entirely without the brace.
I know the next 4 weeks are going to be challenging with me continuously having to practice my patience, but it’s definitely worth the wait to know that everything will be good afterwards!
In 6 weeks I’ll have the next check-up here in Chur and will then start the 3 months of physical therapy!
Thanks to everyone for your continuous support throughout my rehabilitation! It is very much appreciated!
It’s been 5 years since I left Boston in May 2013 a couple days after my graduation to embark on a new adventure in Switzerland. Although I was extremely happy to move back home, my plan wasn’t to stay there more than a year or max 2 years. My plan was to move back to Boston…
Remember the movie ‘Legally Blonde’? I loved that movie and wanted to be like Reese Witherspoon! 🙂 So, ever since I watched that movie, I’ve dreamed about going to grad school at Harvard University. So once I was done with undergrad (living in Boston for my undergrad made me wanting to go to Harvard and stay in Boston even more!), my plan was to take the GMAT while I was home and apply to Harvard and some other schools for an MBA. It was a great plan! 🙂
However, plans are not always supposed to work out, so as you probably realized, I never went to Harvard, instead I went to Linköping in Sweden. You might think now that I probably didn’t get in and that’s why I never went, but to my regret, I never even applied. Why? I never ended up taking the GMAT, which is a requirement for the application…
So here comes the crazy part about me. I was able to keep my cool for pretty much all of my hockey games, no matter how important the game was. Of course there were some games like the bronze medal game in Sochi where I was a bit nervous, but generally I was just always really excited to play. However, when it comes to taking exams, I sh*t my pants… I get so nervous and scared, I have sleepless nights before exams and so forth. Throughout my academic career, I was always incredibly happy if I picked a class with no mid-terms or final exams.
So with that being said, I went home to Switzerland and studied for the GMAT, knowing I want to get that done asap. I studied and studied and studied and then went to take the exam and I completely blanked… I don’t think I’ve ever blanked this much in an exam before, it was terrifying. I was looking into the screen on the computer and I couldn’t even read the instructions anymore, everything just went black…
After that experience, I never signed up for a GMAT anymore and with that burried my chance of going back to Boston or the US in general for grad school. 🙁 Aaaand I’ll never know if I would have gotten into Harvard! Damit! 🙂
I think about Boston almost daily in one way or the other, but in the past 5 years I just never had the opportunity to go back, not even for a quick trip. So I was extremely pumped when I was contacted by SWISS about their campaign #TakeMeBack and flying me and my friend to a place to my choice. I obviously did not have to think about the destination very long, I asked them if it’s possible to fly back to Boston! I was literally jumping for joy when they agreed! On the one hand, I was so excited to go back to Boston because I do love the city, on the other hand I wanted to see Northeastern University again, the place that made me become the person I am today. And to top this all off, I got to see Alina Müller that is a freshman at Northeastern now.
Being back in Boston obviously made me regret not taking the GMAT a second time even more, but at the same time, I got to experience so many other things like living in Sweden and learning Swedish and getting my Masters there.
It was wonderful to go back and see how everything has changed and developed. Some districts did not even exist when I was living there and some buildings got teared down and new skyscrapers were built. The city itself is still as beautiful as ever and strolling through the streets of Boston (mostly Newberry and Boylston, the shopping streets), made me feel like home again. 🙂
A huge thank you to SWISS for taking me back to Boston and giving me the opportunity to revisit this place of an unlimited memories!
A story about my first couple of months at college, with a life lesson for everyone at the end! Enjoy the read! 🙂
I was well travelled, had lots of international playing experience, I graduated from an English-speaking high school, I was ready to go to college in the US! Northeastern University, here I come!
Right, right, right. I guess nothing really prepares you enough for such a step in your life. I remember the day I left Switzerland like it was yesterday, but actually it was exactly 10 years ago. In August 2008, I packed my hockey bag and my suitcase and I boarded the plane to Boston. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Did I know what to expect? Yes, I thought so. But yet, such a big step in my life, to just move across the Atlantic, leave my family and friends behind and just start an entire new life overseas.
I took a straight flight from Zurich to Boston that landed in the evening in Boston, perfect for overcoming jetlag. I sat down in the plane and started watching movies and looked at a couple documents from Northeastern University (NU), I guess I was too excited to even come anywhere close to falling asleep. The flight went by quick and upon arrival, I was picked up at the airport among some other international students that arrived at the same time than me. The first time I would meet freshmen (1st year students), would they become my new friends?
Once everyone was there, we got on the minivan and drove to campus, one after the other was dropped off at their dorm (freshmen housing), I was the last one getting off at White Hall. Getting out of the car, I looked at the building and told myself, this is where you’ll be living your first year. I would be lying if I said it was a great feeling, my stomach was cramping up. Home in Switzerland was different… ☺ Anyways, not much time to think about home, I had people coming to me with a “move-in bin” to put all my belongings in to bring to the room. I had no idea what that move-in bin was and I told them that I only have these two bags (hockey bag and suitcase) and I can carry that. Having lived there for 5 years, I came to understand why they have those move-in bins… ☺
Quickly, I had to sign up and get all the paperwork out of the way so that I could move into my room that I was sharing with another teammate. I knew that this would be the case, but being there, seeing the room, my stomach cramped up again. I kept telling myself not to worry, I’ll get used to it and since I’m from Switzerland, I am very spoilt. The room was completely empty except for a bed, a dresser, a study table and a chair. The Americans drive to university with a car fully packed with their belongings to make those rooms feel like home, and thus the need for the move-in bins… ☺
An empty room to share is the worst? No, the worst was yet to come. A shared bathroom with the rest of the people living on the same floor! I was definitely not excited about that, yet again, I told myself that I’ll get used to it. Now, that must have been the worst, right? I mentioned earlier that the room was completely empty, right? Well, so empty that there was no blanket and pillows there either. That meant I had to spend a night on a bed without a blanket and pillow! I was not impressed. My roommate was so kind to let me borrow one of her pillows for the night, but it goes without saying that my first night was not a good one.
The next two days, I had international student orientation where you meet other international students and get a campus tour and sign up for your classes for the 1st semester and so forth. I also got to know the athletic department in Cabot, a building that I spent most of my freshmen year in. However, it was during that orientation a guy came up to me and asked me if I was not the one on the flight from Zurich to Boston last night, which I was. Turns out the guy’s name was Jeffrey and he sat one row over from where I was sitting on the airplane. What a coincidence! It felt great knowing another Swiss person there, it was a relief, to be able to complain about freshmen dorms and so on to somebody with the same origin. ☺
On the first day there, I had my first team off-ice practice. I therefore met the team officially for the first. It was so great, it was so much fun, right until practice started! ☺ Damn, that was the moment when I was wishing I would have worked out harder in the summer, done more weights, more conditioning and so forth. It was tough! Real tough! I was sore, I was sore the first couple of days… and we weren’t even on the ice yet.
After the two days of orientation, classes began. I was officially a university student, or even better, I was a student athlete at Northeastern University (!). Now, was the English language an issue? Mostly not, until I sat in my first ever university lecture, macroeconomics! Oh my goodness, it was everything but fun. I had an incredible hard time understanding and following the professor in addition to not really understanding macroeconomics… I knew right away what that would mean for me, lots of studying, and English – German translations!
As a freshmen student-athlete we had to sit at study hall for 5 hours every week. Study hall was taking place in a room at Cabot, where the athletic department was at. During study hall, students basically just do their homework and study in a (mostly) quiet environment. I enjoyed going there, as I would be able to meet other athletes and get my school stuff done. It was there that I learnt about tutoring. I had no idea that you could request tutoring for every class (for free!). The tutors were always other students, which at first was weird to me, but trust me, I came to love these tutors, they were so much help, from explaining macroeconomics to just proof-reading papers!
In addition to study hall, every student-athlete was assigned a athletic advisor that we would have weekly meetings with. They always made sure that you were keeping up with school and were attending class and everything. They were incredibly helpful with everything. Even after my freshmen year, when these meetings and studyhall were not mandatory anymore, I dropped by there a lot.
I’m writing too much about school, am I? Well for hockey, we first had only off-ice practices due to some NCAA rule. Then once we were allowed to go on the ice, the first practice was a ‘captain’s practice’. Now what the heck is that? Basically the coaches make the drills for practice, but are then not coming on the ice, instead they are in the stands and evaluate the players. At that age, that was just weird to me, but now I fully understand the meaning behind this.
After captain’s practice, we would then start official team practices and after I 1 exhibition game, the season started. My first college game, an away game at RPI and a 3-2 win!
At this point I had been in Boston for over a month and guess what? I was terribly homesick! I was so homesick because I was struggling so much with my housing situation and the classes, I just wanted to quit and go back to Switzerland. On the way back from my first road trip, I called my family, who was luckily up already due to the time difference. I was crying and telling them that I’m coming home… My family knew better though, they knew that if I’d quit now, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So, instead of me flying home, my mom came to visit me and spent a lot of time with me outside of classes and hockey. It was a game changer!
When my mom left again, the situation was not better, but I decided to stick it out until the end of the first semester, Christmas break, when I would fly home anyways. It was during these weeks before Christmas break, that I finally got used to the university lecture and the English language. I did not have to study until the early morning hours anymore to just understand a topic. So when Christmas break came and I flew home, I actually got excited to go back, not because of the housing, but because of the hockey, my teammates, my friends and my education!
5 years later, I graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. 10 years later, I’ve had the best time of my life while being at Northeastern! At Northeastern, I learnt what real life is all about. I was able to develop on and off the ice and received all the help and support that I needed to become who I am today!
So, long story short. Going from Switzerland to College, is extremely difficult. But sometimes in life, it’s really good to stick it out during the hard times in order to experience the best times!
However, no matter whether this is about going to college, or at a workplace or at any difficult time in life, stick it out and don’t give up right away, it’ll make you a stronger person!
Life is like the ocean. Every time a wave knocks down your sand castle, you build it again.
I just can’t stay away from hockey, can I? It’s with great honor that I can call myself assistant coach of the Swiss U18 Women’s National Team. Would I have thought of that back in May when I announced my retirement? No! Did I hope for such an opportunity? Absolutely.
I’m extremely excited to be joining the U18 team, the coaching staff and take on that new challenge of standing behind the bench. Not only do I want to help them develop as hockey players on the ice, but also as role models off the ice. Young players with a bright future!
When I announced my retirement, I wanted to stay involved with hockey. I especially wanted to stay involved with Swiss Ice hockey and the development of women’s hockey in Switzerland. As luck has it, I was contacted by the head coach during my vacation in the US and was proposed this opportunity. It was a quick decision, as this is just a once in a lifetime opportunity and definitely something that I would love to do.
1st tournament is a home tournament (St. Gallen) starting tomorrow (!!!) with games against Germany, Russia and Sweden. Until November, 6 games are played everywhere in Switzerland against boys teams. In November, another nation’s tournament takes place with games against Germany, Japan and Slovakia. Another 2 games against boy’s teams before heading to Japan at the end of December for the season highlight; the World Championship!
It’s quite the schedule again, but how awesome is that?
Definitely stay tuned as I will continue to post about hockey… J
After 25 years of playing hockey, it is now time for me to retire from this incredible sport and move on to a new chapter in my life. Hockey has always been a big part of my life, a big part of who I am. Hockey has given me so much, made me the person I am today and opened a seemingly unlimited number of doors in my life. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to play hockey for such a long time and being a member of this worldwide hockey family.
Before I close this chapter however, I want to share with you my most precious memories that I have from the past 25 years. I could actually write a series of books about the most precious memories I have from hockey. But I’m not going to do that, or should I? 😊 However, I will try and keep it as short and sweet as possible with the highlights of the highlights…
Ever since I was 3 years old, hockey has been part of my life. I remember the day I asked my parents to play hockey, like it was yesterday. Their first answer was, no. Their second answer was that such small equipment does not exist and I guess the many more times I asked after there were other excuses. Good thing I’m suborn and did not give up until they finally said yes and sent me to my first hockey practice. It was my brothers that made the realize that I want to be a goalie. They love hockey as much as I do, and even played it at home in the garage, they wouldn’t let me play with them though, unless I would stand in net. Which I did, and I’ve fallen in love with that position ever since.
I started out playing hockey in the “Bambini” for the Grasshopper Club Zürich (GC) where our home rink was the Dolder. It is with a big smile, that I think back of the time to when I got to play there, it was an unforgettable time and I always love to go back there, as this rink is legendary. I played my first hockey game on that rink, as a goalie of course. As you can see on the picture, I used to have those heavy brown pads that were filled with horse hair. Damn, these got heavy once they got wet! I sometimes had to miss practice because it was raining and the pads didn’t dry until the next practice and they would be too heavy for me… Such a precious memory!
My passion for hockey became stronger and stronger. Whenever we would go on family vacation to Davos, I would bring my equipment and would put part of it on and go skate in Davos, on the biggest nature ice rink in Europe. People were playing “shinny” and of course, there was never a goalie. It was then, that I started bringing my entire equipment to the nature ice and would play goalie during these little games. There was one rule though, they were not allowed to take slapshots on me. I remember me brothers and dad getting really mad if somebody did take a slapshot. I, on the other hand, loved every single second of it. The harder the shot, the more excited I got, especially if I made a save and the players would tap me.
Have you realized that red Jofa helmet on these 2 previous pictures? To this day, I have a love / hate relationship with that helmet. 😊 In the Bambinis, my teammates had blue helmets, in the Piccolos (one level up), my teammates all had white helmets. I received this red helmet, as the only one in the team. It had nothing to do with my goalie position or that I was the only girl on the team, I just got that one. I remember crying to my parents about the fact that I was the only one with a red helmet. Have I mentioned yet, that my parents are the best? No, well here you go, they are! Without further ado, my parents took my helmet and went to get it painted in white, what we all didn’t think of was that it’ll chip once I get a shot on such a helmet. So, soon my helmet was a mixture of white and red. 😊 Was that a sign of my future on the Swiss national team? 😛
After a couple of years of playing on the Dolder, the hockey club GC and Küsnacht merged, to be called GCK and we moved to a new rink in Küsnacht. Although this was at the other end of the city of Zurich from where we lived, the car rides there were rides I will always remember. Mom would pick my brothers and me up right after school and we would drive to Küsnacht for practice. My mom usually pre-cooked dinner for us that she put into those thermo-food containers that we would eat in the car. The food always got a funny smell in that thermos, a smell that I will always associate to those car rides to practice.
The next best memory was when I was playing Mini Top but I got to practice with the Novizen Top, the team that my brother Nicolas was on. It was very special for me, to be practicing with my brother, because the last time we “practiced” together, was in the garage at home or in Davos playing “shinny”. Also, since I am a very competitive person, I always had to be at my best when my brother would shoot on me, which made me better every single practice. While I was practicing with the Novizen Top, I was still playing all the games in the Mini Top.
I believe it was during the time I played Mini Top, that the club GCK merged with ZSC to become GCK / ZSC Lions. The teams that were below the Novizen level, would still remain under either GCK or ZSC, but all the teams in the Novizen upward were getting mixed. The competitiveness increased incredibly, since it was two entire teams competing to get into the top team. Additionally to that extra competitiveness, for me it meant mixing up with other boys that didn’t know me (yes! I grew up playing boy’s hockey). It was very scary. I was able to consider myself extremely fortunate, as I did not have any acceptance issues with the boys at all, I was one of them. I was selected to the Novizen-Elite team, which was the best one in my age group.
It was around that time, when I was in Davos one late summer, and my mom received a phone call for me. The coach of the senior national team called and wanted me to go to a camp. I was 13 at that time. I didn’t know that there is a women’s national team in Switzerland, so I first thought it was a joke. I always thought that one day I’ll make the men’s national team.😊 Once I got an actual letter with the invitation, it hit me. How freaking cool was that? Of course I went to the camp and that was the start of my career with the senior women’s national team. A career that I could not have dreamed in my best dreams!
Not long after my first camp, my first national team tournament followed. It was intimidating, but unbelievably exciting! I was so young though, I don’t think I really grasped the whole meaning of presenting the senior national team on the international stage. My first World Championship that I travelled to was in 2003 in Beijing, China. However, this was the World Championship that got cancelled due to SARS. The disappointment was big, but I knew that this would not be my only World Championship that I would travel to.
A year later, I played my actual first World Championship in Halifax, Canada in 2004. That was insane! It was my first time playing in front of a bigger crowd and the first time I saw Canada’s senior national team (omg!). Let me tell you, those women left a big impression on me, and I wanted to one day be like them. They were so professional! True role models! Probably, if I would have seen team USA first, I would fancy them, but the Canadian’s were first! 😊 So basically, year after year I went to World Championship, 11 times in total. Every single World Championship has its own story, too many to be told in one blog post.
In the meantime, I advanced in the club team to Elite B and eventually Elite A, where we even won the Swiss Championship. I even got to play in a game of the GCK Lions National League B team (that’s the second highest league in Switzerland!), the team that my oldest brother played on. My career seemed like a legit story-book, and it wasn’t about to end there.
When I was 16 years old, I made the Swiss Olympic Team that would travel to the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. A dream came true! Surreal, being at the Olympic Games with 16! It was again one of those memories that I will just never ever forget. I remember walking into the opening ceremony like it was yesterday, playing my first Olympic game against Finland and so much more. I definitely wanted to represent Switzerland at the Games over and over and over again.
When I was 19 years old in 2008, I packed my suitcase and my hockey bag and I travelled to Boston, where I would spend the next 5 years of my life. Oo Boston, I’m smiling big time right now.😊 I was again incredibly lucky and was offered a full-ride scholarship to Northeastern University. Without much hesitation, I committed there and had the best 5 years of my life. The hockey experience was unreal, as during the 4 years I played in the NCAA we were able to turn the program around and win the Beanpot Championship as well as the Regular Season Championship. I was recognized with multiple awards for my performance, but the most prestigious was that I was selected top 3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier award. This award is given to the best female college hockey player in the USA. On top hockey, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management, Marketing and Management. Most importantly though, I made friends and memories for a lifetime!
During my time at Northeastern University, I went to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Do I need to explain anything? Playing at the Olympics in the country where hockey was invented? I can’t even find words to describe this event, my feelings or anything…
So, only two years later was the World Championship in Burlington, USA. The memories I have from this Worlds are mostly bad memories, and yes, not all my memories are good ones. Bad memories are memories too and in that case displayed how important friends and teammates are. Although nothing was going right within the team, we made it all the way to the bronze medal game, and WON! For the first time in the history, Switzerland won a bronze medal, what a feeling!
It was in my last year of living in Boston, when I could not play in the NCAA anymore, that I was drafted by the Montreal Stars in the CWHL. I never played for Montreal though, instead I put a Brampton Thunder jersey on in the same league. I was travelling back and forth between Boston and Toronto, just to play the game that I love and finish my degree. It was such a fun season, and again, I met so many great people that made my time in Toronto very special.
After the season in the CWHL and graduating from Northeastern University, I packed my life together again and moved back to Zurich where I started working at the IIHF and played in the men’s 1. League in Bülach. It wasn’t easy going back to men’s hockey after playing women’s only for 5 years, but I felt like this would be right in regards to preparing for the 2014 Olympic Games. It was a difficult season, much travelling, lots of working and always the Olympics on the back of my mind.
Then, boooooom! An Olympic bronze medal is hanging around my neck… Everything went so fast, and the memories of Sochi still leave me speechless. Definitely the biggest success in my entire career! Or would there be more?
It was after Sochi that I originally wanted to retire from hockey, however that success we had made me rethink and I felt like that with hard work, another success like that would be possible. It was then, that I decided to certainly do another 4 years. These 4 years were difficult though, a lot was not going the way I would have liked it.
I needed a change of scenery and moved to Linköping, Sweden to play in the SDHL. While living in Linköping, I worked at RUAG Space which was yet again a great experience where I met so many great people. First season in Linköping was really good, but unfortunately we came short in the playoff final to Lulea. The second year in Sweden started with me enrolling at Linköping University as a Master Student in order to obtain a MSc in Business Administration. Hockey wise, the second season was a disaster. I injured my knee and the rest is history.
After such a bad season, I wanted to make this season count big time. I wanted this season to be a season to remember. I worked so hard, on and off the ice, I wanted to perform my best at all times. I had a really strong first half of the season, which raised my motivation more and more. Everything just felt right, practices, games, university and much more. Then Pyeongchang came…
Pyeongchang being my 4th Olympic Games was still incredible. It just never gets old. It’s so special and growing older, I value it even more. We had a great start to the tournament, ended 1st in our group, beating Korea, Japan and Sweden. Everything was looking pretty damn good, if it wasn’t for the Russians…
Unfortunately we didn’t stand a chance against the Russians, they were simply better than us. I was very upset, as we couldn’t repeat the success we had in Sochi. But that’s hockey, it’s a game. That we were able to capture 5th place in the end was a success and one that we can be proud off, even if we all wanted to be ranked higher up.
After the Olympics, I went back to Linköping where we had to finish the season and win the Swedish championship. Unfortunately we came short again in the playoff final to Lulea and we “only” won silver. Writing this now, 2 months later, I think we can be extremely proud of making it to the final, as it was surely not an easy path there.
I previously wrote that I wanted this season to be one to remember and I surely will. Not in terms of hardware success, but in terms of performance, power and motivation I had. It was a great season for me and I want to retire from hockey on a great season…
So, this is it… I’m retiring.
It is with a heavy but happy heart that I’m retiring, but I will always keep the memories with me that put a smile on my face every single day.
I want to thank everyone that has somehow supported me throughout those 25 years of pure awesomeness! It would not have been possible without every single one of you. Thank you!
Stay tuned for what’s my next chapter!
Some time has gone by now and I was able to process the entire season and especially the loss in the final to Lulea. Overall, I can be extremely proud of my entire season. I don’t many were counting on me on coming back that strong from such an MCL/ACL injury like I had last year. Did I count on such a comeback? Yes and no.
Throughout the entire season, I was wrestling with my positive and negative thoughts. It was especially difficult in August when I started working out 100% again and then later started with on-ice practices. To be able to get back into the “hockey-shape” is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and many times, I was wondering if it’ll be worth it and if all that sweat and tears would be worth it. Gladly, after surviving the 1st month and then a 2nd month, I was determined that I will make this season one to remember. Either for the national team, Linköping or for me.
If I can make it through these first months of hell, then I can pull through with it the entire season and be the best I want and needed to be. Of course there were times where I was doubting my ability and times where I wasn’t able to be the best I needed to be. As last season, this season didn’t come without little injuries that were minor setbacks. The first injury occurred in September when I got a “skithumb”, that I was carrying with me all season… Further, after national team tournament in Germany in January, I tore my left groin and was unable to play for 3 games. That’s when I decided to go back home to Switzerland to do rehab in order to not jeopardize my participation at the Olympics. After that, all went pretty smooth until 10 minutes left in this year’s season, when during a safe, I pulled my hamstring. Like I said, no major injuries, but still small setbacks that make it harder to stay motivated.
I can be very proud of my achievements this season. I think my performance exceeded my expectations and I was even able to step it up a notch for the playoffs. I was statistically the best goalie during the regular season, also during the playoffs and earnedthe “Best Goalkeeper of the Season” Award in my league, a great recognition for all the hard work I put in.
Although we did not win the gold helmet, I consider myself lucky to even have gotten to the final and made it to the third and final game. After the first quarterfinal game against AIK, it certainly did not look like we would make it all the way to the final. In the final, Lulea was just the better team and they deserved to win that championship. Congratulations to them!
It feels like it was a very short season, so good thing we went over 3 games in all the playoff rounds, had to make the best of the time, right? 😊
Anyways, with the season over now, I was hoping to get some time to breath and enjoy myself, but unfortunately I have quite a few commitments at university that won’t allow me to take any time off. So until mid-June, when I graduate, I’ll be swamped with university work. But then, then I’ll take a nice vacation and I’m really looking forward to that.
I hope you all have a fantastic spring!
I hope you all had a great week with Easter break, got to enjoy your family and eat lots of Easter eggs!
I’ve had another crazy week with the play-off final week and the Stanford Students from my university project on a visit in Linköping during that time. The Stanford Students flew in Sunday, so after our last semi-final game on Sunday, we met up with them and went for a quick dinner before going home to recover and prepare for “hell week”.
Monday morning, the entire project group (4 Linköping students, 3 Stanford Students and 3 Teachers) went for a company visit to Saab. It was a few very interesting hours, where we got to hear lots about Saab’s background but then also were able to fly in a fighter jet simulator and look at an original fighter jet and so on. Lots of new information, lots to process. In the afternoon, we were scheduled to visit the Linköping aviation museum, but unfortunately, that was closed that afternoon and instead we went back to our office to work. It was a long day, very intensive, so I was actually happy that we had the evening off from practice.
All day Tuesday, the project group and myself were in Stockholm for some sightseeing and team bonding. We split up in two groups and did a scavenger hunt through Stockholm. With very tired legs, I went to practice in the evening, which was to no surprise a terrible practice. After practice, I went home and took a cold bath, which worked wonders!
Wednesday morning, I spent the entire morning at university with the project group working and around noon, I went home to get ready for the game. I had a good lunch and then a two hour nap from 2 – 4 pm, basically right up to when we left for the game.
Game #1, was a crazy game. Fun to have a home game during the week again, after having away games the last 3 weeks during the week. The warm-up was terrible, but I’m actually not worried about that anymore. I’m so experienced, that even if I had a bad warm-up, I can bounce for the game. So actually, once the game started, I felt great in net, barely left any rebounds and if I did, they were controlled ones. I was confident and really thought we could win this game 1. Unfortunately, Lulea’s goalie had an incredible game and we did not manage to score during the entire game, even though we were the better team. With one minute left in the game and a score of 0:0, Lulea managed to score of a face off with a screen in front of me. Game one went to Lulea even though we were the better team. I was disappointed, but not really at the same time. We played so well, I figured we would just do it in 3 games again.
Thursday morning we had practice and then headed to Stockholm Arlanda airport to take the plane to Lulea. It was a rather relaxing day although we were busy from morning till evening when we finally got to the hotel.
Friday morning, gameday #2. We slept in until 9am and had a bigger breakfast at the Scandic hotel before we went for a 30-minute team walk in the area. Right after the walk, we went back to our room and put our legs up against the wall for 20 minutes and then took a 30-minute nap before we had a light lunch. Right after lunch, I went to take another 1-hour nap before heading to the rink at 2pm. What a game again, pretty identical than the game on Wednesday, except the other way around. I had a pretty brutal warm-up again and then felt great again for the game. Even better puck control and less rebounds than on Wednesday. The other way around, because this time, Lulea was so much better than us this time. But we ended up winning the game with a goal with less than 1 minute before the end of the game.
With that, we were to play the championship game on Saturday at 4pm.
The entire morning on Saturday was exactly the same than on Friday. I had such a good feeling, I was ready for that championship game. Ready to go out and play and win that final. It all came out differently, we did not play well at all, including me. Actually, I played terrible. So the disappointment when we last that game, was so big, and it still is. I wish I could have played one more good game and give the team a chance to win the championship.
But it is what it is now and there is no turning back anymore.
We travelled back home to Linköping on Sunday and had a team dinner in the evening before a lot of our players left to go to their Worlds.
Once I’ve absorbed losing the Championship, I’ll write another blog post about the season reflection, so stay tuned.