Team Canada Willbees have just returned from their 2012 European Hockey adventure in which they played 9 games and visited 8 countries. This is the fourth tour organized by Coach Marian Gmitter: two for his Men’s Hockey Club “The Wannabees” and this was the 2nd time for the junior club called the Willbees. The pickup team from Chestermere Atom, Novice and Pee Wee aged players were challenged by some of the major clubs in Europe and ended up with a 50/50 record. They were welcomed with VIP treatment by their hosts and had the chance to stand tall as they sang the national anthem and faced down some much bigger clubs and players who had played together every day in preparation for their visit. The team and their extended families were outstanding representatives of Canadian Culture in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Italy, Germany, France and Netherlands.
Chestermere players were Kyle & Justin Crnkovic, Carson Handel, Rebecca Toney, Zach & Jarred Quast, Ty & Cody Davidson, Kennedy Moore, Jordan Heim and Tomi Gmitter. One of their highlights was coming out on top of Zdeno Ciger’s club team from Bratislava. Each day they had a busy schedule of touring activities as well as their hockey schedule. Some of the most memorable stops were at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, visiting San Marcos square in Venice, Italy, a wine tour in the Alsatian valley as well as many different period castles, palaces and cathedrals from Prague through to France. After 18 days on the road, the travel group of 34 ended their European adventure in Amsterdam taking a canal cruise and visiting Ann Franks House as well as many other sites.