A couple weeks after I first moved to the US, back in 2001, some of my new dorm buddies in Chicago invited me to go watch a Blackhawks game. I knew next to nothing about ice hockey, but I figured it would be cool to go check out a new sport.
From the first drop of the puck I was hooked. I was so impressed at how fast the game was, how the players were so tough and yet so skilled, and how passionate all the hockey fans were. Hockey became my new passion, and I've been a dedicated Blackhawks fan ever since.
At that time the Blackhawks were the worst team in the league. In a way it was a good thing, because I could go watch games for a mere $8 with my student discount. But it was also a bad thing, obviously, because the Hawks lost a lot of games, and the thought of winning the cup seemed like a complete impossibility.
Well, last night the Blackhawks did win the Stanley Cup, for the second time in four years. What a thrill it is to see the your favorite team win it all!
Since this is a blog about my IMD experience, I suppose I should try to connect the Blackhawks and ice hockey to IMD in some way. The cool thing is, there is in fact a connection!
As it turns out, ice hockey is actually a pretty big deal in Switzerland. The Swiss league is one of the more competitive European leagues, often featuring former NHL players. Lausanne's team, Lausanne HC has just been promoted to the highest echelon, Swiss League A. I am hoping I will be able to catch one of their games at some point next year.
Interestingly, one of the Blackhawks' goaltenders back in the 2010 Stanley Cup winning squad was a French fellow by the name of Cristobal Huet. You may hear mention of Huet's name at some point when you are in Lausanne - that is because today, Huet is the starting goaltender for none other than Lausanne HC!
What's really wild is, when I was in Lausanne for my Assessment Day, I did come across Huet's name. It was featured in the menu of Pizzeria Boccalino in Ouchy, whose pizzas are creatively named after sports figures and politicians. (The "Cristobal Huet" pizza features Gruyère cheese, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and a cold-cut made from dried horse meat. I decided not to try that one.)
So there it is - a very random connection between the Blackhawks and Lausanne and my IMD experience. But it is a connection nonetheless!
And go Hawks, 2013 Stanley Cup champions!