Editor’s note – New Journey
As much as I’ve enjoyed covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and their farm affiliates in Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling, it is now time for me to go after a dream of my own. Before I do so, I would like to take this moment and say, “Thank you,” to those of you who have followed my work and supported me. Because this dream is rather demanding, and it will take a lot of energy and dedication, I will not be able to write about the Penguins with the frequency you are used to. You see, for the past seven years I have dedicated my life to writing about hockey, always dreaming of reaching for the impossible and doing what no other journalist has done before. The only problem with my dream was despite effort and determination it lacked a sense of direction. I may have learned a lot about this magical game throughout the journey, but was honestly miles away from “the game winning goal.” Now, after careful consideration and endless hours of research, I have decided to reach beyond the boundaries of North America and specialize in Russian hockey. Last summer was the first big step in turning this dream into a reality. I was a little frightened and unsure, but I knew if I could find the courage to push myself, I could make anything happen. That’s when I boarded a plane at JFK in New York and headed out on a solo trip to Yaroslavl, Russia. It took ten hours by air and 4 hours by train to get there, but I eventually made it and somehow captured an interview with the management of Torpedo Yaroslavl, elite members of the Russian Hockey League.
In recent years “Torpedo” has made incredible progress. They not only captured the respect and admiration of Yaroslavl, but also of the hockey community throughout Russia. I thought to myself, “Who better to learn from than an organization that is successfully working with young players and turning them into gifted athletes.” In many ways I felt honored to be in their presence. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine they would give me a chance to join their ranks, but I also couldn’t imagine not trying. In general ice hockey follows a particular format. On an international basis however, each team is different and every country unique. Russia and the Russian teams are special because of their culture, language, and history, as are all foreign competitors. That is what I want to learn from Torpedo. I would like them to teach me about their team, their history, and about whatever it is that allows them to produce masters of speed and finesse. Once I’ve obtained that knowledge I will be able to return to North America and help the hockey teams over here better understand the international flavor of the game. Who knows, it may even help the Russian players who come over to fulfill dreams of their own? It took a little over a day for the team to make a decision, but to my surprise Torpedo decided to invite me to join their organization. This is when they say timing is everything. Much like I’ve always said in regard to the success of a team, hard work and dedication will eventually lead you to the dream. The key is believing, not only in yourself, but also in the impossible. As of this summer, I will join Torpedo’s ranks and become a fulltime member of their staff, where I shall remain throughout the 2000-2001 hockey season. For those of you who find it hard to believe in dreams, I ask you to look a little deeper inside yourself. The sky really is the limit and possibilities endless. Without effort there can be no reward. Going to Russia is not an easy task. There is much for me to learn, but in the end I will be a better, stronger, more dedicated person because of it. Torpedo is my family now, and I can honestly say I am honored. I love the people of Yaroslavl, and hope they will eventually grow to love me. The greatest reward is knowing I too will have beaten the odds. Who would have guessed a girl from California would go to such great lengths to thoroughly embrace the magical game of ice hockey? I knew I could do it all along.