Recently, the Seaway Minor Bantam AA Rapids closed off the 2008/09 season by hosting the Kungalv IK U-14 club from Sweden. This has been the fourth year that a team from Seaway Valley hosted a team from Sweden. What a memorable weekend it was—lifeong friendships were about to begin. It all started Friday afternoon where the Swedish team was met by a few parents and players from Seaway at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. After a brief hello it was off to Cornwall where they would meet their billeting families. The boys then left their parents and started their weekend with their “Canadian” families. The weekend consisted of tours of Ottawa, the Cornwall area, potluck dinners, and of course, hockey. Seaway hosted a small tournament in Long Sault on the evenings of Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5. Seaway had invited Rideau St. Lawrence Kings and the Cumberland Grads to attend. Seaway Valley Rapids had ended the tournament being the only team to defeat the visiting Swedish team. The Kungalv squad hadn’t lose a game in two years..Scoring for the Rapids over the weekend were Matt Desautels (2), Derik Dionne, Shayne Flaro, Parker Krol, Nick Lamarche (3), Matt Morin (2), Jesse St.John (2) and Kylie Thomson. Monday, the Swedish players accompanied the hosting Seaway Valley players to their schools for a day of many questions from fellow students. Monday night a farewell dinner was held at the Ramada Inn. It was just like a big family dinner with stories and laughter heard throughout the room. On Tuesday April 7, after spending 4 days with their hosting families it was time to bid our Swedish friends farewell. With some hugs and tears we watched the train depart as they left for Toronto. What a great experience for all involved. Hat’s off to all the parents and players of the 2008/09 Seaway Valley Minor Bantam AA Rapids. You have represented your communities and Hockey Association with a great sense of sportsmanship, teamwork and pride.
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