While many students stayed home for the break, the Loomis Chaffee Varsity hockey team traveled to Switzerland. The trip was ten days long, the first eight spent in the capital city of Bern and the last two in Zurich. In the capital city the boys had ample opportunity to explore and bond tighter as a team. They learned about the history of the city with a guided tour, Bern’s famous Bear Pit, visited the cathedral, and many more historical landmarks. For their first game they played against the Langenthal Junior B team and won 6-4. Johnny Barbieri scored the game winner and got his first goal of the season. In their next game, they faced the Biel Junior A team and won 4-2. Trent DeNuccio scored his first goal, and defensemen Michael Greenberg performed a plus two.
Not only did the team get to learn about the capital city, but they went to Vieil Armand to hike up to the historic grounds of a WWI site. Additionally, they visited the Olympic Museum in Lausanne Switzerland where earlier on in the day, they won 5-3 against the Freiburg Junior A team. The penalty kill players helped keep the team in the game by serving off the 20 minutes in penalties and scoring two shorthanded goals, and Welch scored his first goal on a breakaway.
The boys had time off for New Year’s Eve, and many decided to visit the Alps. Even though it was a long trip to the mountains, Joey Cipollone said that “the view of the mountains from the top of Europe was second to none and the weather was perfect. It is something I will never forget.” Later that day, many of the boys and their families went into town to celebrate by gathering with the crowds of locals near Bern’s Cathedral to see fireworks and listen to the bells signal a new year.
After their time spent in Bern the team traveled to Zurich, Switzerland, where they got to visit the Swiss National Museum. The boys ended their trip on a high note against the Zurich Junior B team in an outdoor rink and swept them away in a 14-1 victory. Three players: Joey Cipollone, Trent DeNuccio, and Mark Amatetti, scored hat tricks, and defensemen John Fiallo scored his first goal of the season. The team got to end their trip watching a professional game, Bern versus Kloten. Joey Cipollone said, “We played some great hockey up in Switzerland against some highly skilled junior teams. It was great to have everyone contributing to the team success. This trip brought us closer as a team and will hopefully give us an edge over prep school opponents as the season progresses.” The team went 4-0 in Switzerland, and they brought a higher level of physicality to the games that helped them beat the competition. Switzerland was not only a hockey trip, but educational, as the team bonded together while learning about the culture of Switzerland.