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Windsor, Ont. hockey community steps up after team from Denmark's luggage lost


A hockey team from Denmark is getting a taste of Canadian hospitality after some crucial equipment was lost in transit.

The Frederikshaven White Hawks arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Monday, on route to the Riverside Minor Hockey Association’s International Tournament, but the same could not be said for any of their hockey sticks or the gear belonging to three players.

“There was a bit of chaos, it was a hard time,” described Martinus Schioldan, who plays for the team.

Pearson has been plagued by baggage delays for the past week, with winter storms leading to a host of holiday travel headaches.

For the White Hawks, lost luggage might mean missing the tournament they flew 6,000 kilomteres to play in.

“It’s not good for the players,” said head coach Jeppe Krogh. “They came all the way from Denmark to play over here. It was crazy.”

He said they spent over three hours in the airport waiting for any information on where the missing gear might be — but had to leave before any answers came in order to catch their bus to Windsor.

Set to play their first game Wednesday, tournament organizers scrambled to find a way to ensure the White Hawks would not be benched.

Anne Marie Schofield, president of the Riverside Minor Hockey Association and director of the tournament, said she put out a call for loaner sticks as soon as she heard about the situation.

“We found sticks in my own personal garage, other people that no longer have kids playing found sticks, so there is a huge pile that was brought in,” she said.

More than enough hand-me-downs for the Scandinavian squad — but it turns out they wouldn’t need them come game time.

When staff with the Windsor Spitfires heard what was going on, they stepped in with a stack of brand new sticks for the Hawks.

“Zero hesitation,” said Marc Savard, Spitfires head coach. “As soon as we found out they had no sticks our trainers got 15 to 20 sticks ready right away and we gave them right up.”

The Danes said they’re extremely grateful for the help and are stunned by the gestures made by the Spitfires and members of the local hockey community.

“It was so sweet,” says Schioldan. “They took very good care of us.”

The three players left with no gear at all spent the morning before their first game on an impromptu shopping trip, buying what was in the still-missing bags.

Krogh said they still don’t know where the missing bags are or if they’ll make it to the team before tournaments’ end.

He said they’ve been getting sporadic and repetitive updates from Air Canada assuring them the bags are being tracked down.

CTV News Windsor reached out to Air Canada for comment but did not hear back.

In their first game of the tournament Wednesday afternoon, the White Hawks fell to the Riverside Rangers, with a final score of 3-4.

They play three more games at the WFCU Centre before returning to Denmark Friday night.

Tournament details can be found on the Riverside Minor Hockey Association website Top Stories

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