Finns weather hotel flummox

JOYANNE PURSAGA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

What began as a smooth, friendly welcome to Manitoba temporarily left a world-class team without a place to hang their skates.

Finland's women's hockey team started its stay in Beausejour on March 26, greeted by an arena plastered in flags, said organizers. But on Friday, a scheduling glitch left them without a hotel room two days before they wanted to leave.

Finland's team host June Wiebe said there was little warning before the team was told to vacate the Superior Inn and Conference Centre on Friday, where they had hoped to stay until yesterday. The tournament gets underway in Winnipeg and Selkirk tomorrow.

DOUBLE-BOOKED

"They loved Beausejour. But as I understand, the hotel double-booked the rooms so they got booted out," said Wiebe.

She said the Fairmont Winnipeg managed to quickly fill the lodging gap.

"The transition was very smooth and Team Finland was happy," she said.

Team host Kay Isokauppila said it's unclear if the scheduling conflict was caused by the hotel double-booking the rooms or if Hockey Canada accidentally arranged the stay for fewer days than needed.

Christine Martin, a front desk clerk at the Superior Inn and Conference Centre, said Team Finland's reservation actually ended Friday. Martin said the hotel had booked the weekend rooms with one or two Ontario midget hockey teams in January and couldn't clear their reservation for Finland.

She added the inn worked to save all canceled rooms to help Finland extend its stay.

"I was told they enjoyed Beausejour so much they wanted to stay later," said Martin. "We liked them a lot. We wouldn't have kicked them out and it was not a double booking."

Beausejour Mayor Don Mazur said the incident was a sour note that ended an otherwise wonderful week for the team in the community.

"It created all sorts of havoc," said Mazur. "I hope we're put on the map in a positive way because it was all well-organized. We apologized to Team Finland."


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