Sunday, December 20, 2009

Team Updates

Lots has happened in the past couple weeks: Eden Prairie Pee Wee B2 tournament, women's games and practices, and scheduling my flight to Israel!

We entered the Eden Prairie tournament late in the game because they were short a team. We played our first game against the Eden Prairie Pee Wee's. We had beaten them 6-3 in a scrimmage earlier in the season, and I think the boys considered this game a cake-walk. Well, it was nothing of the sort! We lost 5-0, and the boys got a hard lesson in what happens when you're overconfident. EP kept a player up high, and he had numerous break-a-ways, some which resulted in a goal. We weren't able to put the puck in the net, and you could tell that EP's goalie was on his game (it turns out I had coached his brother a few years ago). Following the EP game, we thought we had lost our chances for the championship game (was a round robin tournament, 4 of 12 teams made it to championship day). We played Elk River and beat them 6-1, which was an unbelievable game for our boys. Only a few hours after that we took it to Stillwater and won 3-1. For us to make it to the championship day, Edina would have to beat Lakeville by 5 or more goals. Well, in our favor Edina won 6-1! Game #1 of championship play we played Edina (the team we had beat 3-1 earlier in the season). In an impressive showing by the team, we won 3-1 again and went to the championship game. Our boys were exhausted, and you could tell by their play against Highland. We lost 4-1, but had an unbelievable tournament overall.

The women are really stepping it up and playing like we want them to. They still don't have "W" under their belts, but we think it is soon to come. They have had one practice since my last post, and worked on defensive zone coverage, blocking shots, and had a little taste of "conditioning". I know how much they want a win, but I hope that they see how much they are improving and the scoreboard will soon reflect this.

I have scheduled my flight to Israel! I leave December 29 and come back on January 10. Spending New Year's Eve in Tel Aviv, and off to Jerusalem to see the old gang. I have heard some new places opened in Jerusalem that I am excited to check out. It will be great seeing old friends, having a shwarma, and drinking a Diet Coke on Joseph's balcony. What a blast!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Awesome Women's Game!

Wow! The women played fantastic tonight! We played the Voyageurs (sp?) who we have played before and lost to 5-0. I think that we succeeded for many reasons, and it began in the locker room. Having played these gals before meant that we had a game evaluation already completed on them. We looked back at that and saw what we did well and what they did that should be remembered. And let me tell you, we rocked! We did everything that we wanted to remember from last time and more.

We scored the first goal in the first period. We went into the second up 1-0. However, they scored 2 goals on us in the second period, and we weren't able to come back and get the win. Our team (finally) played aggressively and attacked the puck and the puck carrier. This forced them to just throw the puck away, which meant that we could pick it up and go.

This team is SO MUCH FUN to coach! I love coaching adults. They don't cause trouble, slack off, and they all want to be there. Nothing better :)

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a Fun Game! (vs Irondale)

Last night, the Pee Wee B2's played Irondale for the second time. I don't think any of our boys went into this game worried about if we would win or lose, but I went into the game worried about how the boys were going to play. Players tend to get lazy when playing teams who they have already beat 6-0 previously, and I did not want this to happen. So, I am going to give you a little insight into what goes down in the locker before and after the game and on the bench. This was probably the most fun on-bench we have had on the team.

Locker Room Pre-Game: So before every game, the boys do their pre-game evaluation. We talk about team goals, things to work on, etc... We discussed how they can't play overconfident and they need to work on moving the puck around. Don't just skate it up the whole time, make good hard passes right to your team. After our warm-up, I give my big pre-game speech (probably one of my favorite parts of pre-game preparation). This time, we did it as if it was a story, and Willy was the mean dragon ;) We had fun, and the boys went on the ice with a good attitude.

On the Bench: We had an okay first period. The boys played kind of lazy, and I think we took care of that between periods. In the first period, we only scored 1 goal and the didn't have very many shots on net. Well, after the first period the boys decided to step it up and have a little fun while scoring goals. Also during the second period one of our team mates decided to take over the role of "coach" and give Brandon and I a break. Andy, our wonderful goaltender, began giving all the players advice as they came off the ice. It was hilarious! I could not stop laughing. From telling certain players they haven't scored enough goals during the game, to giving some grief about long shifts, everyone had a few good laughs during the game. Between the 2nd and 3rd period, we let him do the between period speech, and he definitely got the players going. How fun!

Locker Room Post Game: I love being in a locker room after a win. The boys have great spirits and are fun to get a long with. We did our post-game analysis, and they touched on some very good points. For all of you who wonder "what do they write about?", we have them journal on three questions. 1) What did we and you do that worked against this team; 2) What did we and you do that did not work against this team; and 3) What did they do that should be remembered for next time?. These, in my opinion, are working perfectly! Andy completed his coaching duties, the kids goofed around for a few minutes, and then we were out.

What a fun game! This is by far the most fun team I have ever coached. The kids are great!

Remember to keep up with our team picture blog by clicking the link on the left.