The Best Hockey of the Year!
Posted by Greg Carter
Each year the top talent in the world comes together for the World Junior Championship. This year’s tournament was inspiring to watch as we restart our own seasons! Hopefully youth hockey players tuned in for these 5 important lessons!
You Gotta Want It
In the Gold Medal game the favored team from Canada came out fast. It would have been easy for the US to be intimidated (more on that in a minute). However, the US survived the first ten minutes and then things changed. The US started to dominante the zone, managing the puck and got a goal. No intimidation whatsoever. They continued to grind it out in a tight first period and put Canada behind for the first time in the entire tournament. In fact the goal was the first five-on-five goal Canada had given up in the entire tournament, against the top talent in the world nonetheless! Plain and simple, the US wanted this game!
Get To The Net
With less than a minute gone in the second period the US got a huge goal. It’s always big to get a goal in the first or final two minutes of a period, and this goal was all tenacity. Alex Turcotte got to the front of the net and tipped in a great shot from the point. Too often players get ‘around’ the net but they aren’t ‘at’ the net. In this case the player was perfectly positioned to tip a shot from the point because he was at the net.
Canada was the favored team heading into the game and with the two goal ‘toughest lead in hockey’ it would have been easy for the US team to question it against such a formidable opponent. The US didn’t waver and played with confidence from the forward to the defence and especially between the pipes. They were confident in their play and it showed!
Carry the Momentum
Much like confidence, momentum is huge in hockey, and once you have it, it’s important to ride the wave. Canada had many good spurts of play but when the pendulum swung back to the US they rode the momentum and looked like the better team for much of the game. When you have the momentum, work even harder and keep it!
Play All 60 Minutes
I like to tell the story about a round of golf. A friend started out really well, was up by several strokes and clearly started to take things for granted, lost focus and over the last few holes coughed it up and ultimately lost the match by several strokes. There are 18 holes in golf and they all count the same. There are 60 minutes in hockey and they all count the same. The US played the third period with the poise and confidence that this game was theirs and when the final buzzer sounded it was!
Play each second of each shift, each minute of every period and all 60 minutes. If you do, good things will happen, as it did for the US celebrating their 2-0 shutout victory over Canada on their home soil!
Thanks for reading at good luck resuming play and your season. We are excited for our summer hockey schools and invite you to train with us this summer. Our early bird special runs in January! For dates, times and locations click here!