Posted by Greg Carter
The ‘instant classic’ five overtime NCAA playoff game between North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth ended with a dramatic goal from UMD’s fourth line. This line hadn’t seen much ice time in overtime, but these players stayed focused and kept their head in the game. And when they got their opportunity, they capitalized.
When your name is called, will you be ready?
Mental toughness is a big part of hockey. And at no time is it more important than tournament time when the season is on the line.
Championship teams are comprised of players who don’t focus on themselves, but instead keep their eye on the big prize and winning a championship for the team.
Both as a player and coach I’ve been a part of teams that have hoisted championship hardware. In each of these years there was a great mix of players who understood their role on the team. And perhaps more importantly, they accepted their role on the team!
Players work extremely hard during the off season at summer hockey schools to prepare for the big moments during the season. The endless hours of practice time during the season also prepares players to be at their peak when the championship is on the line.
The best players know that both will and skill combine to win big games. While it can be easy to lose focus when playing time gets reduced or one line sees more ice than another, it takes a team to win a championship.
This was never more evident than when UMD’s fourth line got put on the ice in a fifth overtime. With the season and a birth to the Frozen Four on the line. These players were locked and loaded and hit the ice with the energy and intensity as if they had been playing a regular shift all a game!
The next time the game is on the line, stay positive and stay focused. Keep your eye on the big prize because when your name is called and the puck is on your stick, you need to be ready to score that big goal!
Thanks for reading and good luck in your end of the season tournaments. We invite you to train with us this summer at one of our summer hockey camps located in 11 states. Click here for dates and locations!