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Diary of a Season 2016-17

Some coaches like to see how the ABC system is used during an actual season to coach a team, so I will post the pdf's of the practices for this year.

This year I am coaching a girl's AA U18 team. They play in a 12 team league all over the Province of Alberta. There were 80 players trying out for three teams, the AAA and two AA.

Things started with a conditioning camp with two groups of 30 and I ran two sessions which are posted below.


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Practice One and Two

We had a four game tryout and then drafted the teams. The AAA team took a lot of extra players and will cut down Sept. 11 and the two AA teams picked 20 skaters and two goalies each. We carry 17 skaters and 2 goalies during the season.

My focus is to identify players and work on one theme each practice that will transfer to any team the players end up on during the season.


Fire White Practice 8-24-16 focused on Good Habits within game situations.

Fire White Practice 8-25-16 focused on blade on blade and angling skills.



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Practice Three and Four

Fire White Practice 8-27-16 focused on Puck Handling. We did skill exercises and played a King's Court Tournament with six nets.

Fire White Practice 8-28-16 focus was Puck Protection. I brought a friend Rich Preston who is an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks and he gave the players some good tips and played a few games with them.


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Fire White Practice Five and Six

Fire White Practice 8-30-16


The focus was skating backwards and the Chocktaw turn. Dr. Gaston Schaeffer ran the session for 60 minutes starting with the edges and balance warm-up which everyone did. Mel took the goalies to one end and Gaston had them work on the backward start and stride. He then taught the Choctaw turn which is forward to backward on the outside edges and Mohawk which is backward to forward using the inside edges.

They practiced the technique and used racquet balls which they had to catch while transitioning backward and then mirrored a forward skating partner in three groups.

We played a 12 minute 5-5 scrimmage that had the rule there must be at least on pass in each zone and finished with a 2-2 x 2 scoring contest.


The skating edges and balance warm-up at the start.

https://youtu.be/PKGj99HYAYc

Fire White Practice 9-1-16

The focus was on the wrist pass forehand and backhand as well as receiving a pass. The goalies did the drills with passing and no shots. I am using the time we wait for cuts from the AAA team for a mini skills camp to ingrain proper technique. We had 8 D, 11 F and 2 G at the practice.


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Fire White Practice Seven and Eight

We are still in the team selection part of the season. We started mid August with conditioning camp and try-outs and the AAA team still has to cut 2 G and 6 skaters. We picked up two of their players last night and now have 24 skaters and 2 goalies. We practice tomorrow and will drop 2 D and 2 F. We play a game Sunday and everyone will be able to dress.

I made the practice plan and then found out that neither of my asst. coaches could make it and one of the goalies was sick. The practice was modified for one goalie and not as much instruction. I introduced the 'Middle Drive' Thursday and attacking in a diamond with 4 one assistant will be there plus our two new forwards.


Practice Seven

Breakouts, edges, 1-1 and 2-1, passing.

Practice Eight

Game situation for evaluation, warm-up skills, D breakout options. We will do a common drill 1 on 1 with the D joining the rush and F backcheck.. Most team go from the 1-1 to 2-2 and stop there. With the Red Bulls Pierre Page did all of the situations, 2-1 to 3-3, 2-2 to 4-4, 3-2 to 5-5. It is a great way to practice the attack and covering the right player on defense. You need 8 D and 12 F to do the 3-2 to 5-5 and we have that for one more practice. (I miss college and pro where you have 20 skaters and can do everything because you have extra players at practice.)


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Practices Nine and Ten

Played our first exhibition game on Sunday vs. the other Calgary team. We dropped three players from the roster earlier in the week and they played everyone, so their roster was weaker. We won 6-1. Before the game I introduced our forecheck and went over it using the large magnetic board with table top hockey players to give a three dimensional picture to my players and coaching staff. The AAA made it's final cuts and we picked up two new forwards and one goalie. We now have 7 D, 14 F and 3 G on our roster and can carry 17 skaters and 2 goalies. I now have to cut 4 players who are good enough to play in the league, which is hard on everyone.

We have three practices this week and a game on Saturday.


Practice Nine:

Skating Edges for 20', breakout with the D and attack options with the F. Cross ice King's Court tournament and full ice game then finish with a shootout relay race.

I had to modify the practice a bit and I replaced the 20' of edge work with edge work with a shot and added games to the King's Court tournament. Video of the session can be found at this link. We added two F and one G, so three goalies at practice. There were 19 skaters.


T2 - Practicing Scoring U18F
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=7657&topic=7740#7740

Practice Ten:

This practice will focus on the power play and goalie technique. There will be 21 skaters and 3 goalies. We will walk through the pp options of overload into a diamond 1-3-1 and play two one zone games where everyone gets reps on the PP and PK.


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Practice Eleven and Twelve

Practice Eleven

We want to attack with a middle drive which sets up the weak side one timer. We also want to be able to take one timer shots in the slot. The lead up to a one timer is the ability to slap shot. Today we will work on the slap shot and play games where either a slap shot or one timer can score.

We will also review the forecheck transition to defensive back pressure and back tracking.

It is Thursday and we play our second exhibition game on Saturday. We have to finalize the team after the practice on Monday then practice again Wednesday and have a parent meeting on Thursday and get volunteers to do the many jobs required for a successful season.


Won our second exhibition game 5-1 and sat out one player who did the video for me. We have two forwards to cut and then will be down to our team. We play in a tournament on the weekend.

Practice Twelve

This practice we focus on game situations 1-1 to 4-4 with drills transition game one zone game and shootout. Lots of competition and skill reps.


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Practice Thirteen and Fourteen

The team is picked and we have 2 G, 6 D, 11 F. We have one practice and then a 4 game tournament on the weekend. With the team chosen the parents met to assign jobs like time keeper, treasurer, etc. We handed out the red and white practice jersey's and the black practice socks. After the tournament the players will create a 'Team Covenant' that sets their expectations and rules for this season.

We added a new female coach who played college hockey, has a degree in Kinesiology and is finishing her Education degree. She will work with the forwards.


Practice Thirteen:

We have about 5-6 new players who haven't practiced angling and stick on the puck. We practiced these skills with drills and transition games after doing a lot of puck handling, passing and shooting.

We have four games this weekend with teams from the new Alberta Elite AA and two AAA teams from British Columbia. The talent is all over the place. We have won our first three games 5-0, 9-3 (vs. last years BC AAA champs who are rebuilding), 5-0. Today we play another team who has been winning by big scores, so it should be a good test. The other Calgary AA team is also winning by large margins but we are ahead of other associations because we started a few weeks earlier.

Our last game vs. another undefeated team didn't start well. We were behind 2-0 after two minutes and got dominated the first ten minutes. We pulled it together and scored a late goal and it was 2-1 after one and they outshot us 16-6. We got 25 shots the rest of the game and only gave up 5 shots a period and the score ended 5-3 for the good guys. There is a lesson there about being ready to compete but it was good that we came back after facing adversity for the first time this season. We have two D out with injuries so forwards took turns playing defense.

The four games showed what we do well and what we need a lot of work on for both skill and decision making.


Practice Fourteen is the Tuesday after the weekend tournament.

This is a one hour practice. Gaston Schaeffer is coming to do position specific skating with the forwards and the D. He will warm up everyone and then take each group for 25 minutes. The D will work on breakout options and shooting and then the forwards will work on shooting and play a cross ice game with the rule you have to regroup with the Joker on your goal line to go onto offense.

Gaston did a great job with striding for the forwards and pivoting and agility with the defense.


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Fire White Practice Fifteen

The focus will be on giving good support on the regroup and attack with a middle drive. We will review the power play and introduce the Low Press penalty kill rotation. Games will review the habits of moving when you get the puck and puck support. We also will be doing many games to practice good playing habits.

We have one D out with a hyper-extended elbow and a F and D with concussions and one F sick.


Fire Practice Sixteen


This is a one hour practice and the focus will be on skating, passing and receiving skills. Players will pass and skate inside the dot to the 'big ice' then pass to the outside. Taking a pass with the stick square to the puck and making firm passes will be a main theme as a lot of passes bounce off the sticks.

Lots of game situations will be worked on in a half ice and then a full ice transition game.


Had to modify the practice plan because one of our goalies let me know that she is sick and can't make it. Adapted the half ice transition game to use more players so it was a 2-2 2/3 ice instead of 1-1 at each end. Also couldn't do the full ice continuous 2-1, 2-2 so played the competitive low 3-3 with a pass to the point to transition to offense.


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Fire White Practice Seventeen and Eighteen

We still haven't started the season. We play two exhibition games vs. the Banff Hockey Academy next Friday/Saturday. We practice this Sunday, Crash Conditioning on Monday, 90' practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Now that it is October the Monday conditioning and W-Th 90' practices will happen every week. Our season starts Oct. 15 with a Saturday game in Leduc and Sunday against St. Albert.

Practice Seventeen

The morning we have Team Building doing the 'Locked Room' where the players have to work together to problem solve and get out of rooms. The coaches and players worked together and it was a great success. We then have a team lunch at Boston Pizza and head over the the arena for practice, we got there two hours before so played ultimate Frisbee for an hour before going in to change.

The practice is planned with edges and puck handling warm-up, lots of passing, 2-1, 2-2, backchecking, puck support in drills, games and transition games. One goalie was sick so coach Melissa went in the net.

This week the regular times kick in. We do conditioning on Monday, 90' on ice practices on Wednesday and Thursday and games on the weekend. My plan is for Wednesday to focus on skating and individual offensive and individual defensive skills. Thursday we will spend the first 30' on skill work and skating and then Offensive and Defensive team play. We will get extra ice some weeks but it is random.


Practice Eighteen

Defensive Zone Coverage, lots of competition and battling, back checking and identifying coverage, game situations, tight gaps, 1-1 to 4-4 situations in drills and transition games.


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Fire White Practice Nineteen and Twenty

Practice Nineteen focused started with a focus on the slap shot and one timers for the first 20 minutes. We will had 3 nets on the ice. Thirty minutes we reviewed the overload and diamond power play and introduce the spread for 5-3 situations at one end and at the other end the one short pk and introduced the two short with one or two D at the point.

The 3 team scrimmage practiced 5-5, 5-4, 5-3 for fifteen minutes and then we finished off with a full ice scrimmage of 4 on 4 and then 5-5 with at least one pass in each zone. The players are getting better at puck support and moving the puck up ice or regrouping when those options are not available.

We play the Banff Hockey Academy in Banff, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and being our regular season next week.

We have all six D for the first time but one forward is out with a concussion from heading an over inflated soccer ball but the rest of the team is healthy going into the weekend games.

Yikes!!! it is snowing out for the first time and I drive to Banff in two hours. I am glad I put new winter tires on my van. The day shouldn't be too bad but it could be icy driving back in the dark.


Weather was good in Banff. Storm didn't get into the mountains.

We had a good weekend winning the first 1-0 with shots 35-20 for us. They got a few injuries and had a short bench in the second game and we won 7-2 with shots 40-12. Former NHL player from Finland, Mikko Makela, coaches the team and another former NHLer Gary Unger runs the Academy.

Next weekend we finally start our season with two games vs. Teams near Edmonton. We will choose captains this week and the players will create our 'Team Covenant" in the hotel on the road. This outlines their season goals and rules for behavior.

To bad exhibition games don't matter anymore that the season is starting. We went 8-0 with GF 43 and GA 10. This is a good group. They work hard, skate very well and try to do the skills and team play that we practice. As a coach that is all you can ask for.


Practice Twenty

Found out last night that one of the goalies won't be at practice so had to change the practice plan to a skills and good habits session. I had planned to work on a lot of team play like breakouts, regroups, review dzone coverage. We will have to overload tomorrows session with team play to get ready for our first league games.

We will work on pass receiving and handling the puck a little before passing. Right now there are a lot of passes bouncing off sticks. So passing and becoming a 270 degree player will be the focus.

We will poll the players and ask them to name 5 players who they feel would make good captains and then the coaches will make a choice.

Kailey polled the players to name 5 teammates who they think would make good captains. The players and coaches are on the same page with these players and we will name a captain and three assistants at tonight's practice. They will lead the meeting to develop a team covenant during our weekend road trip.

I did a regression on the wrist pass both forehand and backhand and the players worked with a partner and then we did the passing drills in the practice plan. Wally suggested I really work on them receiving then handling then passing the puck to eliminate the slap passing many of them do. It looked like they were passing and receiving better.

The 2-2 quick transition game and the king's court tournament with good habit rules went very well, as did the 10 minute edges work in small groups. Next practice we will do passing at full speed and team play review before our first two games of the regular season.

2 on 2 games give you all the situations that occur in hockey. Loose puck, Offensive player with the puck, offensive player supporting the puck, defensive player checking the puck carrier and defensive player covering away from the puck.

The role of the coach in these games is to remind players they must transition quickly between the four game playing roles and battle for loose pucks. In the King's Court tournament the coaches have to enforce the modified rules so the good habits become automatic.


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Fire White Practice Twenty-one and Twenty-two

Fire White Practice Twenty-one

Tonight is the last practice before the start of the regular season. It is unusual to get 21 practices before starting but we are still working under the time line when the AAA league started mid September. It is good for player development and we got in 4 exhibition games and another 4 games in a pre-season tournament.

Practice focus will be on shooting, passing, pass receiving skills and then review of power play and defensive zone coverage. Game situations will be practice with a transition game and a 1-1, 2-1 drill. We will finish with a speed scoring shootout.

Captains will be named and they will lead the creation of our Team Covenant at the Hotel during our road trip.


Coaches met with every player for about ten minutes at the front of the bus and went over our forecheck, defensive zone coverage and the middle drive. We got to know them a little better and answered any questions they have. I have a coaching board with magnets and it is a great visual three dimensional tool. We have the players move the magnets to show us the team play ideas.

In Leduc hotel now. Won 5-1 and we didn't score until the game was half over and we had about 35 shots. Players stayed at it and finally started getting results for their effort. Tonight the captains led a meeting to develop the Team Covenant. We play in St. Albert tomorrow afternoon.

Captains led the meeting to develop the 'Team Covenant', they said the meeting went really well and they have come up with 10 points that set the goals and the rules for our team. The captain will laminate it and bring the covenant to every game. It will be referred to constantly all season.

The second game was close for the first period. Shots were 9-8 and our goalie was better than theirs. We scored 5 in the second and two more in the third and won 9-2. We don't play for two weeks when we play a team that we only beat 5-3 and were behind 2-0 after the first two minutes.

I have never had a girl's team that passes this well and everyone is so relentless winning loose pucks and back-pressuring the puck carrier. The most shots against so far is 24 and most games it is under 20 shots against. Usually you rely on 2-4 players to score in girl's hockey but every forward on this team can score and that is why we have 57 GF and 13 GA in our first ten games.

This week we have Core Conditioning on Monday, Tuesday off, 90 minute practices W-Th-Fri, Sat off, practice Sunday. The sports mental trainer meets with team team before the Wednesday practice. So it is a full week.


Video links showing defensive zone coverage.

Defensive Zone coverage - a good explanation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPILrzt7IVQ

These are clips from the Olympic Canada-USA game with a description of the dzone coverage.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiOkmQwuUz4

Practice Twenty-two

Wednesday the team has a Mental Training session and then a 90 minute practice. Monday they did Core training. The practice will have a lot of game situations with skills and compete the main goal. We don't play this weekend so it is a long time between games and game situations are needed. There will be one 1-1, 2-1 drill where the defense has to have a tight gap.

Lots of volume in the practice with skating, passing, shots, game situations. The players were really tired by the end.


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Fire White Practice Twenty-three and Twenty-four

Practice Twenty-Three

We spent the first 35' doing the individual skills; skating with the puck, continuous flow passing, D hinge - forward mirror and up x 2. Then game situations starting with a full ice drill, double regroup 2-1.

We then focused on puck support and good habits. 3 on 3, change on their own full ice game with the 2" rule, so puck support and getting quickly into the triple threat position are critical. After 10' we did the same thing 4-4. We added the rule that goals must come off one touch shots to promote going to the net.

We then played 4-4 with the rule there must be at least one pass made in each zone. After about 7' we added the rule that there must be a neutral zone regroup before entering the offensive zone. This is to make players aware of the support behind them plus it is a great way to practice regroups.

We finished with a 2-0 shootout game with two nets on the goal line.


Practice Twenty-four

Gaston Schaeffer come to do his second session of skating. The first hour they did the start, medium stride and long stride. They also did controlled skating turns. Gaston then worked on the back to front Mohawk turn and the front to back Chocktaw turn. The players then shot in the 3 shot, 3 pass, 3 zig-zag drill to warm up the goalies and to practice the Mohawk and Chocktaw. We then had everyone take turns playing both offense and defense full ice where the defender skates forward, chocktaws to backward and then backward stride. We started with no puck and then with a puck. We did another drill to practice the same skill. They are outlines in the practice plan.

Saturday morning we had team pictures.
[/i]


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Fire White Practice Twenty-five and Twenty-six

Fire White Practice Twenty-five

No games this weekend so we had a Sunday evening practice. Four of my players got called up to play the AAA game and three of my players are elite field hockey players and they also had a game. I made it optional for them to also come to practice. All but two field hockey players were at practice.

I planned a high activity session with no new material since we could have been missing many players. It ended up 14 skaters. We started with 15 minutes in stations, goalies, defense, forwards then played lots of games that reviewed angling and D getting the shots through from the point; the assistant coaches participated. Jeff from the Global Academy was there to find out about our team before they run some skills sessions which are mandated by our organization.

We have Spin Class Monday night, Tuesday off and practices on W-Th-Fri, away game Saturday vs. the first place team and play them again in Calgary on Sunday. We are in second place with two less games played.

Spin class was good. Nice facility with a separate room for spin. All there but one player who is sick and another player who has been out for six weeks with a concussion from heading an over inflated soccer ball. Players worked hard for about 50 minutes. Many of them have never done spin before and were nervous about how hard it would be. The plan is to alternate between Core training and Spin on Mondays all season. They will end up with ten or eleven each.


Practice Twenty-six

We have the Global group coming to run an hour of the practice. The theme for this individual skill practice is the slap shot and one timers. The first 30 minutes with edges and balance skating, Randy led work on edges, Mel worked with the goalies for 15 minutes we did overspeed and then reviewed the Chocktaw and Mohawk in the zig-zag drill. The last 60 minutes Global did a good job of circuit training with multiple nets. We did pass and pass receiving with a strong bottom hand and then a 6 shooting stations.


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Fire White Practice Twenty-six and Twenty-seven

Fire White Practice Twenty-six

The goal of this practice was to review team play; the middle drive, power play and low defensive zone coverage. We also reviewed the slap shot technique and played a quick 2-2 backchecking transition game.

Wally Kozak was at the practice and worked on low coverage 1-1 to 3-3 as well as tactical controlled skating.

We have had about eight practices since our last game and have another Friday night before playing the team that is in first place twice this weekend. We are both undefeated but they have played two more games.


Fire White Practice Twenty-seven

This practice starts with a two puck game and then flow passing with shots. We move to a one zone power play game the late Badger Bob Johnson used. It is a 5-1 with the defender going full out and changing each 10'. We then do a 2-1 full ice transition game with the D joining the rush. We introduce the offense on the 6-5 with the goalie pulled. Practice finishes with a change on the go shootout and then rebound. The centres take face-offs in the middle during rebound.

We played the other undefeated team on the weekend and played really well but lost the first 0-1 with 32" leaf in overtime We outshot them 32-30 and the game was really competitive with both goalies playing great. Next game their goalie stoned us and we lost 1-4. We played really well, especially in the second and third. Shot's were 28-21 for us. Theirs by period 11-3-7 and ours 7-11-9. They had a really good first period and scored two. We took too many penalties and our wings were going into the corners in our end the first and that gave their D a lot of time to shoot. We need to review Defensive Zone coverage, work on boxing out and taking sticks in the slot.

This week we have core training Monday, team play scrimmages with the AAA team Tuesday and Wednesday, practice Thursday, Friday off and games Saturday and Sunday. So it is a full week.


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Fire White Covenant

1. Mental and physical health come first.

2. Support team mates on and off the ice.

3. The team is greater than the individual.

4. Hold each other accountable for behavior, on and off the ice.

5. Take responsibility for your role on and off the ice.

6. Respect for all people and facilities all the time.

7. Dress clothes to all games.

8. Cell phones can be used in the room but used only for music and emergencies.

9. Have fun!

10. FUEL THE FIRE!!!


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Practice Twenty-eight and Twenty-nine

Practice Twenty-Eight

We did a team play practice with the AAA team. The first twenty minutes I introduced my team to the High Press Penalty Kill rotation. We then took turns on the power play and penalty kill. We killed for twenty minutes and then they killed while we were on the power play.


Next we took ten minutes each practicing 6-5 with the goalie out.


Practice Twenty-nine

Tonight the plan is to do the 5-4, 5-3, 6-5, 5-6 empty net and 5-5.

The session went well. We were very good on the 5-5, 5-4, 4-5, 5-6 and 6-5. I had them try to Spread with the forwards below the goal line on the 5-3 and we just stood there and played 1-1 battles, so that didn't go well. The 3-5 was ok but we need to rotate down and take away the back door pass more quickly.
[/i]

This is the best way to practice team play if you can get another team to share ice with you.


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Fire White Practice Thirty

Last weekend we saw bad habits creeping back but I our game, we weren't moving or feet with the pucks skaters were trying to do it all themselves and many other things showed up because we played a team that plays a high pressure game like we do.

15' - Skating edges and balance exercises then big moves with an emphasis on the Ovechkin and Datsyk moves while the goalies worked with Mel at one end.

8' - Defending the attack out of the corner with a tight gap from the defensive side.

7' - Puck protection along the boards with the defender mirroring with the stick on the ice and on the puck for 5" then it goes live and the attacker tries to score and the same thing starts in the other corner. We did these drills at both ends.

King's Court Tournament of 2 on 2 X 4 games. 4 nets on one side, two small nets and two with a goalie. Transition to Offense by bouncing the puck off the far boards. this is to review good playing habits on both Offense and defense. I reviewd the four game playing roles and how you are always in a role and there is never nothing to do.

Game one: Goals only count after a give and go.

Game two: all passes must be from the triple threat position, facing the play and at least two passes are needed before you can score.

Game Three: you must make at least one pass but you must make an escape move when you get the puck and before you pass or shoot.

Game four:
Two pass.

Rotate after each game. Winners toward the King's Court and the winner there stays, losers other way and if there is a tie 'rock paper scissors.'

Full ice 3 on 3 for 5' then 4 on 4 for 5' with the rule there must be at least one pass in each zone. this game is for puck support.

Full ice game of 8 on 8 with the 2" rule. Both games the scoring team must race back and touch the red line before they can check the puck carrier. When you get scored on you get the puck out of the net and attack right away.

These games are also great for fitness as we have a day off before our weekend games.
------------------------
Played the other Calgary team and had a really slow start. We didn't get a shot the first 12 minutes. They forechecked really hard and we couldn't make a first pass and kept rimming it, which is exactly what they want us to do. They got the first 8 shots but our goalie was solid and we cleared out rebounds and took sticks in the slot. We got it going and the shots at the end of the period were 8-4. They were also stretching the weak side winger and caught our D flat footed 4 times and got behind them. One of our D injured her shoulder when she got tripped and was out the rest of the game, so we were down to 5 D.

We adjusted a lot of things between periods. Our wide winger came across on our breakout, the strong side winger got high against their D to chip the puck out or touch it back to the centre and this worked well when we did it. They were doing the same thing as I used to coach with TJ who runs their breakout. We scored and early goal and they replied to tie it 1-1 when our D mishandled a puck. We scored again and the period ended 2-1.

The third was hard fought with good goaltending at both ends and the final score was 2-1 and we outshot them 26-25, which reflected the play.
Take away for this game is our D needs to practice beating the first forechecker and making the first pass to a F preferably to the C or D to D. We also have to practice the W against the D up at the blue line and chipping it out or touch back to D when we are under pressure on our breakout. We haven't been outshot yet this season and our record now stands 3-1-1 OTL.



Played Okotoks and it was a game with not much defense on either side. They have a good passing team with lots of speed and some players who carry the puck well. We were not good in our end and our D were getting caught flat footed on many rushes and looking to the player with the puck instead of picking up their man coming down the weak side. We lost 6-5. Outshot them 39-33. It is by far the most shots we have given up. I can't remember the last time one of my teams in girl's hockey has given up over 30 shots and 6 goals.

Puck management, back pressure and D playing the rush are areas we need to work on. We have a practice M-T, spin W, ex game on Saturday and practice Sunday this week.


Fire White Practice Thirty-one

We only have an hour, so we will do drills, transition games and a shoot-out that they already know. Lots of conditioning in the overspeed and transition game. We will dump the puck in and the D must make an escape move before passing the breakout, then move their feet quickly to defend. The backchecking game will be 3-3 and requires a quick attack and picking up one each on the backcheck.


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Fire White Practice Thirty-two

I have planned a lot of breakout and middle drive teaching and practice. We are missing two D and two F but I want to introduce the concepts. It is a 75' session. Two affiliate forwards and one defenseman were there.

We got everything that we planned done. Spent extra time on the last drill 5-0 breakout and 3-2 back. The players are not used to the C swinging low below the W on the breakout. Our centre's as with most minor hockey teams tend to skate straight up the middle for the breakout pass. Every team now pinches and there has to be a tap back to C or pass to the C option. I did more reading the checker pressure and making an escape or cutting in than passing at the start of practice.

This is a link to a good graphic of Dzone rotation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lrUD_CQuLg

Wednesday we had Spin Class and the players worked really hard. Good work Fire.

On Sunday one player played for the AAA team as an affiliate and then drove 5 hours across the Province from Lloydminster to Okotoks and got there just in time for the game. We lost 5-6 but got 39 shots but allowed a season high 33 against lots of scoring chances. 6 goals against is very unusual for us.

Played an exhibition game on Saturday vs. Airdrie and seemed to have found our game again. Shots for us were 12-18-16 and we gave up 20, and won 7-2. We made plays all game. Unfortunately we lost another D to a concussion.


Fire White Practice Thirty-three

Sunday practice at the Great Plains which is a new arena. We have lots of injuries and one player played with the Jr. team she is affiliated with; so only 12 skaters, 9 F, 3 D, 2 G. Lots of passing, timing, competition, good habits, transition. With 12 you can do 2-1 and 3-3 situations and the players have a good work/rest ratio.

It was a very good high tempo practice.


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Fire White Thirty-four and Thirty-five

Fire White Thirty-four

Lots of skill, good tempo. We had 8 D so were able to do team play flow drills like breakout 5-0 regroup with the next two D and attack 3-2. We also did a continuous 2-2 which requires 8 D and a continuous 3-2 to 5-5 which needs 12 F and 8 D. So it was like coaching college or pro teams.

Fire White Thirty-five

Skills and review of the penalty kill and dzone coverage skills. We were back to regular amounts of players at practice but got a lot done. On the first pass shooting drill we added the player rebound for the nest shooter and then changed that to defend 1-1 vs. The next shooter. We did some Jursinov exercise to loosen the shoulders in the 3 shot, 3 zig-zag drill.

Wally. Kozak was the guest coach and did defensive skating then a 1-1, 2-2 that he used to do when he helped Dave King with the men's national team. He then did a progression of 1-1 to 3-3 that Mark Johnston does. It was good stuff.

We did a three team controlled scrimmage where I stopped to play to correct errors. It was a good session.

We play two games this weekend. We have one F and one D out with concussions and another F is at the Western Canada Field Hockey camp, so we will have 9 F and 5 D on the weekend.

Game one we played really well and controlled the game out-shooting them 42-16 and outscoring them 8-1. It was the best we have supported the puck all season so far. Seven different players scored.

Game two we played a team that beat us 6-5 the last time and we out-shot 39-33 giving up over 30 shots the only time so far this year. Today we came out hard and ended up winning 7-1 with three power play goals. Out-shot them 47-21 and played a strong game with only 8 F and 5 D because of two concussions, one flu, one at field hockey. They scored with less than two minutes left to ruin the shutout for Jenna.

This week wee we have Spin on Monday, practice Tues. Wed. off Thursday and the Wickfest Tournament where we play at least 4 and maybe 5 games.


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Practices Thirty-six and Thirty-seven

Fire White Practice Thirty-six

High tempo with skills, overspeed, beating the first forechecker, backchecking, angling through the hands, quick thinking, puck support, scoring.

It is flu season and we have some players missing because of it and one defenseman and a coach had to leave practice because they felt awful. We ended up with 12 skaters and 2 goalies. One of the girl's with a concussion practiced for the first time since September but wasn't allowed contact. It was nice to see her out. One affiliate forward skated with us.

It was a good practice and hope some of the sick players will be there tomorrow. We could play up to 5 games at the weekend tournament. We have two Friday, two Saturday and possible final on Sunday.


Fire White Practice Thirty-seven

I invited the parents to meet with the coaches in the empty dressing room at 7:30 before our 8:15 practice. We went over the philosophy of why we do what we do in games and practices and told them how the "Team Covenant" the players made is the template for how our team does things. It was a cordial meeting. Most of the parents were there.

This was a 90' practice and we did a different game or skill every ten minutes. They knew all of the drills and games and teaching was to simply point out the proper technique and enforce the modified rules in the games and transition games. It was a very good high paced session.

We were missing two D, one sick and one with a concussion and had an affiliate D to make 5 D. One F still has a concussion and two are sick and one affiliate F came to make 9 F and 2 G. We have a day off and then the Winkfest tournament. Randy and Mel jumped into the 2" game and it allowed us to play 4 on 4.


Tournament didn't begin so well. Day one we played the other Calgary team and they came out flying and got a 3-0 lead in the first. They were out working and outplaying us all over the ice. We got it going in the second half of the game and ended up outshooting them but scored only two and lost 2-3. Second game we got over 50 shots to about 12 vs. Lethbridge who have a great goalie. We won 2-0. Played them again on Saturday with only 8 forwards and 5 D. We outshot them 32-21 but they scored two late goal is when we were really sloppy in our end. Played a team from Seattle at night and won 8-2. They have a small forward who is the best player in the tournament. She got one goal beating three defenders out of the corner then deking the goalie. We are only in the final if Lethbridge loses to Seattle this morning because they tied the other Calgary team 0-0 last night but were outshot 26-8. You can do a lot with a great goalie. We have lots of players injured and sick, so it was a hard weekend but good to get some games in. It doesn't look like we will get to the final.

Well strange things happen in hockey and Seattle beat Lethbridge 5-2 to put us in the final vs. Fire Red. We were very uptight the first two periods and got outshot 9-8 in the first 10-6 in the second. The score was only 1-1 because our goalie was really good. In the break between the second and third the coaches focused on the fact that we are way better than we are playing and to just go out and play like we can. We outshot them 20-7 and score 3 goals to win 4-1 and are 2016 Winkfest Champs.

Performance anxiety is one of the most difficult obstacles an athlete faces. You practice and practice and have the skills but if you doubt yourself and overthink during competition you are afraid to make mistakes and it snowballs. If we believe in our ability we will do well because we have a very skilled team for this level.

This week we have core training Monday, 90' practices W-Th-F and games Sat-Sunday. So lots of hockey.


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Practices Thirty-eight and Thirty-nine

Practices Thirty-eight

Wednesday night practice. We had Mental Training for 75 minutes before. The focus was to plan ahead to avoid anxiety. The players are drained after 5 games in three days last weekend. Two didn't come because they have the flu and another left practice feeling sick and another had to stop practicing because she could feel a reoccurring injury starting up again. The last two seasons her knee cap has been displaced. We have one D and one F both out with concussions, so without them when everyone else is there we have 15 skaters. So the practice focused more on technique with the puck and puck support. We did a lot of wrist passing and games.

We have two more 90' practices Thursday and Friday before two weekend games.


Practice Thirty-nine

Focus on this practice will be shooting one timers and one touch passing. High level skills for a U18 F team but they are ready to push their tool box.

Post practice comment: We got everything in the practice plan done and I think it was one of the best practices of the season because we worked on one touch passing and shooting which are high level skills that the modern game of hockey demands. The girl's improved as the practice progressed and were required to use the skills in the games we played. Girls at this level are generally really good skaters and can handle the puck but not many can shoot slap shots on the fly or one touch pass and time shoot. So it is a chance for our players to take a big step to becoming elite players.


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Practice Forty and Forty-one

Since last Friday we have played 5 games, one dryland session, one day off, a Mental Training session and this is the third 90' practice in three days. We play two games this weekend. So managing energy has been one of the considerations in planning practice.

We have focused a lot on skills and good habits and tonight we will work on team play. We went over options for the middle lane drive then did regroups with the middle lane drive and added a D join the rush. We also worked on the power play and penalty kill.

Another focus was to get the C swinging 'low and slow' on the breakout. First we passed to the C, then to the wing who tipped back to the C, then D to D and the W get up to the point against their D and touch back to the C and then we worked on chipping it past the D.

It was a good practice with everyone there but the two players out with concussions.


Game against Airdrie we started fast but they were cross checking players away from the puck in the slot. The third one our player got cross checked in the head and was down for about 5 minutes. It was the only call and our leading scorer now has a concussion and whip lash and is out at least a week or two. We outshot them 55-31 but gave up so many shots because we struggled breaking the puck out. 55 shots for is good and we won 4-2 with two goals disallowed. Our goalie who lets in one of 20 shots didn't play this game but told me after she got hit in the head with shots in our last practices and thinks she has a concussion, so she is also under the concussion protocol. So now we have 2 F, 1 D, 1 G out with concussions and one D with pain in her back. I can't recall that happening before. We play the Red the other Calgary team today at one.We are now 6-2-1 in league play and have played less games than the other teams. We went weekends with zero games and now we have 2-2-3 games this and the next two weekends. Hope we get some players back.
I got an email from a CIS East Coast coach who has one of my former players. He is coming to watch the game today. Unfortunately the goalie he wants to watch can't play but there are other 99 born players he will take a look at plus decide if some other players I mentioned are worth taking a look at for next year or the year after.
Good game today. Both teams had lots of players injured and missing but the game was well played. Score 2-2 in regulation and OT. We lost in the shootout and outshot them a little 29-27. The shots indicated the score. Both goalies played very well. The players who have been scoring in bunches the last few games were off a bit and didn't put any in the net which was too bad because I told the coach they are good CIS prospects but they played ok.
This week we have Spin on Monday, practice Wednesday and Thursday, Friday off and two games on the weekend. Hopefully some of the injured players will be back.


Practice Forty-one


It is below -30 out with the wind chill. Four out with concussions, one bad back, one sick, one gone to Wilcox with AAA team for Notre Dame tournament. Don't know how many will be there, so I planned a practice with lots of movement and competition but not teaching anything new. Should be fun if you like playing hockey.

Good session. Lots of skating and competition. D got many 1-1's and I had them turn sticks upside down. One affiliate D and G was there so had 6 D, 7 F and 2 G.


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Practice Forty-two and Forty-three

Practice Forty-two

Angling, puck protection, 1-1, 1-2, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2. Stick on the puck and body on body, backchecking and attacking quickly. Skating and balance are the themes for this session.

Two games this weekend, first against the bottom team in the northern division and then one against the top team from the north. We have two affiliates playing on Saturday and one and maybe two on Sunday.

Yikes!! just found out one of the affiliates who is supposed to play today just went to the hospital with a suspected broken wrist. Turned out she broke the wrist in two places so we have 9 F and 5 D for tonight's game.

Lloyminster is the bottom team in the 12 team league. We gave up 5-4-4 shots per period and took 48 to win the game 7-2. It was 3-2 after the first but we pulled away. Today we play Grande Prairie who are undefeated. We have an affiliate D, G and F coming, so will have 9 F, 6 D, 2 G.

Versus Grande Prairie we had a good first and led 1-0. They scored the first shift to the second to tie it 1-1. They out competed us all period but we got out of it 1-1. We had a good third making it 3-1 then they got a late PP goal and we scored into the empty net to with 4-2. Really good win against a very good team. We are now 8-2-2 and have three games next weekend.


Wally Kozak came and watched the Dec. 8 practice and made a short video of the drills and games.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG-OsxHwyw0&feature=em-share_video_user

Skating drills led by Randy Cave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWfr7TLgBTY

Practice Forty-three

We got back one goalie and one forward from the concussion protocol and another forward who played for the AAA team in the Notre Dame tournament in Wilcos. One D was at the school Christmas dance and one F took the practice off to study. So 2G, 9R, 4D at practice. Another F who has been out since September with a concussion skated the first 20 minutes.

My focus was on wrist passing and receiving and shooting the puck without 'dusting it off We also focused on 'good habits' like facing the puck, moving to open ice with the puck, puck support and skating edges. It was a review of offensive skills and habits. We have 54 GF and 25 GA in 12 league games so about 4.5 GF and 2 GA. So our strength is the ability to score. One game we had 4 GA and another 6 GA. The other 10 games we are 1.5 GA.

We have a practice tonight which is Thursday and travel to Lethbridge for Friday and Saturday games and come back for another game on Sunday. Then we don't play for until January 8 and it is Dec. 15.


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Practice Forty-four and Forty-five

Practice Forty-four

This is a team play practice on Thursday before a three game weekend. Breakout, middle drive, hinging, skill review, 1-1, 2-1, 3-3, 5-0 with regroups.

Post practice comment: We got everything done that we planned. The focus was having the three C's work with the D on breakouts and 1-1's so they are ready to rotate in and play D one period each. Four players practiced at C on the breakout drills.


Today we take the bus and stay overnight for two games vs. Lethbridge then back and another road game in Airdrie and I leave about 7 pm to drive 5 hours through the mountains for a three day camp in Jasper. After this weekend we don't play another game until January 8.

Traveled to play Lethbridge. They played the best first period I have seen them in and push to us 9-6 and out scored us 1-0. We gave up three great scoring chances on high risk players and lucky they only go one. We dominated both the second and third giving up only 3 shots each period and getting 12 each period. The third we played hard and smart and scored 2 goals to win 3-1. Another game in Lethbridge Saturday evening.

We dominated game two and outshot them 40-10 but their goalie stoned us until we finally scored one with less than 4 minutes to go. We won 1-0.

Third game was in Airdrie. We opened with two quick goals in the first five minutes then they got a Lat one. Second was even and we both scored one so it was 3-2. We continued to outplay teams in the third and got 2 more goals to win 5-2. Our conditioning is very good because of the way we practice and the Monday off ice training.

We don't play another league game until January 8, so we will have to arrange some exhibition games and team play scrimmages.

Going into the Christmas break we are now 11-2-2 in league play with 63 GF and 28 GA. Overall we are 23-4-2 with 130 GF and 49 GA.

--------------------------------------------------
I was doing a camp in Jasper Monday to Wednesday and thought it a good time to have the Global group come and run two practices of the five the GHC has paid them to run. I was told they were good sessions.
-------------------------------------------
Practice Forty-Five

This was a skills practice with a tournament to focus on good playing habits.


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Fire White Record First Half 2016-17

Fire White AA
--------
Pre season - Exhibition

6-1 Fire Red
5-1 Okotoks
-------------------
Tournaments
5-0. Edmonton
9-3 Prince George
5-0 Lloydminster
5-3 Red Deer
2-3. Fire Red
2-0. Lethbridge
1-3. Lethbridge
8-2. Seattle
4-1. Fire Red. Winkfest final.

----------------
Exhibition
1-0 Banff
7-2 Banff
7-2. Airdrie
-------------------
League
5-1. Leduc
9-2. St. Albert
0-1. OT Red. Deer
1-4. Red. Deer
2-1. Fire Red
5-6. Okotoks
8-1. Lethbridge
7-1. Okotoks
4-2. Airdrie
2-2 Fire Red SOL
7-2 Lloydminster
4-2. Grande Prairie
3-1. Lethbridge
1-0. Lethbridge
5-2. Airdrie

GF 63 GA 28

League Record 11-2-2
-----------------
Overall
White AA
23 W 4 L 2 T
GF 130. GA 49


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Practice Forty-six [/color]

We are in the Christmas break so some of the players are on vacation, one D is playing in an aboriginal tournament, a few are playing in the Mac's tournament. So we have between 10-12 skaters each session.

There were 10 skaters and 2 goalies at the start of practice 47 but one got sick and they other can only do the skills because of the concussion protocol. So we had 8 skaters and two of the coaches stepped into the drills and games to make them work.


Practice Forty-seven

We had two goalies and 11 skaters for the non contact drills. Asst. coach Jim planned and ran the practice. I asked him to do skills of puck handling and passing and it was a very good session.
[/i]


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Practice Forty-eight and Forty-nine

Practice Forty-eight

This is a one goalie practice. One of our goalies is playing in the Mac's tournament for San Jose and we couldn't find an affiliate to come.


Practice Forty-nine

This was the first practice of 2017. We did Spin on Monday and alternate between Spin and Core conditioning each week.

There were 2 goalies, 14 healthy skaters and one on concussion protocol who can't do contact as yet. Our captain was sick. The practice focused on a lot of passing and shooting to score as well as good playing habits. Lots of shots from the point and I introduced the high cycle after passing to the point.


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Practice Fifty

We warmed up with assistant coach Kailey running two drills with passing and shots and then played a ten minute full ice 4-4 game where you can only handle the puck for 2".

Gaston ran the last hour and focused on the stride and skating in a good low power posture.

A2 – Stride – Gaston with Pucks – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920zkKkYPUaJe90u4

He then did the same passing drill that Kailey started with and the focus was the players keep their feet moving all the time. He reviewed how to do the chocktaw front to back on the outside endless pivot and everyone took turns defending a 1-1 skating forward to close the gap and then backward with the chocktaw.


Practice Fifty-one

This was a team play practice that Jim and I were 5' late for because I went to the wrong rink. Randy warmed them up with skating drills. We did a random passing and shooting drill then a double breakout 5-0 with 3-2 back. We worked on the 5-4 pp at one end and the 5-3 pp at the other end. We finished with a 2-2 game in the neutral zone.

We had 2 G, 9 F and 4 D. One forward was sick and one F and one D went to St. Albert with the AAA team. We start the second half of the season on Sunday.
-----------
We only had one game and skated to a 5-1 victory. We passed as well as we have all season in the first and led 2-1. We got badly outplayed in the second but scored the only two goals and led 4-1 and had a pretty good third only allowing 5 shots against and won 5-1.

This week we have core training Monday, a mental training session followed by a parent - player game Wednesday, practice Thursday and Friday and then myself 1F, 1 G, ! D are in the all star game on Saturday. No league games until Jan. 26. They give the grade twelves the week to study for their first semester final exams.


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Practice Fifty-two, Fifty-three, Fifty-Four

On Monday they had a good session of core training at the Crash facility. Tuesday off and then a great mental training session Wednesday before practice. Really good stuff on focus.


Practice Fifty-two

We had a parent-coaches vs. Players game. All the coaches and about ten parents played. It was fun and a good way to see the parents on a different level. It was my second game of the day and I was really tired after. Hard to do two a days at 69.

We don't play another game for two weeks. Four players and myself go to the all star game on Saturday. Coaches of the first and second place teams from each division (we are in first right now), two forwards, one defence and one goalie from each team go.


Practice Fifty-three

Randy started it off with some good exercises using the edges for 15 minutes.
Skating Balance and Edges

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=2&s=20170113100738673

https://youtu.be/RS51Ngcyw5g

A2 – Skating Agility and Balance-Randy – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920sO4E7Y78gYtNk_

Then we did the 3 pass-zig zag-3 shot drill with various kinds of skating and puck handling. We then played a lot of games in a tournament format with 4 teams of 4.

Game one: 4-4 at each end and each team has a Joker below the goal line who must be passed to in order to transition to Offense.

Game two: two pass and all passes must be from the triple threat position, belly facing the play.

Game three: two quick transition games of 2 on 2.

Game four: Full ice 4-4 2" game. If a player carries the puck more than 2" I blow the whistle and the other team gets it.

Game five: nets on the edge of a circle to make a tight area. 2-2 tight area game. Play for about 10".

Game six: Shootout race of 2-0 X 2. Play to 15 and if you score you can steal the other teams puck.

I thought it was a great practice for skill, good habits, fitness, competition and fun.


Practice Fifty-four

Another 90' session. We practiced at the U of Calgary home rink and they played after us. I ran into talked with their coach Danielle Goyette about how some of our 99 born players are good CIS prospects.

It was a good practice. I had Kailey run two flow skill drills to warm up.

Fire White practice drills

B600 – Stretch Pass-Shot Flow – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920kE5kQzmCb1OrY7

B6-600 – Point Shot-Screen-Stretch Pass – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920gLgf4oo7T977FN

B6 – Pass-Shoot-Agility Skate – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920r9G53EopbNd1Zd

Then we played a full ice 2" game which is the BEST way to teach puck support and on ice awareness. We then did a continuous 2-1 to 3-3 transition game followed by games at one end.

1. 3-2-1 pucks.
2. Game with no passing.
3. Only one pass allowed.
4. Regroup with Joker to go onto offense.
5. Nets back to back with various situations.
D200 – Nets Back to Back with Various Numbers – U18 F
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AukXg5gWoW-920dvocZ2GeUiRZ4y

After practice they listened to a representative of U of C about playing CIS.

Saturday was the All Star game and each team had 2 F, 1 D and we had 1 G and because we are in first I coached the South division team. It was a good event.


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