It is final exam week so many players are missing. The 17th had 12 skaters and 2 goalies. Twelve players is enough to do most things. We did skating and puck handling while Mel worked with the goalies and then had a tournament where we played various games and kept score. 2 pts. for a win and 1 pt. for a tie. The losers picked up the pucks at the end..
We are getting better as the season progresses. We started at 3 W 3 L our first six games and now are 11 W 4 L 2 T with nine league games left. So things are heading in the right direction as the players improve their skill and game understanding.
Lots of game situations in both practices. No games this weekend because of final exams.
Gaston Schaeffer came to instruct skating for the fourth time this season. I broke the team into two smaller groups of 8 forwards and 7 defense with two forwards who play both F/D.
We did skating edges to start, then 25' of skaiting and a cross ice game then switched. Gaston took everyone again the last ten minutes. Very good session for some individual skating instruction while I interjected some good playing habits during the games.
Jan. 24 - 90 min.
We did lots of passing, playing with speed, transition, 1-1's, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2. Fast paced practice with lots of reps.
A 90' practice with one goalie. We did lots of skating, passing, puck handling skills and goalie instruction, played two one zone transition games and then had a King's Court tournament with 4 nets. Started with 20' of 1-1 and finished with 20' of 2-2.
We warmed up with edges while carrying a puck. I had them fake a shot and push out on the forehand or out then across skating backward before shooting so they change the angle on the goalie. In the 3-3 game we practiced one attacker take the eyes away by screening the goalie, strong side give the point an outlet and be available for a shot pass, weak side available for one timer or shot pass. Everyone crash for rebounds. We also reviewed full ice angling and played the same tournament because we haven't played in ten days.
We fly to a tournament in Langley BC which is near Vancouver on Thursday and will play 4 or 5 games on the weekend.
We have a team play practice with the Fire AAA tonight and a 90' practice Wed. night before leaving.
Here are the results of all our games so far.
Fire White AA 2017-18
9-1. Northern Alberta
1-1. Pilot Mound
1-4. Fire Red
GP 10 W 7 L. 2. T 1
1-7. Sherwood Park
3-3. 4-3 SO. W Fire Red
1-0. Red Deer
4-2. Red Deer
1-1. 1-2 Grande Prairie. SO Loss
2-2. 2-3 Fire Red SO Loss.
1-0. Okotoks OT Win
Lots of passing and game situations. Full, one zone and cross ice transition games.
Play a two game total goal playoff this weekend. We host so are in but Red Deer must beat us to go to the Provincial Championships. So it should be intense.
We lost the first game 1-2 and outshot them 27-26 and won the second 4-2 and got outshot 30-31. So won the series 5-4 and eliminated Red Deer who are defending champs. Playoffs are a different animal as we beat them in a tournament and 4 league games earlier in the season. We now have another weekend off before Provincials March 29-April 1.
Things like the Easter weekend don't mean anything in youth sports anymore and we will play vs. the two top teams in Northern Alberta and three teams from the Southern Division. We had a bye but won our way in so the next highest finishing team in our division plays in the Provincial tournament.
It is a ound robin where we play everyone once, so four games, then the top two play for Gold and 3-4 play for Silver.
Should be fun.
We will try to keep up conditioning, review team play, practice all the skills at high speed and hopefully we will be ready. We practice this Thursday, Saturday, next Tuesday and the tournament starts Thursday.
By: TomM (offline) Saturday, March 24 2018 @ 04:04 AM GMT
Team Play Review
Below are a few emails I sent to my players and their parents about how we play. We are in the Provincial Championships in a week.
Please look at the six minute video we made together in Lloyminster about our forecheck. It covers the initial pressure. Remember that when we are in a loose puck battle we swarm and if they have one then we have two, them two us three. We back pressure the puck carrier and everyone backtrack to our house and defend out from there.
We will review this tonight.
Fire Alarm Forecheck
T4 - Forecheck Review
Pressure the puck carrier. Pinch on the weak side.
Team this is the entire Team Play breakfast meeting we had in Lloydminster. Yesterday I sent the first 6 minutes. Today it is the entire 31 minutes. Fast forward 6' to the neutral zone.
At last nights practice we reviewed the forecheck and the offensive swarm as well as the power play.
This video doesn't have the defensive swarm that we use in loose puck battles in our end. We were 3 W 3 L until we started using both the offensive and defensive swarm. We will go over defensive swarm in practice.
There are many effective ways to play the game and 1-2-3-4-5 is how 'We Play'. We want everyone involved in the offense and the defense and in our practices both the F and D Practice all offensive and defensive situations.
This style requires the ability to read where you are on the ice in relation to the puck and your net and to know where your and the other teams player are. It takes fitness, skill awareness and commitment. It is both hard and fun to play if you love to compete and it is a very difficult style to play against because there is no time or space to do anything. The NHL team that we model our game after is Nashville.
Parents, I have included you in the email so you understand how we play in various situations. Once the puck drops there are no positions. You start in your home position and read the game from there. It is the way the game has evolved, especially over the last ten years.
I meet every Thursday morning with coaches from the women's pro Inferno, U of Calgary, Wally Kozak and some others who join in some weeks for a coaches hotstove.
Tim Bothwell, who I coached with at the U of C men's team until he went to be an asst. in the NHL condensed a 75' presentation by Nashville coach Peter Laviolette to 11' of offensive zone play. This is the kind of decision making we are striving towards and is very worthwhile for the players to watch.
The last practice before the Provincial Championship Tournament. Five teams play a round robin with 4 games in three days and then the top two play for Gold and 3-4 for Bronze. The top four teams finshed within a game of each other. St. Albert and Sherwood Park from the northern division and the two Calgary teams, White and Red from the south and Airdrie was in third place and gets a bye since we qualified in the playoffs and are hosting.
One of the parents took a video of the last practice with 2=3 minutes of each drill and team play review. Battery ran out so he didn't get the shootout. The players made huge skill improvements the last 7 months. The video clips are on my One Drive with the link below.
Great group of players and parents to work with this season.
It was pretty gruelling with 5 games in 4 days.
Game 1 - 5-3 win over Fire Red
Game 2 - 2-2 then OT loss 2-3 to Sherwood Park
Game 3 - 2-2 then OT win 3-2 vs. Airdrie
Game 4 - 6-1 win over St. Albert
Game 5 - 2-0 win over St. Albert in the final.
Provincial Champion 2017-18
Really nice compliment as we were just named 'Coaching Staff of the Year' in our 12 team league.
By: Kai K (offline) Friday, April 20 2018 @ 06:27 PM GMT
It has a while since I've posted here.
Here we are at the start of a new season. After a few seasons with U20 U16 and U18 I'm stated as a head coach with U13 team this week. Even it is our first week together and I should not rush my self, there is some work to do for me to adjust to the development level that they are at.
I’m going to coach this same team now for three seasons so it’s really interesting opportunity to follow the players development and my coaching.
I’ve really tried to dig in to the world of CLA (constraints led approach) in skills development and mixing it with a SAGs and transition games (well, with Tom’s game is the best teacher philosophy).
I’ll put some links to stuff I’ve been trying to study.