Narch Winternats Recap
Another long weekend is in the books. We started off against Mission T-Dot. They were from Canada and had some players from last years Junior Platinum gold medal team. We started out fast. Before you knew it we mercied them 10-2. Werner played great for us in the pipes. Pat Lee also had a big game. It took the team a little while to adjust to having such a high profile player on the team. I think everyone was a little nervous.
Game 2 would be Saturday morning against the Savage Wolves. They are always a tough team. I thought we were ready for this game. Savage came out flying and before we knew it, we were down 6-1. LaTona started in the game as he had just landed in town an hour and a half before the drop of the puck. We came out flat with little motivation in this contest. It was weird though, even being down 6-1 I never felt like it was over. We started playing our hockey and tied the game at 6 with a little less that half a period left. Both team exchanged shots and finally, Savage popped in a goal off of the 4th rebound. 7-6 final. Extremely disappointing loss. Obviously wins are huge but so are goals against.
Game 3 would be against the Tour Mudcats. The Mudcats had a beefed up roster and were ready to play. It was a great game as teams exchanged goals throughout. With a little over 2 minutes left Koz weaved through the slot and let a perfectly placed wrister go - off the left post and in! Everyone was pumped! Huge win for us and almost a must win to make playoffs! We added an empty netter to make the final 6-4.
Game 4 would be against Speed Racers. A team from PA that was new to the circuit but played hard. We controlled most of the game and left with a 5-1 victory. We had to wait for the Savage Wolves to play the Tour Mudcats to figure out our seed. Cats would defeat Savage giving us the #4 seed and setting up a rematch against the #5 Savage Wolves. 3 teams finished 3-1 on the weekend. This is why goals against are so big in tournament format.
Revision nation took the team out for dinner Saturday night. It was a great time. We had some good food, and some great laughs. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Sunday was a big day for us.
Game 5 would be the playoff rematch against the Savage Wolves. Both teams came out strong. Neither team wanting to make a mistake. I think we were tied at 1 after 1 half. We turned it on in the 2nd with a huge power play goal from Nawojski. Shortly after we popped in a 3rd goal. Savage pulled their goalie with 3 minutes left and we scored an empty net to make it 4-1. Everyone was excited and ready to move on. However, the game wasn't over. Savage mounted a ferocious comeback attempt. They got one quick, then another one and it was 4-3 with plenty of time left. With 2 seconds left LaTona made the final save and the coast was clear. We would have a rematch of the 2010 Torhs WinterNationals Pro championship game against Pama. One quick note - we learned a lesson in this game. The game is not ever over until the clock hits zero. Every team wants to win just as bad as the other, so you can never let your guard down. Thank God the lesson was learned this way and not the other way it could have went.
Game 6 would be against the best team in the country - The LA Pama Cyclones. I don't know what was going on in Long Island but everyone was dropping with a sick bug. Folga was real sick prior to the Savage playoff game but toughed it out and played. We weren't going to be as fortunate for the Pama game. Russ was very sick and couldn't leave the bathroom. We also had Shaun Golden sit a few games out with a flu bug. Eric Werner was sick with flu-like symptoms. Koz had the sniffles. I was sick before we even left and Jerm started catching a bug on Sunday. Rough weekend! Anyway we were set to take on Pama. When you get into a game like this their is no shoulda, coulda, woulda, you just play with what you have and make the best of it. Pama went up 1-0 when a blocked shot by Nawojski went right onto a Pama players stick in front of the net. Pama would go up 2-0. We were working and working and finally got a break, Walser tipped one in front for a huge goal. Pama would score a 3rd goal. We had to start pressing and got off of our game. Pama would score 2 more to make it 5-1. With 4:35 left in the game I pulled LaTona. As was the case the whole game, we could not buy a goal. Pama's goalie was a brick wall. We had 2 power play chances - no goals, we had plenty of shots on net. Pama did not score in the last 4:35 with an empty net. That means we controlled the play for 4:35 and could not score! It was extremely frustrating. The one thing I really liked about this game was our guys never gave up. We kept fighting and fighting until the end. I am very proud of that fact. It shows signs of maturity and is a sign of good things to come.
Weekend Notes - In the years I have been coaching these guys, we have never really had a verbal captain. It was really nice seeing veteran superstar Pat Lee be that captain. He was a great talent to have on our team and also a great mentor for this guys. When the going got tough, Pat stayed positive and did all he could to help make these guys into better players. You hear many people say different things about Pat. I don't like going by what other people say. I like to find out for myself. If I went by what other people said, I wouldn't have got to see what a great player and leader Pat is. Thanks for all your hard work this weekend Pat, it was helpful in more ways than one!
I can see this team maturing before my eyes. When we used to go down by a goal or two we would panic and play stressed and negative emotionally. Now we are just dying to put the puck in the net and keep plugging away. Emotions seem to always be in check and nothing but positive energy flows off the bench. These guys are really growing to love each other on and off the floor. They are building that hockey family that everyone speaks of. I am extremely excited to be a part of this.
We will take some time off and regroup. It has been a long couple of months. It's not the way I wanted to start off in 2010 but it is positive moving forward. We will begin practicing again at the end of March. Next tournament stop is either Dumars in April or Dumars in May. Not sure, maybe we'll do both. Great work guys, just gotta work a little harder and play a little smarter. We are right there, with the best in the world!
Signing off looking forward the 2010's future for the Revision Buffalo Wings -
About the Author
As the driving force behind the Buffalo Wings, Eric's leadership, attention to detail, and dedication to the sport of Roller Hockey have helped to increase interest and enrollment, as well as creating a positive environment within the organization. "I want everyone to have a competitive, friendly, and fun place to play hockey."