|Hockey is suppose to be a game but the level of intensity often moves it well beyond
play to a kind of mission. Bantam level players are high motivated individuals and
for the coach the most difficult thing is to get them to rely upon each other and
"play as a team". The coordinated efforts of the six players on the ice
make hockey one of the most amazing spectacles to watch but even more exciting to
be on the ice involved in the mechanics.
Above, early in the third period Ryan Blatchford is carrying the puck into the Melfort zone. On the right a Melfort player puts on a burst of speed and vaults out of his zone with the puck under control. Player for player the teams were evenly matched but Melfort was having discipline problems and that meant time in the box and short handed play giving Tisdale the advantage.
In Bantam "AA" these players are remarkably similar in skill levels and it is from this pool of players that the junior and ultimately the professional teams select their teams of the years to come.
|Fighting has been the scourge of hockey for decades and even though there are rules
and coaches try to rid the game of this distraction it continues to be a legacy from
the commericalisation of the sport. For Bantam players being involved in a fight
means they do not get to play the rest of the game and most coaches begin to restrict
the ice time of players who repeatedly disable their team with fights when the level
of hockey officiating has risen to the competency level that it now is act.
As you can see below this was not a fun or honourable experience for this player and one wonders why it continues at all. On this issue Don Cherry and I do not agree.