Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Day Two...The Need for Speed

Today was Day Two of "Christmas Hockey in July" at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. We took in the morning session with the Group B players, and the keywords seemed to be "gadgets" and "speed." The first half of the session was devoted to measurement -- spider-like meters set up around the ice surface in what seemed to be an effort to measure individual players' speed...blue line-to-blue line, taking corners, and a number of slalom-type courses. After a few of those, it seemed the guys were ready (we'd have been dead).

After the ice was resurfaced, Coach Boudreau took over the session and worked the boys through a number of skating drills. The Coach does seem to be in his element, taking advantage of the teaching moment. Some of the time, it almost looked as if the drills were as much an effort to see who could remember the instructions...

The highlight, though, was a competition at the end of the session. The group was divided into two squads, and pucks were lined up at each blue line. The object of the exercise was to deposit all of the pucks into the net, players taking turns in the effort. If a player missed, he had to collect the puck and high-tail it back to the blue line, leaving the biscuit for another player. First team to clean its blue line of all the pucks wins. The group shooting at the balcony end of the ice fell behind early and at one point had four pucks left to the Caps "Retired Numbers" end group's one puck remaining. But the Balcony Boys crawled back to tie things up, each group with a puck remaining. This brought out the competitive juices of each team as the tempo picked up in skating in, shooting, and -- several times, it turned out -- lugging the puck back to the blue line to get the next skater on.

Finally, the Balcony boys completed their comeback, and you'd have thought the guys had won a championship as they leaped off the bench to congratulate one another. The losers had to stick around to do a round of "herbies" (the full herbie...blue line/back, red line/back, far blue line/back, far goal line/back).

All in all, a very nice way to spend a summer's day in sweltering DC.

click on the images for larger versions.


JP said...

Great stuff, Peerless - makes me simultaneously thankful and jealous, stuck here in an office and all.

Doug said...

As always, I appreciate your fine work