Sunday, October 24, 2010

Road to Victory...

Sunday, August 28th...the first official practice of our season.  Months of preparation, recruiting and plans finally came to fruition.  Most of the guys knew who their teammates were, but it didn't mean they knew each other personally.  One of my returners actually told me at tryouts "Don't take those South Kent Kids, we'll never get along."  Well I took all five of those South Kent Kids and somehow our team clicked from day 1.  We've been through highs and lows; injuries, losses, wins and 4 weeks ranked in the top 5 of the country.  The peaks and valleys some might call it.

That first practice I told the guys that we have one goal this year.  To win a state championship.  To accomplish that goal we were going to "pay attention to detail" and "play like a championship team".  The funny thing is we've played in two tournaments and haven't been to the playoffs in either one of them.  But I feel like each time we play, each weekend that passes, we get closer and closer to becoming that championship team.

It took us a while to find our identity as a team and we finally figured it out 3 weeks into the year.  I think we resemble the 2004 Boston Red Sox.  "We're a buncha idiots" is how Kevin Millar referred to that team and that reference is absolutely perfect for our club.  I found that if we come out and take things too seriously, this team shuts down and plays too tight.  If we come out too loose, we don't play hard enough.  There is a happy medium that needs to be met with these 17 and 18 year old young men and we need to find it every Saturday and Sunday.  When we find that combination, we are the best team in the country. 

We won two big league games this weekend over the Rhode Island Saints and Valley Jr Warriors.  Those wins set us up very nice for a big finish and a chance to win the regular season championship going into the playoffs in three weeks.  The season goes quick and I love the kids and this team.  The sky is the limit for us and we're ready for take off.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


What's going on internet world...First post in the new blog here.  Some of you know I had a blog during my last year of hockey that chronicled my life on the road and experiences.  Since then I have moved on to the real world, taking a job with Cardinal Sports Group as a family advisor and was named head coach of the Neponset Valley River Rats.  Working as a family advisor has been all I could have hoped for so far.  It allows me to stay involved in the game of hockey and help kids out reach their dreams of playing college hockey. 

This is my 4th year with the River Rats and 1st as a head coach.  It's been an awesome experience and wild ride for the past 11 months that started with the recruiting process.  We started our season in August and it's been flying by since the first week of our team camp at Princeton University.  When we got back to the friendly confines of the Foxboro Sports Center in Foxboro, MA things really started to roll for us.  Right now we're 11-4-2 overall and 4-1-0 in the Mass Tier 1 U18 league.  We've also been ranked in the top 5 in the country for the past 4 weeks, going as high as #4 last week. 

With a month to go in the season we're gearing up for our state playoffs next month in Foxboro.  We're hoping that this is finally the year we win a state championship and head to Nationals in the spring.  Stay tuned here to see how it all turns out!