“There was a lot of character in our room. When we got down early in the tournament by losing that first game, we didn’t panic. The guys all believed in one another and knew if we just dug down a bit deeper and stuck to our game plan and continued to believe in one another, we’d be ok. Maybe we were trying just a little too hard in that first game. Also, with Timmy scoring just 1.8 seconds after the opening face-off, I actually think it rattled us more than them. We weren’t used to scoring so early and with the added pressure of this being the Christmas tournament, ya know, we just were just a little too jacked to deal with all that.
I think we simplified things a bit after that first game and decided we just needed to get some pucks in deep, some pucks on the net and good things would happen. And in game two, that approach worked and we got rewarded. Moose came up large in the cage for us, ya know, some big saves at key times and slowly we started to build some momentum. Everybody was contributing. I mean, it’s a grind, the Christmas tournament. You have to be mentally ready to go the distance to win it all. You gotta remember, this is three games played over the course of two hours. It’s not like the regular season where you just play one game and then go home for a snooze.
So when we pulled off the game 2 victory, and a close one at that, that was a confidence booster in a do-or- die situation. Ya know, we lose that and it’s over. We had to leave it all out there in game 2 and we did because there was no tomorrow. After the season we had, the boys knew going out early like would be a bitter pill to swallow so that motivated us big time. In that second game, we just wanted to take care of business so we could give ourselves a shot at controlling our own destiny. And that’s what we did.
I mean, we were glad that red and pumpkin tied, which kinda helped us out but in the end, we just wanted to get to game 3 with our fate in our own hands. It was a good feeling at the drop of the puck in game 3 that we were slowing getting better every game, every shift really. Ya, we were tired but at this point in the season, you can’t use that as an excuse. Crazy thing is, the pumpkins lost a close one late in their second game and were playing back to back games so those stars kinda lined up for us I guess in that final game, which was kinda nice ‘cuz of the adversity we’d had to overcome earlier in the tournament. And the pucks started goin’ in and things just built from there.
It’s all a bit crazy right now so we’re just gonna let this sink in for a couple of days. I love these guys. We battled and it’s a pretty special feeling right now. But ya know, we’ll take a couple of weeks off for Christmas and then get back to work in January. It’ll be weird lining up against some of the boys at that point, but ya know, that’s hockey in the W and it’s what you gotta do to get it done. I’m not gonna pretend we won’t look back on this team and be glad we were a part of it but come January, it’s a new day and next up is the Golden Boot in March so I think everyone knows it’s a take-no-prisoners kinda thing so we’ll just have to take it a game at a time.”
And so….without further cliche, the first half of the season in the season came to end in Elmira this past Monday with Blue coming out on top. Well done Blue.