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Back From Hockey World Champs /
I’m Back From Hockey World Champs / Team Canada. You’re usually hearing Business Coaching Secrets and actionable business advice from me.
I’ve been away for the past two weeks and playing hockey for Team Canada at the Veterans World Championships for Inline Hockey in Italy.
Inline hockey is basically a bunch of ice hockey guys ripping around on rollerblades for those that don’t know. It’s super offensive which makes it heaps of fun to play.
Lost of people emailing and messaging asking how I went in Italy… so here is a short rundown on how it all went down, a few important goals I scored and how we played.
Hint: There’s a reason you didn’t hear from me immediately afterward LOL.
I’ve played at the World Championships a number of times and to say it’s a thrill to pull on a Team Canada jersey and listen to your national anthem wearing it, is an understatement on steroids.
An incredible honor Team Canada.
We arrived in Venice and after training camp it was obvious, we had a talented team and our expectations were nothing short of taking home a Gold Medal.
We also had a super favorable draw with some easy games to get started to help build line chemistry and get the goal scorers firing.
All was looking good!
The first game was against Great Britain and we got off to a great start beating them 6 – 1 in a reasonably one-sided affair.
The second game was against the Aussies… I used to live in Australia for almost a decade and a half so it’s always a special treat to play them. I got 3 goals and a couple of assists for a 5 point game and we won this one convincingly.
Our third game was against the host country Italy. They’re normally pretty strong but the reality is we were firing at this stage and knocked them over pretty easily 7 – 0.
3 games in and we have one goal scored against us.
Looking good and confidence is high.
The next game was against the Czech Republic. They’re a global inline hockey powerhouse and were always going to be hard to beat.
We lost 10 – 7 which included an empty netter so fair to say it was a 2 goal game. We were well and truly in it till the end and frankly before the game if you told us we’d score 7 against the mighty Czechs… we’d take it all day long.
The consensus was we’d see them again in the Gold Medal game and we were totally confident we could beat them the second time around.
Time for the finals and we drew Team USA in the quarters. The Americans are always good and reality was a tough team to be playing in the quarters.
Plus we all know each other after years of playing with and against one another.
We kinda expected Germany / GB or a team of that standard in the quarter.
If we lose against the USA we leave in 5th place at best and frankly, the whole trip becomes a joke given the talent and expectations everyone had for us.
Anyhoo… we were nervous but confident. We came out hard and I scored our first goal to put us up 1 – 0 against Team USA on my first shift.
It was a tight game that went back and forth but we never relinquished that lead and took them down 6 – 3.
We were feeling confident as heck at this stage.
The next game was the following day against France in the semis – winner goes to the Gold medal game.
France has a professional inline hockey league and is always tough…. but we were happy to be playing them in the semi and truth be told, we figured this was an easier matchup than the Team USA game we’d already won.
It was a ripper game, back and forth, back and forth with a chance at a gold medal on the line.
It’s tied 3 – 3 with about 7 minutes to go and I scored a goal to put us up 4 – 3….. one small problem… we’re in their zone with our hands up in the air and the referee calls ‘no goal’… the whistle doesn’t go… play continues and they skate down 3 on 1 and score.
This all happens insanely quickly.
Instead of 4 – 3 for us its 4 – 3 for them. Uggg.
And before you think “are you sure you scored..?” lol. The France coach said to our coach afterward he felt bad and that he saw it go in.
Anyhoo… plenty of time left and we could have regrouped. We didn’t and lost the game and no Gold Medal for Team Canada this year.
Playing for Bronze
The next day playing for a Bronze Medal is a hard game to get up for.
You travel all the way to Italy… train your arse off for months before you get there…. Beat yourself up so badly you can’t walk or get out of bed without serious effort by the time this game comes around (check out the ripper bruise on David Peacock one of my teammates)… the monster expectations… it’s honestly a tad insane for a bunch of old guys that no longer have hockey careers.
I would also tell you about 2 bottles of baby powder I needed for my “undercarriage” but I’ll save you the gory details of positions I needed to get myself into to apply and the pics.
Let your mind wander ha ha ha
Anyhoo… the next day we play Slovakia. They won it all two years ago and the shortest guy on their team was about 6’3”.
Despite my under-carriage issues I was super happy to have scored to get us up 1 – 0 in the Bronze Medal game and we were looking good early.
We were out playing them but the wheels fell off a little bit and we went down 5 – 2 after a lot of back and forth and some bad breaks.
Team Canada fought back to 7 – 6 in the dying minutes.
We pulled our goalie and played with an extra attacker for the last minute… with seconds left on the clock, our best player and one of my best friends Michael Hunt fed me the puck (yes, that’s Mike Hunt for my fellow Porky fans) he moved into the slot and it was my job to get him the puck back in prime scoring territory.
He had already scored 3 goals that game and was running hot.
I can’t remember exactly what happened but I know I never got him the puck and he was there waiting… we had a couple more chances but the clock went to zero and it was game over.
I remember missing an important breakaway against Team USA years ago and I had nightmares about it.
Something tells me this play might haunt me for a few nights over the coming 12 months LOL.
Anyhoo… 4th place.
I’m a pretty competitive guy and I’d normally tell you I’d rather be last than 4th and to shove the participation medal up your butt.
But that’s not true in this case and we tried our guts out and just came up short.
I had so much fun it was insane and what an honor to wear a Team Canada jersey.
I’d play ping pong, checkers or monopoly with that crest. Well, as long as they let me wear the number 22
If I make the team again next year… I’ll be there with bells on and ready to go.
The reality is Europeans are bloody good at hockey and Canada can’t just mail it in.
So there you have it…. That’s how it went down and be watching for some great business coaching tips, training and info coming your way thick and fast.
I promise to do better than 4th place and to make sure I “get you the puck” for your coaching business LOL
My podcast ‘Business Coaching Secrets’ podcast will also be on the way shortly so watch for it.
Always appreciate hearing from you.
*There’s a tournament website with pics etc… but I haven’t had time to check it out. These are not great snaps but will have to get the job done until I can download some from the site.
Obsessed with your coaching success,
Be watching for my new ripper podcast ‘Business Coaching Secrets’.