McLaren Equipment ready for playoffs, News (Elmvale Minor Hockey)

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18-19 Bantam LL 1 - McLaren Equipment ready for playoffs
Submitted By Cory Schepers on Wednesday, February 6, 2019
When it comes to coaching Bantam LL hockey you never know what you are going to get.  These are young players at a pivotal age as they are in either their last year of public school or their first year of high school.  Throw puberty into that mix and the added testosterone in these young men each game can bring a different team.  

For the McLaren Equipment Bantams the start of the 2018-19 season was not what was expected.  With a record of 1-8-1 in our first 10 games we were left wondering if this was just not going to be our year.  In November we entered the Silver Stick in Collingwood with high hopes but ran into some decent hockey and ended on the wrong side of the scoresheet all 3 games.  That being said there seemed to be a shift in the team.  Not sure if it was the camaraderie of hanging out an entire Saturday together or having the run of the Kelseys at our team dinner but there seemed to be a change in the team.

After that tournament things started to click for our team.  Our forwards started knowing where each other were and started working together as a team.  The defence pairings found their groove and started jumping into the play with confidence sparking more offence.  Our goaltenders seemed to lose the nerves and played to the level they are capable of.  This was a totally different team all of a sudden.

We started scoring goals and keeping the opponents to minimal chances and goals.  The work ethic increased and we played together as a true team.  The difference was so noticeable that a team that had beat us 9-2 early in the year were lucky to come back and tie us late in the game leaving with a point.  The final 10 games of the regular season was a big difference.  Instead of a 1-8-1 record we started with we had a 3-2-5 record.  Obviously we would have preferred to have some of those 5 ties be wins but in the end those were teams that easily beat us earlier in the year.  Our goals against average went from 5.1 goals/game in the first 10 games to 1.8 goals/game.  The fans who watched us earlier in the year and have since come back have commented how they can't believe this is the same team.

As a coaching staff we are really proud of how hard these young men have worked and the progress they have made.  They have worked hard and have positioned themselves to have a successful playoffs in the Georgian Triangle B division.  We opened the round robin with 6-1 win against Midland who was a team we dropped two games to in the regular season.  There is high hopes in that dressing room and they have really started bringing out on the ice.

We would love to see some fans come out support us on our playoff run.  Our scheduled round robin games in Elmvale are Sunday Feb 10 vs Coldwater at 7:05pm, Tuesday Feb 12 at 8:40pm vs Elmvale #2 and Sunday February 17 at 7:15pm vs Honeywood.  Come on out and enjoy a game and see some smiles on these hard working young men.
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