Polar Bearing

The Zamboni preparing the ice at the Taft School's Odden Arena
The Zamboni preparing the ice at the Taft School’s Odden Arena

Ellinore’s Shamrocks U-14 team is playing the 28th annual Connecticut Polar Bears Holiday Invitational this week. We are in Southington, Connecticut, playing our games at the beautiful Taft School in Waterbury. There are 140 teams  (over 2500 players) from across the US and Canada in the tourney.

Ellinore ready at a face off
Ellinore ready at a face off

One of the challenges playing on a team that only gets together a few times a year is playing on a team that only gets together a few times a year: and in the first game, the passes don’t connect, and the players do not seem to be anticipating where to be as the game unfolds. Most of the girls traveled down from northern Vermont, and the long drive might be part of the problem. The result is a first round loss to a team from Massachusetts.

Ellinore with Reme moving out of the defensive zone
Ellinore, with Reme, looking cross ice to clear the defensive zone

We are playing in the beautiful Odden rink. And Mark and Ellie have a new lens, which allows for clearer images of play. Two varsity ice hockey coaches are at the rink on Friday morning to watch Ellie play; and after the game (a loss again, this time 1-2, to a team we would on most days handle easily) she talks with Molly (VA) and Ted (NMH) about school next year. We will attend games at both schools in the coming month so that Ellie can get a better sense of the hockey programs as she considers her choices for next year.

poke check along the half boards
Ellie after a turn, and mid-poke check, along the half boards

And then after two losses (that will most likely put us out of the semifinals on Sunday) the girls are back on the ice on Friday evening to play the undefeated Connecticut Northern Lights. It is as if a different team shows up. We are hustling. We are passing. And we dominate play for three periods, skating to a 6-1 win.

Action in front of the net
Where is the puck? Ellie in action in front of the net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *