Monday, November 8, 2010

Another UNC Update

Well, we played again this past weekend and we played against Colorado University at Colorado Springs and Metro. We knew UCCS was going to be a tough game, but we really didn't think we would lost 8-2...

We started the first period strong, scoring first and ending it with a tie at 2-2, which was actually ridiculous because half of our team was missing. Oddly enough, when we got more players, we started losing more, which sucks.

Then we played against Metro. Well, we were losing 2-1 in the third period and our goalie popped his knee out of place and had to leave. We ended up losing 5-1 because we had no backup goalie. In summation, our 1-3 record so far is just a poor coincidence. :(

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

UNC's First Two Games

(Well, this is a lot more awkward to start off that I thought it would be for a simple relaying of facts... Ha ha.)
After about 3 weeks of practices, we had our first pre-season tournament. We changed 3 people this year, Ethan, Mahdi, and Brent (who isn't new, but didn't play last year), yet we weren't too worried because they already flowed with the team pretty well. Next year, we're expecting 5+ jersey changes so that'll be interesting.

The tournament itself went pretty well, we went 2-2, losing to both Metro State (DI) and CSU (DI), and beating Denver and Kansas State. That put us at the fourth seed to play a re-match to the CSU game. Being that we were destroyed 11-1 in our first meeting of the year, not a lot of people were there to watch what they anticipated to be a blowout of a game. We did end up losing, but only 5-4 and with that fifth goal coming late in the third.

So that was the end of our pre-season tournament. We weren't too disappointed with how we played except with the losses, which is typically the case. As a team, we're excited to have Mahdi because he's a good dangler himself, and a great forechecker. He put up some big points this tournament and we were excited to see what he could do as he started to learn our play style a little more. Ethan and Brent are great additions because it's good to have people that stay back on defense, which is something we kind of lacked last year.

Well, our first regular season game was against Arapahoe Community College, a team we anticipated beating and beating hard. After the first period, it was 5-0 UNC, with our goalie seeing maybe 2 or 3 shots that period. We decided to keep putting some points up and also try to work on some other plays.

*To ACC's credit, they only had 4 people, and we decided to wear them out fast just to be safe*

To stay on the topic of our "dangle" theme, here's a goal that I scored in the ACC game. I received the pass right around the blue line, and immediatelly had enough momentum to get a 1-on-1 with a defenseman. Since I was coming down the left boards and am a righty I started to swing to the right to get a better angle on my forehand shot while progressively getting closer to the defenseman. Once he got close enough, he turned his full body to swing with me and not let me shoot, to which I pulled left and did a simple toe drag to keep him from pokechecking it from me, then I shot it hard at low glove and it went straight in. So, again, don't underestimate those toe drags, people.

After the second period, when everyone had a few goals under their belt, we decided to stop scoring and work on some breakouts, cycling, passing and other stuff. The game ended 14-0 and we went home happy with our first regular season game.

Later that day we had to play DU for some reason, which we ended up losing 7-3. I was very disappointed in how we played. We were down 5 after the first two periods and then finally scored our first goal in the third. It was ludicrous, and really, at times like that, it makes it hard to play. But, you have to shake 'em off, I guess.

After these first two games, the Little Man himself was leading in points with 4 goals and an assist. I must confess some jealousy, because I thought for sure I would be doing better haha. It's alright, I guess. Batting .500 isn't too bad, right? : /

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Summary Of Stuff Covered

I'm going to be covering a wide range of dangles and deeks and this will outline what I intend to cover.

-Beginner Level
-Intermediate Level (Michigan, Spin-o-rama, Between The Legs, )
-Advanced Level
-Breakaway Moves

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions/concerns. (I.E. - If you want me to cover another dangle or if I wasn't specific enough on one, etc.)

I have decided to start cataloguing the University of Northern Colorado hockey team as well since I'm on it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Couple Beginner Dangles

These are a couple of beginner dangles for some of the newer people to deeking. This doesn't mean they aren't the most effective deeks, but that they are the easiest to learn from the beginning. So, today I'm going to teach you 3 dangles.
-First Things To Practice
-The Toe Drag

At the beginner's stage, you're learning to hit the gaps or weak spots of the defensemen, which is what we're going to learn right here. What you're going to want to do is grab a chair or skateboard or a stool or something with legs that stands off the ground enough to fit about 3 stacked pucks underneath it. For the sake of simplicity, let's say you grabbed a chair. Now find your desired area to set it down. If you're an ice player and you have access to an ice rink that will let you stick handle: Great. If you don't have access, don't worry, most people don't. What I suggest to mimic the ice is to use a golf ball and practice on a smooth surface as the golf ball will go about the same speed. Make sure to give yourself a couple of feet on each side for room.

Now for the drill. Place the golf ball on the ground and grab your stick and gloves. Now try to pass the puck through the middle of the gaps in the chairs. Just stick handle like this for a little while and try to speed it up. It should be a little more difficult getting it back through on the backhand.

   >   [  ]  <                (If the "[  ]" is the chair, try to pass from the left to the right.)

Once you feel comfortable doing this, just try to keep passing it to yourself through other gaps while trying to keep a decent rhythm. You don't have to limit yourself to just the left or right either. Try to incorporate going through the front as well, or going in the right and out the front. Again, when you can do this relatively well, and it shouldn't take long, try walking while stick handling and just pass it through the legs of the chair to yourself.

This simulates a one-on-one with a defender. The front two legs are the stick and the back two are the feet. And of course a forward skating with the puck is going faster than a defenseman skating backwards, so the walking simulates that as well. I suggest practicing this until you can start mixing other things in as well. It is very good practice to get quick hands. These are the most basic dangles in the game and are constantly used even at higher levels.

Next, let's move on to the toe drag. Again, start with your gloves, stick and golf ball. Now what the toe drag is when the puck is in front of you and you take the toe of your stick (the very front part of the blade) and pull it back behind you and stop it with a flat blade. It's a great move against forecheckers and also is just a dirty move.

To practice, just put the toe of your stick flush against the ground and lightly pull the golf ball until it is a little behind you. Then, rotate your blade back to the normal position with a small wrist movement and stop the ball. Gradually pick the speed up until you can just keep snapping it back and then hitting it back. See how many times you can do it in a row without missing. It's a very easy drill to perform, as it doesn't require you to be moving.

And that's it for the beginniners' section. Please feel free to comment and subscribe! :)