Hockey @ SC

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas for VB Hockey

By Matt Thompson
As the proud dad of a 2-year-old, it is safe to say that the Christmas season is alive and well in our home. My wife and I are constantly reminding Gabriel that he needs to be a good boy and to be honest, threatening him that if he is not good, Santa won’t bring him presents. Parenting 101 if you ask me :)

The simple question now is why and how does this relate to hockey?

Your first thought may be that dealing with a 2-year-old or a bunch of teenagers really isn’t that different, or that our kids also don’t want their presents to be taken away, but really it’s another parallel.

Much like Gabriel is feeling the anticipation of Christmas, with classes and exams for some behind us, it is natural for teenagers to shift their focus and anticipate going home, the holidays and the magic of the Christmas season. It is natural to loosen up and be done with the demands and responsibilities of a student-athlete.

With that in mind we headed down to Exeter, New Hampshire to play Phillips Exeter Academy, the second-oldest boarding school in the United States of America. We came away with a 4-4 tie against a very good opponent. We had some teenage brain cramps, and for 10 minutes in the second period it seemed like our heads had drifted into what was going to be under the tree, instead of who was in the slot or where is my lock? And in hockey, 10 minutes of daydreaming usually means by the final buzzer it’s going to feel like a Christmas morning of coal, and no one wants that. With under a minute left in the third, we tied the game up – call it a Christmas present to take our last trip home without that losing taste in our mouths.

We enter the break with a 21-4-2 record. We have played games in Quebec, Ontario, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. We have played in front of many scouts, passionate fans, family members and loyal supporters at home at the Pat Burns Arena.

The Christmas season will give 23 players a break, a time to relax, and some time for Christmas joy, some time to recharge the batteries, for both the second half of the hockey season and all the academic challenges that await us.

Merry Christmas to all who we have come into contact with throughout our travels.

Coach T