Hockey Skills Competition
Bragging rights, a $15 Subway gift card, and the public embarrassment of losing to one of the goalies were all on the line last Saturday during our socially-distanced skills competition. The challenges were diverse. A shooting-accuracy challenge, where each player got 10 pucks to knock down four targets in the net. A speed test, to see which player was the fastest in a knock-out style tournament. A distance accuracy challenge, in which four players would line up on the blue-line and attempt to hit one of the four targets placed in the net behind the hash marks.
The shooting competition took us all by surprise; it was much harder than it sounded (or we were all much more rusty than we thought). Nick C, Ellis ‘22, started the competition off strong by hitting each target with only eight shots. In the end, he was the only player in the competition to hit all four targets. He said that he “has been playing since he was five, so [he] has had lots of practice with shooting and stickhandling.” Though this was quite an impressive accomplishment, our goalie, Kinza M, had the entire arena filled with encouraging hoots and hollers from the bench as he proceeded to be one of the few to hit three of four targets, taking third place in the competition despite having had very little practice as a player!
During the speed competition, our goalie, Tanner H, and one of our centermen, Taiyo T, got matched up together. It was obvious that Taiyo had the advantage of having much more skating experience than Tanner, so to make the competition a little more fair, Taiyo chose to skate the competition backwards. Even with the handicap, Taiyo still took the win vs Tanner. Though there were many fierce competitors, Max S, Rogers ‘22, took first place in the race, and when asked about it said that “going into the skating competition I had high expectations for myself, which made me nervous. Watching my teammates race caused the nervous energy to grow and helped me realize how much potential we have on this team.”
The last competition was the funniest to watch; pucks were flying everywhere, and some not even touching the net (my shots included). Four players would line up, and each would take an attempt at hitting one of the four targets. If the first player missed, the second would shoot until someone hit a target. Once someone hit a target, he or she would move on in the tournament and the other three were out. Cameron M, a less experienced player, took us all by surprise by sniping (a hockey term for an accurate shot) top corner in each round, beating the runner ups and more experienced players, Cooper J, Blaire M, and Corbin H, in the final round for the victory. “I was really excited to be able to participate in the skills competition. It felt great being able to test my abilities after the first term of training” observed the rookie sensation.
The skills competition was a fun change in tempo compared to our usual practices, and gave us all a chance to promote our skills to the coaches and our teammates. Congratulations to the winners of the three competitions! I am excited to see our skills improve as the year progresses.
Dale F, Whittall ‘21