England Girls Winter Tournament

Piispalla, Finland

Saturday 12th

Up early,  before day break for breakfast at the restaurant which is a 5min walk away then down to the rink for warm up and change before our first game.

S-Kiekko/Kronan Hermes were our first opponents…and the game didn’t start well. We lost the face off and never got control of the puck,  unfortunately 24 seconds later we lost our first goal, not the start we wanted.

With all the players icing, the team got it’s head together before conceding 2 quick goals at 11.49 and 12.27.

0-3 at the end of the first.

Although we explained to players the speed and ability of teams here, the first period was a prime example of just being blown away.

The second period was a much more even game with both sides creating some offence but at 22.20 the Finns extended their lead but England hit back with their first at 25.33 scored Chloe Riley with an assist to Lizzy Saunders.

1-4 at the end of the second.

The third started as badly as the first with a goal at 30.55. But again the team hung in there and the rest of the period was pretty even,  until England pulled a penalty at 36.40 and Hermes scored their 6th on the powerplay.

Final score 1-6

The girls took their time to find their feet but everyone including the goalies played. This is a lesson in the reality of competition against one of the most powerful hockey nations. Switch off for a minute, pick up a silly penalty and at this level it costs you!

After cooling down, lunch and then a first for all the girls. With coaches from the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, the girls had a special training session on the virtual shooting rink and the Blademill (a skating treadmill)…and yes all the girls did skate at 24km an hour and in the short time available, improved both their shooting and their skating. Nobody attempted 40km that the tread mill can be set at… or the treadmill inclined!!!

After Dinner/Tea the team had a rest/sleep period and then it was off to the rink for warm up and our second game against KJT

We started better than this morning but then that wasn’t difficult but then lost a goal at 2.26 and it was then an evening of simple mistakes or lack of concentration costing us goals. Not going through individual goals but it was 6-0 at the end of the first  and 2 were added in the second and 2 in the third. 0-10 final score. Not a good day at the office.

We all had a chat about areas that we need to improve and had a quick snack. Very early start tomorrow breakfast at 6.15 so early night.

Girls cooled down and had a quick snack before an early bed.