England U16 Tour : Finland 2015 : Day 2

Another beautiful morning and up with the sunrise. Team had a good night and have started to settle to the schedule Breakfast followed by warm up with Jiri and then our first training session on the ice with all our equipment.

First session players worked on 3 step explosive start and stride length whilst the goalies focused on agility and lateral movement.

Second session, forwards worked on net presence and the high forward and the defence on working together as a unit and shooting from the blue line. The  last session had checking oooops sorry they call it rubbing out along the boards in the real women’s hockey world.

Relaxed warm down in the sun on the running track and then to lunch/dinner dependant on what part of the country you are from.
 Usual mix of salads, vegetables meat, pasta, fish and vegetarian with fruit and yogurt.

Early afternoon S&C session with Juri on the track working on the 3 step stride, reaction and speed, what an experience to look across the complex and see so many elite athletes working in such a wonderful environment.

 Into one of the many sports halls to experience Kin Ball (if you haven’t seen it check it out you tube) great fun had by all even the warm ups which was so imaginative.

Rest before supper/dinner dependant on what part of the country you are from, girls are understanding the importance of refuelling and hydrating before a game and had a good meal followed by quiet time and hopefully they all had some sleep before setting off to the ice hall for tonights game against the Redwings

 started with the National Anthems we sang it brilliantly (our singing coach had been working hard with the team) the Finns didn’t England 1 Finland 0.

The game began both teams taking a look at the opposition but it was the Redwings who had the better of the chances and took the lead at 8.16 and our girls were finding it difficult to maintain offence but at 10.27 drew level with a well executed team play with an assist for Ellie Wakeling and the goal from the Louise Beresford from the high slot. The Redwings came back and with England unable to clear the zone scored again at 10.45 and with 14.37 on the clock a defensive error gave the redwings a 3-1 lead in the first.

The second period saw both teams step up the speed and the aggression on the puck but the team were getting the better of the play and the Finns were taking penalties and at 21.03 Ellie Wakeling scored with the assist  to Abbie Sylvester. With the scores now 3-2  and all the players on both sides were going for it when 2 players went for a puck and hit each other, no check and no penalty jus a hit but the Finnish player damaged her neck and was taken to hospital for tests. The long delay disrupted us more than it did the Redwings and on the restart they killed the shortened game with a final goal at 27.10 the game finished at the end of the second period.

The team learnt an important lesson in that whatever the circumstances they must maintain focus.

 Slow start and an improvement in the second was good but small errors cost us…another important lesson to learn.

 Warm down, evening meal and bed, but with the team in good shape we will work on the problem areas at tomorrows practice session.

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