Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hockey Is Back At The Rock (practice rink)...

Well the greedy owners and players may not be playing at the Prudential Center, but the Comets sure were. Everyone anticipated this to be a pretty one sided game, as East Side has been struggling. However that did not diminish the enthusiasm of the Comets players or their fans. It was obvious from the start that the plan was for the new players to get regular shifts, lots of ice ice time, and for the veteran players to keep feeding them the puck. And it paid off!

I don't have the official scoring but I believe in this victory, Roby had a goal in honor of his mom's birthday, and rumor has it that Alex had three! Not bad, a hat trick in his first game of regular shifts! A lot of credit goes to Coach Colin and his core group of veteran players, for playing with class. They didn't run up the score to a mercy situation, they didn't set out to hurt or embarrass the East Side team. The plan was to play 3 complete periods and give the new players lots of touches to the puck. And it paid off ... lot's of smiles throughout the game!

I also want to give credit to the East Side coaches, players and school. No matter what the final score was of the game, the players played hard and pushed their abilities as far as they could.This team may struggle, but yet, the school keeps this program going. They give the opportunity to the students to participate in what I feel, is one of the best team sports around. In an economic climate where many schools are faced with cutting programs left and right, especially expensive ones like ice hockey, East Side has managed to keep this program alive and fueled with the passion for the game. I give them tremendous credit! I think the "professional" players from that other team, that play in that big rink next door, could learn a lot from the East Side school, their coaches, their fans, and most of all, their players! Nicely done!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Update So Far ...

Well we're a little over 2 weeks into the season and a lot has happened. 7 games in  the books already! We all knew the season was going to be tough, with such a small roster and with a few of those players not having a whole lot of experience. But true to form, this team has played hard, very hard, and has been actually getting some results ...

River Dell 5 - Comets 2
The home opener started of pretty strong, but slowly, the short bench got the best of the team. Also it seemed as if the team was playing a little tentative, as if they were not sure if they would be able to keep up and be competitive. I have a feeling the way this team is rapidly improving the  next meeting will have a different outcome!

Ridgewood 6 - Comets 2
Similar story, though with a much more competitive team. Everyone knew that this was going to be a much tougher game than River Dell. Even though the RW team, is made up of many freshmen, they have a large roster, still fueled by a lot of experience. And it showed. However, the Comets seem to play this game stronger than the game against RD. Though losing 2-6, the Comets played RW extremely tough, showing that teams should not take them lightly.

Comets 4 - Bayonne 1
Now this was more like it! Continuing with their small roster, the Comets played equally hard, this time coming up with better results! Anticipating that Bayonne has been struggling, the Comets played as tough as ever, this time with the win. The goaltending keeps improving, and the new players each got a shift and their first taste of "variety" ice. By the way it should be mentioned that freshmen Thomas, has been seeing a ton of ice time, and has been a welcomed addition to the "experienced" players of the team!

Fair Lawn 3 - Comets 2
This was a tough one. There are going to be games this season that the team knows will be very tough to win, and then there will be games that the team knows they can win. This was one of those games. The Comets played well, and worked as hard as ever, but a late 3rd period goal at the 7 second mark, had this game slip away for them. A learning experience for sure!

Paramus Catholic 12 - Comets 2
OK, so everyone has been talking about how strong PC was going to be in this division. They would be a tough team to play even with a full 3 line roster. Playing with the small roster, exploited any mistakes the team made. The team was mercy'ed 12-2 with only a few moments left in the game. (Keep in mind the the team was off to a worse start last year with a much larger roster). No one was happy about this loss, but they will have to put it behind them.

Comets 4 - Clifton 4
This was one of those games that the Comets needed to win. There are teams in this division that the Comets can be very competitive with and Clifton is one of them. An exhausted Comets squad came out playing as hard as they could, and it looked as if they may be able to squeeze out a win. However a questionable penalty shot call on Scott, set Clifton up with an opportunity to tie, and they did. The Comets still game out with a tie, but they will have to try harder the next time these teams meet.

Ridgewood 6 - Comets 3
Here we go again. Ridgewood (who is currently in 1st place), came into this game very confident. And why not. Te Comet's short bench is now known throughout the league, and RW won the last meeting 6-2. However the Comets had other ideas. Every game the Comets are playing harder and harder. Passing, shooting, defense and goaltending are all showing marked signs of improvement! It's almost laughable when you see the other teams changing lines after they've skated for almost a minute! The Comets are skating shifts of 5 to 10 minutes each, if not longer! I'm not even sure if Robbie has been off the ice in 3 games! The Ridgewood coach found himself with only a 2 goal lead with just moments left. He could not have been too happy. The Comets made an attempt to do more damage to Ridgewood's ego, by pulling the goalie and trying to close the gap even more. However RW was able to score an empty net goalie, and finish with a 6-3, though the game was much closer than that!

Today it is on to the Prudential practice rink (not that the Devils have been using it, but that's a "soapbox" for a different time!) The Comets will be playing the East Side team at 3:45. If you can make it there, come on out. This should be a very good game!

OK, so that's it for now. Sorry for the bad grammar and multiple spelling errors. I tried to catch up with a lot!