Though a forgotten position at times…Here is something to restore the hope and let all the “D” know there are doing a good job
There are tons of highlight reels. They include some great moves and unbelievable stick handing by the speedy forwards. You see most goalies making some incredible saves with some acrobatics. Granted, without either one, you really can’t move ahead and its tough to win without it.
Defenders do play a huge role when comes down to what else you need to build a winner. They pace the game a lot of the time and also start the rush. More importantly they find many ways to sacrifice their bodies to stop the back door crossing passes. At times they block shots and take away the low part of the net to assist their goaltenders. Most of the time two of them are on the penalty kill. A lot of teams have a key defenseman as the sole point man on the power play. Some times this player is the “big guy” on the squad that’s in front of the net in key situations. I can’t toot my horn anymore, so being a “former” defenseman myself I feel these guys need some credit.
Goals against plays such a huge part in the tie breakers when it comes down to seeding. Daryn’s blog today was a great testament to what we have here at NARCh. I recommend everyone read it again. If you are here, check out the Bantam Gold board and see not only the parity but key in on goals against. I had a front row seat for two great games this afternoon where I said, ‘I need to write this blog’. One was a Junior Gold game where all I could say is “Wow.” It was a tight, one goal game all the way through pitting the Tour Roadrunner 91′s against MKS from Columbia. The Runners won it 3-1, but the defenseman were the key in this one. The passes that they took away and the action end to end was all created by each teams back line. In Pee Wee Gold the Nor Cal Elite were up against the Tour Roadrunners 96 White team. This game was not only exciting, I might want to buy the video (hint, hint). Both teams defensive corps were cycling back and then knew when to change the tempo. They created many offensive chances with smart plays and key positioning. I couldnt believe I was watching two groups of 14-year-olds do what some upper level teams can’t.
I am really excited about what the future holds for our sport. Remember offense can win you games, but defense can win you the whole thing….Yeah I know its an old football saying, but think about it when you put together your squad next season. Build from the net out and see where things go.