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2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 5

Day 5: France and Canada

Our morning game is with France who I believe will win the gold in these games. They are fast. I mean blur fast. I tell our boys to stay with our game plan until I call free sub so that starters and subs can have enough minutes in the game to become a better player for the experience. I tell the boys to have fun.

Our starters are magnificent. They scrap and fight. Quantum, Raymond and Zakk are exceptional. Playing with courage and tenacity, we hold the French to 6 goals in the first half, but the starters are spent. The French sub freely with all ten of their players and have no drop off. Final score France 15 USA 0.

I send Quantum, our Captain to the interview booth. After every game, an interview is held with a player from each team live on line. Technology is here and you can watch the games from home. Times and schedule are posted on our website SF Sea Lions underwater hockey.

USA vs CANADA

Our afternoon 5 pm game is with Canada. Everyone knows there is history between these two teams. Even the commentator of the live feed streaming knew that there was bad blood. Outwardly, we are cordial. I shake hands with the Canadian coach and wish him luck.

I tell the team to be ready and coiled on first strike. Our game plan includes a hard strike straight up the middle. The Canucks have the same strategy and there is such an impact that you could almost feel it through the water. The Canadians fight hard but we hold them time and time again as they attack our goal. On a breakaway, Zakk has a clear shot to the Canadian goal. But a Canuck slams into him from the side in a blatant foul. The refs stop the game and confer. The USA is awarded a penalty goal.

The second half is a show of courage and tough play on both teams, but I can see the Canucks tire and know that they cannot score on us. I see Ryan and Quantum positioned so far back that normally, I would be telling them to tighten up but I know they are letting our forwards work and preventing any possibility of a breakaway. The USA defeats Canada and has their victory.

I hug our boys and tell each one how well they performed. Our starters were outstanding, but our subs stepped up. Ben Leo showed his speed and power on several breakaways. Ben Zeigler did not miss a beat when he subbed in as our pivot. Justin Lee carried his weight and performed well giving our backs the rest they needed to stay fresh.

Coach Tom Brown and I embrace after game. He has been with us from the beginning and knows this team as well as anyone. He has taken over much of the coaching duties allowing me to focus on the game plan and line up. I am grateful for his help and for his friendship. This win is dedicated to Tom Brown.

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