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2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 6

Day Six: USA vs New Zealand

The U19M team had only one noon game scheduled today, so in the morning, the team went shopping at the Salamanca Market at the waterfront. It was good to get out and away from the hotel and pool for a change.

The Salamanca Market is a highlight of Hobart. Every Saturday, hundreds of vendors set up their booths of food, arts, and crafts on the street fronting the harbor. High quality and a wonderful setting. The U19 boys shopped for gifts to bring back home as I did.

USA vs New Zealand

We knew the kiwis are going for gold. I think they are good if they can get by France. They hit us hard. Straight ahead and full on with their fit, strong and fast bodies. Most if not all are eighteen and clearly playing for many years.

Our boys average age is sixteen with Justin thirteen and playing his heart out against the Kiwis. They roll over us for a score of 17 -0 and gave no quarter even charging hard to score the seventeenth point before the last few seconds expired.

We had only 9 players in the water today, and of course, we were exhausted by the second half. Tom Brown told me that the Kiwi coach told his players to pour it on and to use our team as a tune up. I hold no grudge at all. This is hockey and if you want to get better, you play against the best and give it your all.

I asked our captains Quantum and Raymond if they were alright after the game and as I expected, they were fine and looking for more. Quantum told me that this is just like when they left junior practice to start playing hockey at the adult practices. They were rolled over but eventually started to hold their own and even take on the adults.

Raymond felt the same way. He loves hockey and he wants to compete at this level and excel. Both Raymond and Quantum can still play in U19 division two years from now. Eric and Ryan will also be U19 eligible in two years and all four of them will be peaking in their division.

I spoke with Justin, our thirteen year old who was down battling the Kiwis with everything he had as they rolled over him. I have been coaching him since he was 9 and he told me how happy he was to be here and that he wanted to do his best for the team.

The game itself is now on you tube, so I won't write the details, but our boys never gave up and battled a great Kiwi team till the final buzzer. I couldn't be more proud. Several of our U19 girls from our San Francisco club came up to our room with some fresh cut fruit. I think they were trying to make Tom and I feel a little better after our game and the food was an excuse to check in on us. I gave them all hugs and we shared the fruit with our boys down the hall.

Because all the games can now be seen on YouTube, I'm not sure if my updates are necessary. The water clarity can be spotty, but the video is HD and the production is good. I encourage everyone to view them and to appreciate the high level of hockey being played.

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So many letters of encouragement from home. Thank you all. Only one game today.

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