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2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 8

Our 10:40 am game is with the Brits. They beat New Zealand 5 - 2. I consider this an upset and know that our boys will have their hands full.

Our game plan includes working both sides of the wall and controlling the corners. In the first half, we hold our own and drive it into the Brits zone. We play the walls and control the puck. Because we are not overwhelmed, I call time out and tell the boys to "option out". To swing and play off the wall. We get close to the goal but their size and speed allow them to breakaway and score.

The boys are confident and play their best. I suspect that the Brits have pulled their best players saving them for their playoff runs. I appreciate the move whether there was any intent to pull back on us, or not, but it helps.

Almost all the U19M teams here are the elite of the division. Italy, Spain, the Netherlands are not here. Australia is expensive and the mid level teams have decided not to come making the U19M a tough division for the USA U19M.

We open up and play with the Brits. Instead of being on our heels, we mix it up and have fun with this game. At the closing buzzer, we circle up and cheer the Brits. We peel out to shake hands with the players and coaches. We shake hands with the refs who allowed us to play. There are far fewer calls being made at this worlds than in Spain. It allows a free flowing game and I like it. Final score USA 0 Great Britain 10

We have the afternoon free, so we take the boys to an animal sanctuary. Tom and I decide to make this excursion mandatory. If not, some of the boys would choose to stay in their rooms and stare into their phones. We want better for them.

The sanctuary is a good place. It's not a zoo. They rehabilitate orphaned, starving and injured animals. We are inside the fences feeding kangaroos from our hands. We are inches away from the Joey peeking out of the mother's pouch. The boys rub the neck where the kangaroo cannot cannot reach with their paws and the animals love it. So do the boys.

Wombats and Koalas are petted. Even Zakk, who would have chosen to stay back at the hotel is seen petting a Koala. I mean how many of us have ever been this close to these animals? We see the endangered Tasmanian Devil bite through solid bone as they eat their meal of meat. A special outing.

Argentina tomorrow. Let's play some hockey.

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Jul
21
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Agnes, 10

It’s almost over… Bittersweet game for the U19 girls today.

Jul
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2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 11

The bug has spread. All ten of our boys share two suites and now six of them are sick.

Jul
20
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Agnes, 9

I am not sure I can make it through this report. It is SOOOO stressful. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone - I can do that tomorrow.

Jul
19
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Agnes, 8

First game today was M19 against Colombia - a great game that I will let Holland do the report on.

Jul
18
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 9

Our game with Argentina is not until 5:10 pm so we take the boys on an optional cruise around the Bay of Hobart. It's bitter cold and we're the only people on the boat.

Jul
18
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Agnes, 7

This will be a short report. I’m coming down with some sort of bug and I feel completely wiped out.

Jul
17
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 8

Our 10:40 am game is with the Brits. They beat New Zealand 5 - 2. I consider this an upset and know that our boys will have their hands full.

Jul
17
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Agnes, 6

It’s a cloudy day in Hobart, but spirits are high. Games are going well, and we are all getting into a good routine for our games.

Jul
17
2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 7

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

USA vs South Africa.