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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. The skipper invites us into the pilot house and charms us with stories from his 42 years as a seaman .

After the cruise, we return to the hotel for lunch and hold a team meeting to prepare for Argentina. We scrimmaged with Argentina during the practice round and they beat us seven to one. They were fit, fast and well coached.

We bring out the magnetic board and diagram the swing off the wall the Argentinians favor and know that we can cut them off and even breakaway with an interception.

At the pool, we stretch, swim a 450 yard warmup and finish with a fifty meter full under on one breath. Tom wants the boys to do another. I compromise and have them do a final full under full over 50 meters. We're ready.

Buzzer, strike, we take it to the wall and move the puck up. They kick it out, we cut them off and return it to the wall. "Up the wall, turn right and score" I tell the team. Again and again, we get close to the goal but we fail to flood the goal and the Argentinians clear the goal each time.

We trade breakaways and tackles for the first half of the game and there is no score. We can hold them but we're failing to drop enough players on the bottom to support our drive into their zone and in front of their goal.

In the second half, two of our players are thrown out for stick fouls. We defend with four and the Argentinians slam it in for the first score of the game. No one panics. We play on and during an advantage puck stop in play, I call a time out to give the starters a full minutes rest.

It pays off. We drive into their goal and score. The refs confer and call it a penalty goal, but it should have been a no call since the puck went into the goal right after the foul. The game is tied. In the final minute, they are down a player and we have advantage puck in front of their goal, but we fail to score. The game ends in a draw.

We should have won the game but we'll take the draw against a very good team. A few players stood out for me. Quantum as usual and I thought Eric Mai had a great game. Ben Leo showed intensity and tenacity but made a senseless foul for a trip to the penalty box. Ben's play, however, has earned him a chance to start tomorrow. If he performs, the starting position will be his to keep.

Colombia and Australia tomorrow.

PS Watch #122 M19 ARG vs USA here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCWtMx4WKBI

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Jul
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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

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Jul
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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.