Tuesday saw the start of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (Pool-B) in Tomakomai in Japan.
The team have started to adjust to the +9 hours time difference and are more rested and relaxed now.
After an early breakfast at 6.30am the team had a 50 minute on-ice practice session from 9am. We used to session to get used to the speed of the ice and work a bit on breakout drills.
The afternoon was quite tight with little time for the players to relax. We ate as a team at 12 and then left fr the rink together at 12.45.
Our opening game was against the top seeded team in the tournament, the Czech Republic. Although they only arrived in Japan the night before, they were a very well drilled team, and you could see why they should be up in Pool-A and are often at the Paralympics. their passing was crisp during the game (after being rather wayward in their training session early that morning) and they were very accurate with their shooting.
The loss was hard for the who team to take, not so much the score, but more the fact that we forgot the basics and made simple errors which the Czechs punished us for,
After Dinner we had a team meeting to go over the game and take the key learning’s. As a coach I re-watched the game and analysed each of the goals to understand where things broke down, watching the previous 60-90 seconds prior to the goal being scored as mistakes aren’t always immediately before the puck hits the net.
Wednesday we play the host nation, who beat Slovakia 3-1 in Tuesdays late game, and we know where we nee to improve.
Despite the disappointment of the game, it’s been great to see the support from back home on Social Media, and all of the team appreciate the support we are getting.
Onwards and Upwards !!