JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: May, 2010

Quick tourney conclusion update

by barbaragarn

The Multiple Personalities took Tier B, but all games were very close and I’m glad things went so well.

Tier A was more challenging with players all over the map–not to mention an injury during a critical game. The Cold Warriors took Tier A.

I hope everyone had a good time. Stat sheets are being scanned now and will be up at 9 p.m. or soon thereafter.

First day tourney battles fierce!

by barbaragarn

A dizzying day of hockey had at Bloomington Ice Gardens today! Without further adieu, let’s jump into the results:

Time Division Home Away Scoresheet
8 AM A One-timers 5 Cold Warriors 9
8 AM B Multiple Personalities 5 Five Hole 3
12:30 PM A Big House Blades 11 One-timers 1
12:30 PM B Ãœbermites 3 Multiple Personalities 1
6 PM A Cold Warriors 5 Big House Blades 4
6 PM B Team Five Hole 4 Ãœbermites 2

In Division A, a sizzling rivalry heating up between Big House Blades and Cold Warriors — the Cold Warriors edge out the Big House Blades tonight by a goal. No doubt their matchup tomorrow will be a great game.

Division B is less clear – all three teams have 1 win and 1 loss, making it impossible to determine seeds based off of record right now. According to the rules, in the event of a point tie, seeds will be determined by goals scored for within first three games. That makes the current seeds as follows:

  1. Team Five Hole – 7 goals for
  2. Multiple Personalities – 6 goals for
  3. Ãœbermites – 5 goals for

This makes tomorrow’s 8 AM Division B game the Ãœbermites vs Multiple Personalities.

Pitfalls of a newbie hockey team

by barbaragarn

With the JMS tournament nigh, I thought I would write a blog on beginner hockey teams. I’ve been a part of many beginner teams, and after some time have come to realize the parts that are really tough for new teams to deal with.

Disclaimer: If you have played a lot of competitive hockey, many of these things are second nature and may not be of any of use to you. Some of the advice below, at higher levels, may be outright wrong. For the rest, please benefit from my many mistakes.
Switching lines
There’s a simple trick to switching lines correctly. After they’ve been assigned, identify the player that’s coming on the ice right before you and identify the player that takes the ice after you get to the bench. This way, you know that when #42 is coming towards the benches, you should be ready to hop on the ice, and if you are coming off the bench, you should be yelling to #16 to take your place on the ice.
Stay single minded and do not worry about the positions around you. If everyone followed this rule, there would never, ever be any too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties.
Also, the JMS axiom of “if you’re tired — get off the ice!” couldn’t be more true here. In fact, take whatever time you typically play for at a JMS shift and halve it — whatever is that amount is how much you should be playing out for in a competive game. You need to put 100% of your energy into the play, 100% of the time. Are you at 95%? Time to get off the ice. 
It’s just a penalty — don’t panic!
If you’re on the penalty kill, you’ll need to drop a position temporarily. If your team hasn’t discussed how this will work out, you’ll need to do this on the fly. This is not a big deal! It’s very simple. If the player in the penalty box is a forward, drop that player’s position. If the player’s position has already been dropped previously due to penalties, drop a different position as a replacement (so everyone gets equal icetime).
If the player in the box is a defender you’ll need to make a decision about which position to drop very quickly. Usually it’s best to drop a forward as you probably won’t have many defensive players in the first place.
If your captain has not made a decision within 20 seconds of a penalty — speak up! Make a decision yourself, make sure everyone the bench understands and agrees to it. The _worst_ thing that can happen in this situation is indecisiveness. Indecision leads to not getting people on the ice when they should be out there, or worse yet a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty (Don’t believe me? Look at the AHA D2 stats and see how often this penalty comes up during games)
Pulling the goalie
This is going to be a highly debatable point. Pulling the goalie is one of those things thats just a cornerstone of hockey. One minute to go and down by a goal? Pull the goalie! No point in not doing it, right? What do you have to lose?
Well, the truth is, if your team isn’t prepared and hasn’t set aside a plan for pulling the goalie, it’s probably more detrimental to your chance of winning than helpful. I’d argue that pulling a goalie while the play is live is one of the hardest plays that a beginner team can execute.
So many things have to go right in order to even have a CHANCE at being successful:
  • Everyone on the team must know exactly which player needs to jump out on the ice to replace the goalie
  • That sixth player must know immediately after getting on the ice whether he needs to play more defensively or aggressively
  • A player must be ready to open the door for the goalie skating off the ice (Believe it or not they can’t jump over the boards with all that equipment on). I’ve seen this one bite so many teams in the ass I can’t even begin to count — the players are so transfixed on watching the play that no one remembers to open the door.
  • All players on the ice need to immediately recognize the focus of the game should not be aggressively attacking the opponent’s zone, but rather controlling the puck so a simple mistake does not ruin any chances. This is especially true at the beginner level where mistakes are common.
That said – is it worth it to pull the goalie? That will be up to your team. If you have a face-off in the offensive zone with a minute to go, go for it. Otherwise — discuss this with your team before hand. If it has not been discussed, do not assume it is the best option for your team at that moment.
I hope everyone enjoys the tournament, there is nothing quite like the spirit of a competitive hockey game. May team #6 win 🙂


Come play in the tournament

by barbaragarn

The JMS “Spring Fever Face-Off” tournament is just three weeks away, and we’re making a final push to get some more players.

If you’re debating, it’s time to jump in. If you’re already in, tell your pals they should sign up too! Click the “Tourney” tab above for all the details.

For those wondering, YES, we have enough skaters and everyone will get four games as promised. But I’m hoping for four teams per tier, not three. Can you help spread the word?

I need to make the call by Thursday, May 13 and will set teams based on rosters at that point, though we will accept late registrations as long as space permits.

Top 10 Reasons to Play in the Tournament

1. Play on a team with your friends, or against them.
We’ve changed the rules to allow pals to request playing together, though of course we will set all teams for parity. Basically, the rule change means you can skate with your pals without worrying about someone else sneakily courting all the top players to build a Mega Team of Ringers.

2. Goodies!
You’ll get a tournament tee shirt (and how awesome will that look in the grocery store or at the health club?!?) and the winners of each tier (25% or 33% of skaters, depending) will get slick trophies for display on your desk at work, mantel over fireplace or other bragging spot.

3. Play in a refereed game.
Many JMSers have never played a game with a real ref. We will have two per game and they’ll be using standard USAH regulations. I’m selecting patient ones who won’t just call the game, but are patient with beginners and can explain infarctions if necessary. What is it really like to play with a real referee? Stop wondering and come find out.

4. Tune up before summer season.
Perhaps you have played so much pick-up that you have forgotten what the whistle means? Or perhaps your legs have had a vacation from striving at game pace? Get back into it with four games of tournament play.

5. Experience a “real game” scenario.
Lots of JMSers have never had their own hockey team. This is your chance to create those bonds with the folks you’ll play in the tournament with. Line strategies, locker room pregame strategies and post-game recaps, speculating on your next opponent, all that fun stuff.

6. Brag about your hockey marathon.
Four games in two days! Yes, of course you can do it. And think how awesome you will feel later, having done it and knowing you did it. Monday morning, you will be tired, but in the very best way. And you’re on vacation that day anyway, aren’t you?

7. It’s good for you!
You’re going to sit around on vacation, eat vacation food, right? Burn a bunch of calories before you go… between 5,490 (for a 240-pound person) and 2,635 (for a 120-pound person) and then you can feel good about taking a week off from exercising. And the tourney schedule (over early Sunday) means you can still play and get up north that weekend, too.

8. The stories and the experience.
In the months after the tourney, you’ll hear people discussing it in the locker room, reliving the games. Don’t just sit on the sidelines! Jump in and be a part of the event, not an onlooker. Sign up to be part of the stories, help shape the plays and the outcome of your team, instead of hearing other people reminisce about the fun later, and wishing you’d been involved.

9. All hockey atmosphere.
Two days of concentrated hockey! The environment will be focused on the games you’re playing. Get there early to size up the other team, talk about players you know and how they’re faring and what you can expect when you meet them on the ice. For two days, you’ll be intent on plays, performance and strategy to bring your team to the top.

10. Because it’s fun!
Hockey = fun. More hockey = more fun! This will be an amazing and awesome weekend of hockey. You love the game, come dive into it.

Click the “Tourney” tab above to see more details and register to play. Cost is just $80 for four games, a tee shirt and a trophy if you win. Hope to see you there!