Monday, June 1, 2009

2009 North America Pepsi Cup

It was downright hot today and warm most of the weekend. So it was an odd feeling to grab my coat, a blanket, and put on long pants and shoes before I headed our the door. Want to take a guess as to where we spent this summery weekend? If you have been following my blog for awhile you might be able to tell... thats right, we went to the ice rink. Nolan was asked to play in the 2009 North America Pepsi Cup hockey tournament. He along with 19 other Moorhead kids all born in the year 2000, got the opportunity to play in 5 games this weekend.

It was a weekend of firsts for many of them. Their first full ice game. They skated real periods of 17 minutes. They learned to change shifts on the fly. They got to dress in a college locker room and leave their gear there all weekend. They had refs and were called for real penalties. The aggressive ones were excited to test out the penalty box and smirked sheepishly as they were hauled off to the sin bin for tripping or slashing with their sticks.

We played teams from Minnesota and North Dakota and Canada. We lost two and won two. And when we lost, we lost huge. And when we won, it felt especially good. Most of these teams had a lot more experience than we did traveling to tournaments and playing together

Our kids came together for 3 practices and then played in their first game. So we were plenty proud when they could just keep some of the games as close as they were. But for most of us, this wasn't so much about winning and losing. It was more about learning how to be on a team and work together. About passing the puck, instead of hogging it. About looking for your wingers, instead of skating it in alone. And about supporting each other, whether a score is made or a goal is missed.

The lessons learned were many. They learned that locker rooms stink. Really. Bad. They learned that red gatorade dumped on white skate laces makes them very pink! They learned that letting the puck out of their zone meant they had to chase it down quick, and gets really, really tiring. They learned that losing hurts. Winning feels great. And beating Roseau, our arch rivals in high school hockey, is an awesome feeling!

But the biggest lesson perhaps, is not one that any of them could articulate. But like Herb Brooks, the legendary coach of the USA Olympic Gold medal winning hockey team in the 1980's said “You're looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back." In the end, I think the boys took their first baby steps towards doing just that.


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14 comments:

  1. Gosh, I didn’t realize how much padding they were. Great lesson learnt. I think team sports are an important part of childhood learning too.

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  2. Liss, when you see the hits they take and how much time they dive and fall on the ice, you'll know why they do!!

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  3. What an amazing experience!! I bet he felt like a rock star in that locker room [once he got past the smell, that is...]

    I love sports for just this reason... with the right coach and the right parenting, there are so many great life lessons to be learned.

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  4. Very cool! Ryan would have LOVED to be a part of that. He's a 1999 baby. Either way, we had never heard of that. Sounds like it was fun. Very cool to do that.

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  5. Gitz, yeah I think they all felt like rock stars and it was really cute to see.

    Bonnie, plant the seed in Thad's head now, for next year. He could round up the 1999's and have an amazing team! I'm sure lots of people would jump on board.

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  6. Love these photos! Did you or Rick take these? I'm glad it was so much fun...and so chilly, that's kinda nice...it's 89* here today!

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  7. Robin, yes, Rick took these :) I have never been able to achieve the results he has. Although I am working at it!

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  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!! And yes teamwork is what it is all about. When they win it's a team win. Took the whole team to score the goal. :)

    We won one and tied one this week end in soccer.
    I scorched my nose which I am quite upset about lol
    Knew better than to sit in the sun.

    :)

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  9. That is some kind of serious suiting up. Wow!

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  10. What a great experience! The pictures are awesome! I love the pink skates line!

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  11. Vic, hope the nose is on the mend!

    Libby, head to toe padding, and its quite necessary.

    Missy, it really was a great experience all the way around :)

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  12. Guess he did know about it, but alas, Ryan wasn't the right age.
    To be honest, this two month break from hockey was NICE. Blueline starts next week...

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  13. I really enjoyed that and your photos were great. I didnt realise how much padding they wore either. You mean they allowed a lady in the locker rooms? lol!

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  14. Bonnie, and now we're one week in and its going fast :) Yea!!

    Lilly, thanks, but I take no credit for hubbies photos... lucky for me he lets me use them :) Mine are no where near his quality as hockey can be really hard to shoot!

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