So, the new season is upon us. 4 pre season games played, and things don’t look quite as “bad” as they may have seemed during the summer. Yes, our roster is still a bit on the light side, but on the ice they have generally looked to be a team which may prove to be more than just the sum of its parts.
So, pre season recap: 4 games played, 2 wins, 1 tie, and one (heavy) loss. First game was a road trip to Swindon. I didn’t go, but by all accounts, we looked good, if a little rusty (obviously). The first home game at Deeside, I did go to. And it was damned impressive. One thing that will help us against most teams is the sheer pace some of our guys have. Sartek is like shit of a shovel, and will easily outpace pretty much any D in the league from a standing start. Forward line combos looked pretty good, with Kovar taking charge in the “Tony Hand” role of elder statesman and playmaker. O’Flaherty also looked very tidy indeed, with a decent injection of pace and some very good looking hands.
Following this was a double header weekend against the Telford Tigers, in the “RED Hockey Cup”. A by all accounts spirited win in Telford was again followed up by a home game at Deeside.
Call it being brought down to earth with a bump. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe the Tigers were just pissed from the night before and wanted revenge. Whatever it was we got mauled, pure and simple. Shipping 9 goals is never pleasant, especially at home, but that is what happened. But, it is from games like this that the team will learn and grow. It is still far, far too early to draw any meaningful conclusions about how the team will perform, so I’m more than happy to chalk it up to experience and move on.
What a lovely rink it bloody well is. The seating and public areas are all lovely and clean. The toilets work and are not mould riddled. And the ice. Oh, the ice! First up, it is a lovely, big 60m by 30m pad, so that opens up the quick, open passing game Tony Hand clearly wishes to play, so expect to see our forwards trying to stretch opposition D men right across the ice for maximum impact on the breaks. And it is smooth. Not wanting to sound like I am doing too much Altrincham bashing, but this ice pad is in a different league compared to there. It just looks so much better maintained it is almost hard to believe it is essentially the same substance.
And the fans. Oh, you wonderful, amazing, beautiful fans. Those who would deride our club claimed you wouldn’t travel to Deeside. Too far. Too much. Well, us Faithful seem to be having none of it. 2 games, and both time the crowd has been over 700. Full seating blocks. People standing (I’m going to miss the netting when the plexi is installed) at the end… truly wonderful.
Onwards and upwards, folks.