Cape Cod Canal Challenge Hockey Tournament

This past weekend, Amy and I headed to Bourne, MA for the second annual Cape Cod Canal Challenge women’s hockey tournament. We entered with a team called the Subzeros, which had many of the same people who were on the team from last year’s tournament.

We again entered in the D division, played two of the same teams, and had different results from last year.

Game one was against the ever-strong Rhode Island Raptors. I’m not sure why they entered the tournament in this division, since they are in the C division in both the Walpole league and the South Shore league. At any rate, they were our first challenge. And a challenge it was! The game was at 8 a.m. on Saturday – not a good time for most of us on the team. Ugh. They beat us 1-5. They scored three in the first and two in the second, which meant that we actually tied them in the third period. Guess we were all waking up!

Game two was later that day against the Cape Cod Women’s Hockey League team. We played a lot better against them; they also weren’t as strong a team as R.I. We ended up winning that game 2-1.

Later that evening we watched our friend Steph’s team play against the Quincy Fighting Squirrels. We were not disappointed at seeing some action – holy bad blood between those teams! The refs tried to wrest control of the game in the third period, but by then it was too late. Needless to say, there were some fireworks on the ice as poor Steph’s team couldn’t put the puck in the net to save their lives.

At the civilized hour of 11 a.m. on Sunday we played our third game against the Ice Breakers. If we won we’d be in the championship game against R.I., and if we lost we’d be out. Well, we couldn’t have lost if we had tried. We spent about 90% of the game in their end of the ice and we ended up winning 4-0.

So that put us in the position of having to a.) stick around until Cape traffic was really bad and b.) play Rhode Island again. Fortunately on both counts, neither were horrible! (Seriously – the traffic coming home from the Cape [mind you, we started at the Bourne Bridge so we missed the traffic ON the Cape] was rather light! That never happens.)

But the game against the Raptors was a ton of fun. Why, you ask, since they’d spanked us hard the morning before? Well, our de facto coach-of-the-day Bridget (bless her!) watched the Raptors play a couple of games and figured out how to frustrate them. She took about 15 minutes before the game explaining the two systems she wanted us to run during the game. In our offensive end no one went in deep after the puck. Instead, our wings simply stuck on their wings and didn’t let them get any breakout passes. Our centers picked up all their errant passes and ooooh they didn’t like that. In our defensive zone we simply ran a box defense and didn’t let them get into the middle of the ice. While we didn’t run it perfectly by any stretch of the imagination, we ran both of the systems well enough to TOTALLY piss them off. They got frustrated and annoyed. I poke-checked their two strongest players on at least 2 rushes each. What a change from the earlier game when I wanted to douse myself in orange paint and call myself a traffic cone! Amy drew a couple of penalties – the best was against a player who had been really physical with her all game. She finally cross-checked Amy into the boards (I think it was a cross-check – at least that’s what it looked like from my vantage point 20 feet away) and was immediately whistled to the box. We didn’t capitalize on it, but we held them to a 0-3 score. And against them, that was a victory!

So we ended the weekend with a 2-2 record, and a second-place finish overall. It was a lot of fun, and a nice way to end our tournament season. Now all we have to look forward to this summer are league games twice a week and the 3-day camp up at Dartmouth. The horrors of that little hockey in the summer!!! (I jest, I jest….)