Winning a Big Game

I had a special coaching experience last week.

Over two weeks ago I took over as head coach of a junior team. There were 8 games left in the regular season and the team was in last place in their division. That was the bad news. The good news was the GM had put together a talented team-something he has done consistently over his career in junior hockey.

It came down to winning the final game of the season, on the road, and against the team we needed to beat out for the final playoff stop.

The deal was simple. Win and make the playoffs—lose and the season was over.

What needed to happen? Our best players had to be our best players, we had to at least match the effort of the other team, every player had to do their part, and we had to have fun.

What actually happened? All of the above; top line scored three goals, we worked hard all game, and every player tried to fulfill their individual roles. Winning the game was a lot of fun.

And did I mention that their goaltender was great—and our guy was a little bit better!

Got to go. First playoff game tonight.

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