View Full Version : SpeedHockey Results
09-14-2003, 04:32 PM
Team Canada defeated Team USA, 10-8, in last night's SpeedHockey International exhibition game. I'm working on the story for the Home Page right now. Look for it a little later today.
Inline Hockey Central
How many spectators showed? I am going to the one in Trenton, I cannot wait!
09-15-2003, 07:45 AM
I haven?t seen much in terms of details about the game especially from someone not associated with the organization (you know they have to tell you how great it is no matter what they really think). It drives me nuts when I can?t find info so I thought I?d just add a few thoughts on the inaugural game last night (okay, more than a few, but I hope it helps):
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first arrived. When you get there, you see how tiny the rink is and can?t imagine how anyone bigger than 3 feet tall would have any room to move anywhere. It reminded me of one of the cage matches in wrestling where you throw a bunch of guys into a small space and let them go at it ?til the last man is standing. You could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. For those of you around during the old RHI days, the sight of Bob Elder on the rink introducing the game and the players brought back some fond memories. It was pretty funny, though, how the guys were getting called onto the rink during the players? introductions and couldn?t find the door! They looked pretty silly skating around trying to find their way in. The opening was a bit rough---besides the players getting lost, Elder forgot to announce two of them and the singer got words wrong to both the US and Canadian anthems!
The beginning of the game was pretty slow. It felt like you were watching a bunch of boys playing pick up; you could tell the guys weren?t used to the dimensions of the rink and were trying to get their bearings straight. (I was very happy at this point I had some wine before the game, because I thought it might be the only way I could get through four periods of this =). I have to admit, though---I was pleasantly surprised as the game went on! It felt like the pace and the intensity of the game started to really pick up especially when the younger kids started hitting more (yes I am a fan of the big checks in hockey). There weren?t very many shots on net at first, but once the boys started figuring out what kind of space they had and got used to playing with the other guys on their line, they got much more creative with the puck. Because of the angle of the boards in the corners, guys could bank the puck from across the rink in the opposite corner and have it bounce right in front of the net to a player coming up the slot (all those days in geometry class and playing pool finally paid off). The rubber bumpers seemed conducive to more ?true? bounces off the boards and the puck appeared to be able to lie flat more. It seemed like you had to be more skilled with your stickhandling than skate fast because the dimensions of the rink didn?t allow the guys to ever hit top speed. Chris Graves finally opened up the scoring 7:36 (?) into the game. (By the way, it was pretty interesting how they started the game. They put the puck in the middle of the rink. The fans counted down, at the end of which, the players had a free-for-all for the puck; kind of like steal-the-bacon!). As the game went on, a lot of the comments I heard revolved around the size of the nets. The goalies were way too good so it didn?t leave much room for the guys to shoot, but they were able to start sneaking some shots by them. Seems like it?d be a little more exciting if they changed the dimensions of the net---not necessarily higher, but maybe wider so the goalies actually had to move more side to side (especially since it is more of an East-West kind of game).
The action seemed to come in spurts---there were times when it got fast and furious and others where there were lulls and few shots. The fans got way into it, though, when Oliver David and Chris Graves went at it. It was a great fight---David ended up with his jersey pulled off as the fists were flying (didn?t know he could throw some good lefties in there!!). He graciously hammed it up for the crowd, throwing his arms up in the air getting the fans on their feet. I was disappointed that they got game misconducts and were kicked out for the rest of the game; it would have been interesting to see what would have happened on their next shifts. I know some disagree with fighting in hockey, but I think knowing that there was a chance you could get beat up pretty bad if you were way dirty would help keep the game a little cleaner especially without the refs being on the rink. I liked that the goalies were way more active. Funny seeing the goalies shoot on each other and even better when Skoryna rubbed out Jensen on the boards when he came out to play the puck and gave him a good ?love tap?!! There was only one penalty that I can remember; it didn?t seem like the players or the linesmen/refs knew what to do when it happened. The game was close throughout. I liked that a team could come back even in the last few seconds, because it made the guys skate hard all the way until the end. It was exciting, because even though the Canadians were up 10-8, you knew the US team could tie it up with a 2-pt. goal (there weren?t as many 2 pt. shots as I expected, but I think it was because there were too many bodies in the way for the shot to get through).
Overall, I think the night went well and that the game looks very promising. There are some changes I think need to be made, but it sounded like they were willing to try different things to make it more fan-friendly. The refs were sitting on top of the net in a chair; they were out there, vulnerable, ready to get pelted on the back of the head at any moment if they made a bad call. I?m sure many of you have fantasized about pulling a ref down and beating him senseless, and unless they end up putting him in some sort of box like NHL goal judges, that could happen. Considering the De La Hoya/Mosley fight was going on at the same time, there were a decent amount of people there. It was awesome to hear the fans chanting, ?U-S-A. U-S-A? in the final periods. It was also good to see all the old Bullfrog fans wearing some old player jerseys. I know some came out thrilled to see past RHI players; name recognition is going to be extremely important for the fans. When I had asked people beforehand if they knew who any of the players were, most could only name guys like Arsenault and St. Cyr and that was only because they were theirs or their kids? coaches (at least that brought them out in the first place). I would love to see the enthusiasm from the young kids blossom---you should have seen how delighted they were to meet the guys and get their autographs. I was also highly impressed with the demeanor of the younger players. For example, at the end of the game, the guys headed back to the lockerroom or for interviews. French ends up coming back onto the rink to pick up not only his own stick off the bench, but the sticks of his whole team. As he was skating back to the lockerroom, they had to call him back to wave to the fans since he was voted the first Star of the game. He did his little bit, went back to pick up the sticks and went about his business. You could tell how humble he was. Here he was playing with some of the best guys in roller hockey and being voted the top player out there that night, yet it didn?t seem to go to his head. His humility is admirable and shows what a great role model he and guys like Sharp, Beilstein and Morris will be for the young kids out there who look for players and a level to aspire to. But don?t count out the ?old guys?. It was great seeing Belanger and Gervais out there---even though they?ve been around for a long time, their competitive nature came out and they showed they still have tremendous playing abilities. It was fantastic seeing the players from the past play with the next generation, but you could tell they aren?t ready to completely pass the torch yet.
If you are thinking of going to the game in New Jersey, go. Go with an open mind. I?ve read the negative comments out there. No, it?s not traditional roller hockey. Yes, it is ANOTHER attempt at a pro league and yes, it will take some getting used to. But remember, it?s a way to get the game out there. Pro Beach hockey was goofy and it did give the average person a skewed idea of what the game is about, but without it, people wouldn?t even know roller hockey existed. At least it brought the game to the average sports fan; it got them curious enough to ask me about the game I love and play. It reminds me of Pro Beach Volleyball. It was big for awhile, then you didn?t hear anything for years and now I see it on TV every weekend. It took time, but it?s slowly getting more and more exposure. And for those of you who feel the need to continue to criticize especially without having anything constructive to say, here is one of my favorite quotes: ?There are those who go about sharpening their egos on the grindstones of others? failures?. Don?t be an ass and just whine and complain to make yourselves feel better; go to the game, give it a chance, then help them put out something that will enable our sport to grow.
Good luck to all of you involved with Speed Hockey. I look forward to seeing you again in 2004!
09-15-2003, 11:30 AM
Fantastic (and fair) post. Great job! Would you like to write for IHC for free and tons of appreciation? /wtimages/icons/wink.gif
I put together a piece on the event yesterday; check out the Home Page for "Game On!" I think I forgot to mention the goalies taking shots; thanks for the reminder!
Keep posting. You did a super job.
Inline Hockey Central
09-15-2003, 11:32 AM
I guessed 400. Between 300-500, for sure.
Inline Hockey Central
09-15-2003, 08:10 PM
i attended the game on saturday and agree with you on a lot of things. it was a good game and interesting set-up but the rink could have been a bit bigger, maybe 90' or 95' per side. also the goals seemed to be 4'x4' and could be wider but not taller. the rubber along the lower boards really creates some interesting plays.
One major disappointment was the amount of hacking and cheap shots that were being thrown. from my angle (behind the net next to the boards...i saw a lot of guys holding each others sticks in areas where the refs (on the bench) couldn't see what was going on. it seemed like there were no rules especially since only one penalty was called, maybe the league designers want to see the level of physical play and then establish penalties.
In my opinion, once the players have a lot of practice time getting used to the rink and start using the rubber boards the game will be a lot better. I know this was the first game ever played but after these first two games, speedhockey could have a good future once they fix and tweak a few things.
09-16-2003, 09:59 AM
Is this the only sport that doesn't get to practice in the arena in which they'll play? It may be awhile before you see quality plays of the banking passes and 2 pt shots.
09-18-2003, 08:59 PM
some of the guys were practicing on the rink for a few weeks to months before the game but most players like victor just flew in for the event and there we 4 players who made the teams through tryouts so they had no practice time.
hopefully when there are 12 established teams, these teams will get more practice time on the rinks.
09-23-2003, 09:01 AM
How many of these "rink" setups do you think exist? Not many. When I meant practice I meant on the same type of "field" that they play on. Only roller rinks have those kind of corners.
10-15-2003, 11:02 PM
Is anyone going to the game in Trenton?
10-16-2003, 12:06 PM
I will be at the tryout tonight at Marple, anybody else going to be there?? If not im sure to be a spectator at the game.
Its just not fun unless you stand in front of it!
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