View Full Version : two years later...
02-02-2005, 08:22 AM
I have taken the liberty of starting a new thread on "the Lindenwood Championship game." I find that, like Coach Jason, that game has impacted our sport in a variety of ways, some good, some bad...
It did come up in the USAHIL rule book committee conference in December, but no rule was made. Instead, roller hockey referees are being directed that the rule demanding that a player/team "keep the puck in motion," demands motion through different parts of the floor, not simple movement of the puck by a single player back and forth in one position. Theoretically, a team could "play catch" between two players behind the net if they were good enough, but there would be some ability for the opponents to intercept the pass...
I am also interested in hearing from IHC readership of other incidents and situations that have arisen from the Lindenwood "situation." How has that game impacted our sport, now, with a two-years-later perspective?
Here's my contribution...
August 2003, USAHIL Youth Nationals in Atlanta...our rec select team, as 8th seed, is playing quarterfinal game vs #1 seed Cooler team. These guys are obviously a level waaay above our guys in skill level, but our guys have been playing a patient, collapsing, clogging defense (almost the whole game in our end), and, with 9 minutes to go in the game, we are only behind 2-1.
The Cooler team gets a penalty, and to kill it, they go into a stall. I, as the coach, call time out at the first whistle. I explain to our players that, if we "go at them," they will use their superior 1-on-1 skills to simply burn us for breakaway after breakaway. I advise our team to let them sit there, we wait at the red line, and pick them up as they come down, just like we have been doing effectively all game. If they choose to sit on their one-point lead for the entire rest of the game, then we match up man-to-man, and go at them all over the floor, when the game gets down to the two minute mark.
My logic in this is that, we are playing the rest of the game for the next goal. If we get it, then it's a tie game, and anything can happen. If they get the next goal, then the game is essentially over. Should we try to outplay a superior team for nine minutes, or if they are foolish enough to allow us, should we just wait, and then only need to outplay them (if we can) for two minutes, for the chance to tie/win?
Gee, guess which one I picked...I felt the other coach was making a mistake, letting us have the opportunity to "get lucky" for the shorter period of time, but I encouraged our players to just let the puck sit there until the two minute mark, even through our power play.
With 2:36 left, they went back into action. They got the next goal, we didn't, and they took the game. Our players knew they had played very well, but the fallout from non-understanding parents was immense. I was labeled a coach who "didn't know what he was doing," and several kids were pulled from my program the following year.
I must believe that the Cooler coach came up with the time-wasting stall, as a tactic, from the example of the Lindenwood game, and it has effected my local program ever since.
Interested in other perspectives...
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
02-02-2005, 10:13 AM
The "stall" technique has been used all over for years, not just the Lindenwood game. Any high level team, at any age, uses this to control the game and allow the other team to make mistakes. I created a PK that rather then dumping the puck when the short handed team gets it, the player skates behind his own goal and the 2 others go to the half boards. The three players play "catch" along the boards and force the attacking team to collapse since they want the puck so bad. When they do, I send the weak forward full speed up the court and have the guy with the puck launch it over to him for a 1-on-0 breakaway. I also have been played against where the puck carrier skates in across the red line, doesnt like what he sees, then turns back around and tries again, and again, and again until someone messes up and then it works. To defend this type of playing, you need to set some type of a trap where players are covering for others and hopefully you will surprise the other team and pick off a few passes, or keep them on the outside. You have to plug that middle and back check to not allow the odd-man rushes and drop passes. I have had some refs give my team penalties for skating around our own net when in having the puck and not liking what they see.
Just a few comments....
02-02-2005, 10:17 AM
I know nothing of the Lindenwood game, but I have read many of these posts. Two words. PRACTICE FORECHECKING ! If your guys aren't good enough to take the puck away or force bad passes, then that's your own fault. Ragging (passing or holding) the puck is a common weapon used at the end of roller hockey games and teams need to be prepared for it. If your team is not on the "same level" and your worried about guys getting beat 1 on 1, then get your guys to bust there asses in practice to get that same level.
I have to question your strategy to shorten the game, especially when your team goes on the power play. Your strategy might have made more sense if the score was like 9-8 or something, but you only scored 1 goal all game. Seems to me that you might have needed all of those 7 minutes to get your second goal. Big mistake giving u that power play. That power play was your golden opportunity ! Your time to press should have been done on the power play and you should not have been worrying about the last 2 minutes of the game at that point. You could not have been worried about a shorthanded goal ???
02-02-2005, 11:09 AM
That's why I like check hockey. You can punish them for playing catch. If they know they are going to get hit just as they release the puck then they will goof up the pass and it can get picked off. The way around it in a non-check game is to get ahead and stay ahead or take that chance of getting burned. I agree with Falcons77 in stepping up your game. If it isn't your time to win then it isn't.
02-02-2005, 04:53 PM
You all three are correct. If this is a disparity between sets of players, then the incumbancy is on the lower-skilled set to train to get better...that indeed becomes the task at hand.
I wasn't disparaging either the rule, the application of refs, nor the tactical play of the Lindenwood team. In this case it was exactly the disparity of the two levels of play that dictated a "stand back" response to the opponents' stall.
The fact is, if we had gone one-on-one at them, then they would have burned us for a breakaway, power play or not. That USAHIL allows a recreation league team to enter a national tournament is a feather in their cap, in my opinion, but the lower level team (in this case, us) needs to be aware of what they are going to come up against.
We might also note that several of these (two years ago, as 14's) novice players (good skills, but "novice" at the national level), have now developed into legitimate players as 16/17's...it is to their credit that they saw they were a lower level group, and have indeed worked hard in the interim to make themselves better. They are now under another coach, and we'll see how they stack up this year.
I have nothing negative to say about either our players, nor our opponents. However, obviously, some of you disagree with my coach' assessment, believing that we should have tried to go at them, especially when we were a man up. I have no way of demonstrating to you my assessment that they would have taken us to the cleaners at that point, such was the gap in skill level. We were there, at that situation in the tournament (playoff game as last place seed vs. first place seed), and we did the best we could, our players following my coaching direction. The fact remains that this team could/should have mercied us, but there we were, only down 2-1, with a shot at "the next goal," to make something happen. It was a patient defense, biding time, waiting for a chance opportunity, that had gotten us that far, and I chose to stay with that as the phiosophy to dictate my decision making...
Part of my frustration at parents' negative response toward me was that I had put this team together only to give the opportunity to the kids to play, this was not my team, their coach didn't want to go to the event. I even arranged for that coach's kid to go, picking him up at an airport en route cross-country to Atlanta. The team had only three practices together before we went (the core unit, plus a couple of add-ons, as allowed by tourney regs). That parents did not see the situation (skill disparity) for what it was is indeed my frustration...
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
02-03-2005, 12:05 PM
You called it as you felt it that day with those players. Can't fault a coach for that. I do have to say that I hate UNC basketball for the same stuff (4 corners) that Dean Smith used to pull. (I'm sure I'll get crushed for that!) You can foul those players in that instance and take your chances but can get burned too.
02-03-2005, 05:27 PM
Since this is in the collegiate hockey board, I'll bring this discussion back to college hockey... ;)
This year I've actually seen several instances of a "reverse-Lindenwood" strategery being used in the ECRHA. The first, and less prominent, is the University of Pennsylvania. During the ECRHA preseason event this year, UPenn was given a fairly significant schedule, playing Pittsburgh, Drexel A, and Drexel B. I play for Drexel A, and I remember this game as incredibly frustrating for me as a Forward. We controlled the puck against UPenn for a large majority of the game, however, UPenn plays a defensive style which we've dubbed the Box.. in which their 4 players, in a full-strength situation, form a tight, rotating box around the slot, limiting penetration and forcing outside shots... this, in theory, should work very well for them, since they have a VERY strong goaltender. However, in our game, we were able to simply shoot so much that we were bound to score. The final score was 7-5, if I remember correctly this defensive style, forcing outside shots from the points, caused several turnovers and scoring chances for them. In the same weekend, and I can only assume playing the same style, UPenn held Pitt A to only 5 goals.
The second actually is a "reverse-Lindenwood". Down in Fredericksburg, Maryland and Towson faced off in a game late Sunday, so not many people were able to watch. The entire first period looked alot like, I would assume, the LU-MSU game, however it was because of Maryland standing still in their on zone, not attacking, not forechecking, and allowing Towson to sit in their own zone playing "catch" for over 4 minutes of clock time. At this point, a towson player took a shot down field, walked through 4 players standing flat-footed, and scored at will. The game seemed over to me at that point. I can only guess the strategy was too not attack, and keep the score close against a very high-powered towson offense, in the hopes of stealing the game late in the 3rd. Didn't work... I missed the second and third periods, but final score 6-2 towson.
What does everyone think? Is this just as bad of a tactic for the sport itself, or is this more (as some seem to think) like DannyG's strategy with his youth team?
**Edit - this is by no means an attack on Either the UMD or UPenn teams for their play.. UPenn's coach is actually a former coach of my own, and I have respect for both clubs enough to hope this post viewed as simply an observation regarding this discussion, not an attack.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Drexel63 on 02/03/05 06:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
02-04-2005, 01:32 AM
I play rec league and have played in two tournments and have seen this style played more in rec then in the tournments. The team I am on know believes in attacking all game and play good defense. I have been in a game where a team played keep away while they where on a penalty kill. I was the one doing most of the forchecking and was more mad at my own teammate for not forchecking.
There has been times where better teams will do stuff when they are blowing a team out so bad that they do not attack. We have no mercy so the score can go very high. The only time I will slow the puck down is on a powerplay or when I want to slow the game down because it is getting crazy with odd man breaks and transition.
I think some of the way of thinking we can thank to the NHL defensive style. Lots of people use that style as the model. From what I remembered rollerhockey was suppose to be a high scoring game. I think we will always have some sort of problem with a particular style that is played. I think it is the nature of the sport.
02-04-2005, 08:08 AM
I would attack early and get the lead then it wouldn't matter how the other team plays. You can only do that type of playing if you have the lead. I do not believe in sheltering a small lead, tho, as I've seen it bite teams by the end of the game.
05-17-2005, 05:14 PM
I think that some of you are missing the point. If one team is better, fine, they are the better team. Whether they stall or attack, they are probably going to win the game. However, what does it turn our sport into when a team stalls the puck the whole game. If you want to blame the offensive team for stalling, great. If you want to blame the defensive team for stalling, great. This debate goes beyond that. SOMETHING needs to be in place to stop this. People have discussed delay of game penalties, shot clocks, x number of seconds to get the puck out of your zone...there are pros and cons to all these ideas. The point is, what must our sport look like to a spectator who has never seen a game before? This is certainly note the fast-paced, high intensity sport that we see 99% of the time.
From a fan's point of view, I would rather see one team win by 10 goals, then see the same team win by 1 goal, but stall the puck for 95% of the game.
From a coach and player's point of view, I would rather take my whooping like man. Burn me 1-on-1, light up the score board. If you are the superior team, and we play head-to-head and you beat my team 10-1, how can I have shame in that. After all, you were the superior team. Sure it sucks to lose by that much, but your team obviously invested the time over the course of the season to develop to that level. You deserve it.
06-29-2005, 01:57 PM
I love to watch a team play what I think of as good smart hockey. The games is all about puck control... If we have the puck they can't score. It's not the most exciting thing to watch but its smart hockey. Any team who plays this style will only really hold the puck to create an odd man rush or break away until they have a comfortable lead.
Im fat, bald, and slow.
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