AP's Coaches Blog; Strong Correlations, E for Effort, Maggie Connors

I woke up this morning to slushy snow on the ground, which is not my forte. So in order to cheer up, I decided to pop over to the DJHL web site to see if my Atom A prediction was coming to fruition early in the season. Ladies and gentleman, your Avalon Capitals (sorry Celtics, you were a separate association when I played so I can't give you the same amount of love) are in first place in the DJHL with a 7-1-2 record. Avalon defeated the St. John's Caps 5-1 on Tuesday night at home, and followed that up with an 8-2 thumping of the NE Eagles on the road the next day. If you wanna get mathematical, Avalon's roster is made up of 88% #xhockeyplayers (15 of the 17 players participate regularly), which might just be a coincidence but for the purpose of this article, we will assume that it is not. LOL. (The second place Caps have 9 regular #xhockeyplayers on their roster, and the third place Paradise Warriors have 10 regular #xhockeyplayers on theirs).

One player that I really enjoy working with is '04 #xhockeyplayer Liam Phelan. Liam started playing hockey a little later in life, but has a great attitude and is a great listener. Liam's development from last year to this year has been really impressive - Liam is getting a lot more time with the puck in the Peewee two line on Sunday, and I don't think that there are 10 players in the program that I can think of who enjoy hockey more than Phelan. Atta boy Liam!

It's too bad that #xhockeyalums Maggie Connors was not selected for the Team Canada U-18 Female National squad; I was really hoping to see her name on the roster because I believe that she has the talent to be there. That being said, I have a lot of respect for the U-18 Head Coach Troy Ryan, and I'm sure that he had a good reason for Connors not being picked. Ryan has always had a strong affection for defensive-minded forwards (and teams in general), so there is a possibility that the offensive-minded Connors did not stand out in his eyes. Maggie has one more year of eligibility remaining, so look for the St. John's native to crack the line up in 2017...

The St. John's Peewee AAA Hitmen defeated the TriCom AAA Thunder twice this past weekend, and in doing so, took sole possession of first place in the NL Peewee AAA standings (I think). The reason why I say 'I think' is because the Provincial AAA web site is sub-par. Game reports are usually hit-or-miss, the news section hasn't been updated since November 18th, and the photo gallery hasn't been updated since dinosaurs roamed the earth in the Mesozoic period. Back on the topic..... the Hitmen played two solid road games against the Thunder, using a recipe of blocked shots, fantastic goaltending, and timely offensive outbursts to pick up the sweep. A lot of players played well in this series, but the play of Liam Bridger has really caught my eye. Bridger has some finish, can play in any situation, and doesn't mind eating a hard clapper from the blue line on the penalty kill. As Don Cherry would say, 'kid's a good kid!'....

Until Next Time,