Game 5, Belgium, and I had a massive blank spot in my memory. Couldn't remember anything about it! Then when I went to the video, I was sitting out the game, ok that made more sense, Andre and Rob were both taking some time at goalie in there.
I thought I must have been at home sick and sleeping like a proper old man until I finally twigged that I had been up in the stands taking tactical notes. Cheekily trying to watch both screens, as USA were playing France at the same time in the other court. I don't think I got many useful notes for Benny to be honest, but I meant well.
In an effort to make this post a bit more visual, here is a photo of our fantastic Coach Benson at his most endearing.
Here also is a nice pic of room-mates Nick and Rob snoozing in between games. It did get a bit cramped having to share single beds between two towards the end of the comp I must admit but we all just got on with it.
Belgium, I actually coached the U23 Belgium guys team in Holland in 2011. Ben Tilly did a bunch of coaching there and there could be a slight Kiwi flavour to their hockey if you look closely for it I think, although they have now found a frenchman to coach them and are doing a more french 3-3 from the look of it.
There were some super keen guys there very committed to their hockey when I coached and a couple had moved on into the Elites in Quebec, so it was nice to see guys like Andy at the comp, and see around our corridors as well as they came to see that most popular of Canadian tourist attractions, the home-made icebath in the end cubicle in the toilets down there. Some of our guys had made a bunch of mates in the Belgian team while living in Europe too so there was a lot of gossiping around the place as people caught up with events.
One of our NZ brothers Ty was coaching the Belgian womens team which added yet another connection, and Ty kindly did a pretty sweet job of commentating our game for us too.
The Belgians had a new group of fresh young guys, pretty fit, very keen, almost all of them having their first experience of a worlds competition, and a couple of older heads. For the amount of experience in the group I thought they looked really good. Hopefully they can keep that young keen core together for a few years, if they can do that they have every chance of doing what Spain have recently done and be pushing and beating the top teams.
Not long into the game, someone tried to go sideways on an adv puck in front of goal and took his eye off the charging forward for a second... Ben Pav is like a shark that smells blood in the water in these situations.
Take your eyes off him for a second and he will do this to you (or eat your lunch before you get back to the table and then say Nick did it).
The score was 6-0 at halftime and at 12mins to go in the second half, when the guys found a few holes and put in a flurry of 5 goals in 5 minutes which broke the rhythm of the game entirely, but then the Belgian guys sorted things and steadied the ship for the remainder, game ended with a big score though 14-0.
Here is the NZ girls pulling off a mint deep switch goal against the Aussies in their RR game a little later on...
Nicely done, that game was a first half blow-out of 6-0 for NZ and then flipped with Aussie winning the second half 2-1 and rueing some loose early passages. Here's another highlight of Emma Raes super duper puckling skills
Round and round like a washing machine, nice.
Forgot to put up the guilty photo of myself and Rob in the bin against Aus. Here it is.
We did a jokey game before the comp started where the whole group essentially eliminated one by one the people they thought least likely to be sinbinned, leaving at the end the guy that collectively the team thinks will get the most sinbin minutes. The team totally stitched me up, and left me last. I couldn't believe it, I'm such a gentle guy, how could they think that I would be the most binnedest player. Plus they are all way dirtier than me.
But so far so good anyway, 5 games down, only 2 mins on the board. No goals either.
Next post, we might have a look around to other grades, try to remember some non-game happenings and other corridor antics.