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Final Push To Christmas

The countdown to heading back the US for the holidays has officially begun. But while we all have family and holiday cheer as our final destination of 2012, there is much work to be done before we can celebrate. The league is now up and running after a long break for national team camps and tournaments, and I have to say that it felt like forever! It was difficult to find motivation with only a handful of people at practice but it gave each of us a chance to work on individual skills, which will prove vital in those tough matches.

Today was our first game since the end of October and not being together as a group for several weeks was certainly apparent on the ice. I, unfortunately, have been sick for the past few weeks so I was a spectator for this one, giving me time to reflect on my own game. Not only did our legs seem to slow down, but also playing the least skilled team in the league is always a difficult task. While we started the game sluggish and playing down to the level of our opponents, the third period was a true testament to the mental strength of my teammates. Every point from here on out is important, and the league will remain close until the end. Thus as we continue this uphill journey, we hope to peak at the right time come March. Luckily today we pulled off the win (though it was touch and go there for a while) and now with just five games left until the Christmas break, it will be a tough three weeks. But then again, as athletes, this is what we live for.

I apologize for the shortness of this entry – that is, if anyone is reading – but as the weeks play out I am sure I will have much more to say next time around. For now, we look ahead to next weekend where we make the long journey up north to play two very strong teams who have both beat us previously in the season. Two wins are a must or it will be a long and lonely 16-hour bus ride home! Ah the joys of Sweden! ‘Til next time…


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