The Spitfires U12 Major II team won their division of the 2013 Cranberry Classic Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament by outskating, outworking, and most importantly out grunting their opponents in convincing fashion. Game 1 on Friday morning set the tone as the girls came out flying and never let up shutting out a very competitive Wizards team by a score of 4-0. The theme of the weekend was teamwork and this game featured a full team effort, particularly the line of Audrey Connelly, Sophia Theodore and Maggie Schindler, who kept constant pressure on the Sting forcing several crucial turnovers that resulted in goals. Game two featured an even more impressive team effort as Cam Murphy earned her second shutout of the day as the defense completely shut down the South Coast Panthers 3-0. The defense of Olivia Malone, Melissa Shantelar, Jameson McKenna and Kiley Hamilton refused to allow the Panthers to get anywhere near our net and we held them to less than 5 shots in total. Abby Duffy had the highlight of the game as she sniped a shot into the top corner on the Panthers’ goalie. Saturday morning the girls faced off against a very competitive RI Sting team. Once again the game was played mainly in our opponent’s end of the ice, though we were unable to put the game away until late in the third when the line of Mac Shandley, Collen Dalton and Jenna Malone were able to capitalize on a couple of chances to keep us undefeated. The girls entered their final game of the tournament schedule against the host Waves knowing that we were already booked for the finals on Sunday, but that didn’t stop them from putting in another complete team effort to make certain that we kept our momentum going. The line of Sophia Pacella, Taylor Kim and Abby Duffy was flying all night and chasing down the Waves players like they owed them money. The final score was 3-1, but the game was never in doubt. The girls were nervous heading to the rink on Sunday for a rematch with the Panthers, but it seemed as if those nerves were shared by the other team as well. Though the Panthers’ head coach graciously greeted head coach Ben Hamilton and Vicki Movessian, he seemed a little distracted by how soundly we had beaten his team the day before. The game started out tense on both sides with the referees calling a very tight contest. The first period ended with an empty scoreboard and the girls just couldn’t seem to get loose, though we were clearly outplaying our opponents. The second period started the same way with the Spitfires controlling the play, but unable to capitalize on our opportunities. We broke through with two goals late in the period to enter the final frame with a 2-0 lead. The energy level on the bench between periods was pretty amazing and when the girls let out their newly introduced post-cheer grunt, it echoed around the arena. Even our injured goalie Ava Garrity was bouncing around the bench, but don’t tell her doctor. The girls forechecked and backchecked like crazy in the final period and though the Panthers managed to get a goal, they were never able to match our disciplined and aggressive play. Defensively we were led by Kiley Hamilton who overcame an early period equipment issue to come back and play tough in some key moments. The girls worked hard and really came together as a team.
Spitfire Alums Alex Starzyk and Alison Quinn making an impact for the Hawks. Both receiving ECAC Rookie of the Week Honors
Alexandra Starzyk, Saint Anselm College (Freshman, Forward - Enfield, CT/Williston Northampton)In her career debut, Starzyk potted a pair of goals over the weekend as Saint Anselm went 2-0 taking down both UMass Boston, 2-1, and Sacred Heart, 4-3, in overtime. She was the only Hawk to score two goals, including one power-play goal.
Alison Quinn, Saint Anselm College(Freshman, Forward; Canton, Mass./Southfield)
In Saint Anselm’s 3-0 win over Nichols College, Quinn was responsible for a pair of goals, while in the 3-2 victory over #10 Manhattanville, she registered one assist, for three points over the weekend.
Spitfires Alumni Erin Martin NESCAC Player of the Week Honors
by MA Spitfires posted 11/19/2013
Erin Martin | Amherst
Sophomore, Forward, Canton, MA
Martin opened the season with two goals and three assists, as the Jeffs
started NESCAC play with 4-3 and 3-0 wins over Hamilton. She scored
Friday’s first goal and assisted the game-winning power-play goal, which
was scored at 17:14 in the third period. In Saturday’s rematch, she assisted
Amherst’s first and third goals of the game.
Erin was a Spitfire from U10 all the way up to U19...her commitment and loyalty to our program will never be forgotten. We are very proud of her!
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was famous for saying "failing to prepare is preparing to fail." In any sport, the work done before a game directly influences the effort during the game. But practicing on-ice skills and improving athleticism aren’t the only things vital to success when it comes to hockey. Nutritional training and eating well to prepare the body for a game or practice is just as important.
Eating the right type of foods and drinking the right fluids can be the difference between a good game or practice and a bad one. However, for young players and parents rushing to and from the rink, proper nutrition is often easy to overlook. Additionally, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Young men and women playing in different age groups will respond differently to certain foods.
"Eating anything is better than eating nothing, but it's important to avoid foods that are difficult to digest," says Nancy Clark, a registered dietician from Newton, Mass., who has experience working with the Boston Bruins. "A lot of times, kids may just avoid eating because they're on the ice so early in the morning. In this case, even a bowl of cereal before bed can help. Blood sugar tends to drop over night, so eating before bedtime is better than not eating at all.”
Clark points out that greasy foods—a favorite among kids—are harder to digest. They can result in a child quickly losing energy during practice or a game. So, she recommends avoiding those foods around competition.
“The kids will learn too,” she says. “They'll see what helped them and learn not to eat certain things before a practice or a game."
The type of food and fluids that helps young people excel in an intensely physical sport like hockey are those that offer a boost of energy without excessive sugar or fat. It’s also important to remember that meals following strenuous exercise are as important as those before it.
"After a game, I suggest eating something packed with protein," says Clark. "Say chocolate milk and peanut butter. These help the body recover and build on the workout they just had in the practice or a game."
As a parent looking to emphasize healthy foods and drinks that will help your child succeed, it's important to think ahead. If your schedule includes early morning or late-night practices, planning ahead and developing a healthy food routine is even more critical. It will help you avoid those last-minute trips to rink vending machines or fast food restaurants, Clark notes.
"My daughter is a hockey player, and she has a lot of early-morning practices and games," explains Clark. "For parents in this situation, getting breakfast ready for the morning so you can just grab it and go will help get on that schedule. Things like fruit, granola bars, and even a bowl of oatmeal are all easy to digest and create the type of energy hockey players need."
In terms of hydration, water is the best bet, Clark says. Some sports drinks can offer a lift, particularly after exercise that last longer than an hour, but most of time, the best way to hydrate the body is to simply drink water.
"Energy drinks are really just stimulant drinks," Clark says. "They don't create energy. They just have stimulants. Hydrating with water or juice beforehand then maybe a sports drink during or after is the best way to stay hydrated."
Still, there is no single right answer for every young hockey player’s tastes. Adopting a nutrition routine that a child will actually accept is the first step. Once they see positive results, it will make it that much easier for them to stick to it. As children grow and advance through different levels of hockey, their nutritional needs don't change too drastically. However, this same type of routine, with some minor modifications, can be used all the way through when they become teenagers and young adults.
The hours spent becoming a better skater or mastering shooting and passing are critical to a hockey player's success during a game. However, just as important are those few moments deciding what to eat or drink before and after you come off the ice.