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Coach's Corner #19

with Springfield Falcon's Asst. Coach Phil Russell

Torino 2006. Who will win the Gold? For that matter, who will win the Beanpot? I do not know but I do have some knowledge on the characteristics that both winners possess. Goaltending is going to be a very important position. Without getting into the different players and their contributions, I'd like to chat on the qualities of the teams themselves. I believe that without trust in one another no team is going very far. The greatest athletes in the world are all coming together in Torino, Italy.

Peter Laviolette, coach of the USA men's team, states "you have to be good at the beginning and great at the end." He likes the mix of his forwards and will have Mike Sullivan, coach of the Bruins, to rely on for the defensive part of the game. Laviolette wisely acknowledges that this is a group getting together to form a team in the best interest of his country, and that the goal is to win a gold medal. Commit to what you are trying to accomplish, Hooyah.

Did you know that Peter Laviolette played his college hockey as a Westfield Owl? Yes, folks that's our own Westfield State College in Westfield, MA. Small world, eh?

I have jokingly said that the Czech Republic team is just practicing as the New York Rangers and I am sure that with Mr. Jagr at the helm, they will be a team to be reckoned with. Hometown Italians will have the crowd on their side and I am sure the Swedes will be out to improve upon their last performance at the Worlds. The Finns (Finland) will be without Mr. Kiprosoff in goal but are always around and what about the Russians? Slovaks and Germany will have teams, and I am sure there will be lots of surprises. I really hope that the competing countries will take the time to enjoy the experience. I heard that phrase while watching the PGA this weekend where the young player had a seven shot lead on the last hole and the announcer said he should be able to enjoy the experience. Enjoy the moment, cash the check and go win another one. Pretty simple when you think about it, maybe it is a little like these Olympics - show up, suit up and do the best you can. Twelve teams and one winner, six teams to a division. We must forget the underdogs: Kazakhstan; Latvia; Switzerland; and Slovakia. May the best team that trusts each other win.

Beanpot update, Boston University defeated the Crimson of Harvard and. Boston College wins against Northeastern rather convincingly. 1993. Looks like the set up is for Boston University against Boston College. #18 Dennis Packard (Harvard grad) and #18 David Spina (BC grad) get a little riled up when the Beanpot arrives. Bless those great college rivalries. If goaltending is the key, Boston College's Cory Schneider might be the man.