The players had their last on-ice practice of the 2019 Sled Hockey Player Development Camp Thursday morning.
After lunch, players had the chance to sit down with their coaches talk about their performance at camp. Coaches talked about each players' strengths and success as well as offered up feedback of what they can improve on.
Friday marks the last day of camp. Playoff games will be played at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Friday morning. Tryouts for the 2019-20 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team begin Saturday at Northtown Center in Amherst, New York. Players trying out will be divided into four teams and play two scrimmages on Saturday (July 13) and one scrimmage on Sunday (July 14).
The white team and the blue team squared off first. David Eustace, who finished the night with three points (2g, 1a), opened the scoring to give the white team an early 1-0 lead. Eustace scored his second goal of the night and Drew Rigney added another for the white team, who took a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
Joey Woodke, who recorded an assist on each of team white's first three goals, scored in the second half to give his team a 4-1 lead. Woodke finished the game with four points (1g, 3a). Harrison Burgess tacked on another goal for the blue team, but it was the white team that came out on top 4-2 in the end.
It all came down to the wire in the second matchup of the night as the red team faced the gold team. The score was tied 1-1 after the first half, with goals from Jakob Kingsbury (team gold) and Bill Keating (team red).
Aiden Green scored the game-winning goal to send the gold team to the championship game.
Ben Musselman regained the lead for the gold team five minutes into the second half, but Malik Jones leveled the score less than two minutes later. Jones finished the game with two points (1g, 1a) after earning the assist on Keating's goal. The game was tied 2-2 with well over 15 minutes left. Aiden Green notched the game-winning goal to send the gold team to the championship game on Friday. Click here for the box score.
The gold team will face the white team in the championship game at 11:15 a.m. on Friday. The blue team and the red team will square off before that at 9:30 a.m.
Dan Robbins has been playing sled hockey for eight years and is attending his third USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp.
Growing up in Naples, Florida, Dan started playing sled hockey there before moving to West Palm Beach. Him and his wife, Daniella, met through playing sled hockey, but with no teams in West Palm Beach, they contacted some rinks and received multiple grants to start their own team, the Palm Beach Tiger Sharks. In addition to playing for the team, Dan handles the coaching and Daniella manages the team. Dan and his wife have two sons.
Dan says that not only do his skills improve by coming to camp, but his hockey knowledge also increases, "When I go back home, I realize that I already, within one week, have gotten a lot better at skating, a lot better at puck handling. All my skills have gotten better," he said.