Posted on: October 8, 2013
Don Schulz is the head coach of the BCIHL WolfPack Hockey Team. He is into his third season behind the bench.
Two weekends ago, Sept. 27-28, we travelled to Victoria and came out with two road victories. We took it to the Vikes the first game winning 6-1; it’s notable that Josh MacDonald had an outstanding game scoring 5 times and his linemates Duncan Schulz and Colton Schell had 4 and 3 assists, respectively. They had 12 points between them. We had balanced scoring in the second game and we found a way to win coming from behind to win 6-5 in a hard fought second game. Ben Bula and Blake Moynes scored their first goals of the season.
Team chemistry was high and similar to Calgary; we played the kind of hockey garnered for success. Our speed on the rush, grit and team play was all good. There were a number of distractions including Zamboni malfunctions, wrong scoresheets and very small dressing rooms. We persevered and came out with two important road wins to start our season. It also resulted in Josh MacDonald being named BCIHL player of the week honors. We also had two honorable mentions Stephen Wolff who played goal for us in the first game and Duncan Schulz.
This last Friday Oct. 4 was our home opener at Memorial arena. Expectations were high given our success on the road in Calgary and Victoria. The week included a press conference, a number of press interviews and releases. There was talk of a championship season and all kinds of hype. Reality is a scary thing and it’s not influenced by press releases and expectations. The reality is that the team got caught up in the hype, were focused on how many people were going to be in attendance and forgot to focus on the task at hand…Trinity Western. We led through most of the game but ended up losing 4-3. The reality is that we lost because the guys were not mentally ready to play. They were not in the right mind set to compete. The players were excited to play at home but forgot what got them their previous success. They expected that a win would just happen. Kevin Johnston, my assistant coach and I could sense it before and we were nervous by it. I could sense it in my pregame address.
Sure enough, the very attributes that brought us success on the road were lacking Friday. We were slow to react, we made slow decisions, lacked intensity, we were second to loose pucks and lost one on one battles. We lacked speed, grit and showed spotty execution; a recipe for defeat.
The guys had another dose of reality at last night’s practice. I also pointed out a simple marketing strategy for improved attendance at our home games…WIN. I have a saying that sums it up nicely, “Attitude, not aptitude will determine altitude.” I’d like to think that Friday’s game was an aberration. We have two more practices before we play in Burnaby this Saturday Oct. 12 at Bill Copeland Arena 7 pm against our old adversary SFU. Need I say more?
Don Schulz, Head Coach
TRU WolfPack Men’s Hockey