Homeland’s NHL team is currently playing in the CBJ Pepsi Summer Cup tournament! They’ve played 12 impressive games so far and they’re fired up to keep their momentum going. TONIGHT they face off against Agility and then Flawless, starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Make sure to tune in on Homeland’s Twitch channel here: https://www.twitch.tv/homelandesports
Last night, Homeland earned wins in 3 of 4 games. They defeated rival Oblivion 4-2 in game 1 of the night and 5-4 in game 2. Next they faced off against The Force for games 3 and 4. They swept game 3 with a 5-0 win, but were defeated by The Force in their final game of the night with a 5-3 score.
“In the opening match of each series, we dominated,” general manager Kroftonite said. “We scored in every first period to take early leads last night. Unfortunately, we went to overtime in our second game which cost us a point and we let the last game slip away from us. We defeated our opponent 5-0 the first game then lost 5-3. There were a lot of bad bounces that did not go our way, but those are things we need to overcome as a team.”
The NHL team has seen a lot of changes in the past several months, but they’ve come out swinging in this tournament. “Offensively, we have done a real nice job scoring goals against any team we have faced,” said Kroftonite. “We have held leads in the third period of every game but two. Kev and Karma are both in the top 25 in scoring for the whole tournament.”
Kroftonite points to defense as both a strength and weakness for the Homeland team. “Small mistakes as a team have led us to losing games that we should have won,” he explained. “Our biggest challenge so far is holding leads late in the third period. Small mistakes in our zone will always cost us. In tournaments like this, even mediocre teams have very skilled players that will make you pay if you make those mistakes.”
The team’s biggest challenge has been finding the right players and learning to work together like a well-oiled machine. “We only had a short time to mend as a team because we were formed just a week before the tournament started,” Kroftonite explained. “There are many bright spots on the team that we can improve on and we are just going through the growing pains of playing with new players.”
Watching the team at work, you’d never know about this adjustment period as the players’ skills speak for themselves. They’re gearing up for 2 more games tonight, and they plan to strengthen their defense to continue to dominate the ice.
“If we can improve on our trap game on the blue line, we can produce better positioning for us to finish games with the lead,” Kroftonite said. “Both teams are strong enough to defeat us if we do not play a smart game. If we stick to what we have been working on and control the puck possession, we should come out with the win.”
Written by Noel Banda (a.k.a. Ruby)