Games are what we live for! There is nothing that will substitute for quality game experience, especially for beginning players. We will do our best to schedule games against teams of an appropriate skill level. Our games will be mostly on weekends, generally with start times between 9am and 6pm (there are exceptions).
We want a minimum of 10 skaters and 1 goalie for each game. We don’t want to leave our subs hanging until the last minute to find out if they are skating or not. On the Monday before a game, we will look at the attendance sheet to see how many players are signed up. If there are less than 10 “yes’s” on the sheet, we will start asking subs to join us to reach that minimum of 10 skaters. If a full roster player later changes their response to yes and that brings the total to more than 10, that’s just fine. We want people to skate as much as possible.
If it is a league game, only subs who are listed on the official WCHL roster may play. For this reason we will put all our practice players on the league roster and as many new recruits as space permits. For exhibition games, any sub may be used. If a sub is selected who is at a significantly higher skill level than most players in that game, it is expected that the sub not dominate the game and instead focus on enabling their teammates to have more quality scoring opportunities.
When looking for subs, we will first ask our practice players. If no practice players are available, we will ask players on the other Dread Pirates team. Then we will look for subs outside the team. When more than one practice player is available to sub, we will first ask the one who has subbed in the least number of games for the team needing subs. If there is no difference in number of games played, we will ask the player who has attended the most number of practices. If there is no difference in practices attended, we will ask the player who has been with the team longer. For league games, players who sub in a game must be on that team’s league roster or have special approval from the WCHL to play as a sub in that game. For league games where subs are needed, we will still use the above stated criteria, however players on that team’s league roster will be asked to sub before asking someone who is not on the roster which also requires that approval from the league.
We want to have skaters playing the positions they want to play. We also need to have at least two skaters at every position. We ask players at the beginning of the season what positions they prefer and try to honor that as much as possible. If you change your mind during the season about your preferred position(s), please let us know! Sometimes, we may have to ask someone to play a position they like less. It happens. A well rounded hockey player can play any position with a basic degree of competence, even though they may excel at or prefer a specific position. And during a game, a skater may have to cover a teammate’s position so it’s good to be able to do that with confidence. The coaches will create (or delegate) lines for each game. If this responsibility is delegated, it is most often to the guest coach for that game or the team captain.
The order of who is out next will not change regardless of the game situation – we do not have penalty kill or power play units. Every player needs experience at those situations and we will provide them with the opportunity. We don’t care about winning – we play for fun, so there is no need to put the “best” players on the ice to try and force a scoreboard win in the final minutes of the game. Each player is fully capable of being a “hero” at any given moment.
If there is a penalty, which ever position the penalized player plays will sit the penalty. The center will cover the empty wing or defense position on the ice if necessary. For example – if the penalized player is a left defense, the other left defense will sit on the bench during the penalty. On the ice, the center will cover the left defense position until the penalty expires.
We want our players to share ice time fairly – this maximizes opportunity for player development! Sometimes a given position will be shared by two players, and sometimes it will be shared by three depending on how many skaters we have for a game. We keep track of this and do our best to evenly rotate the times any individual is on a rotation with three players. If you happen to feel tired or under the weather and want to volunteer for a rotation of three in a particular game, please speak up!
In order to prevent coaches from having heart attacks and give them time to talk to the team, please make sure you are dressed and ready to go in the locker room 10 minutes before game time. If you have a last minute change of plans, car trouble, run into traffic, get pulled over by a cop, misread the schedule, accidentally backed your car over your helmet, forgot you had to sail to Tahiti, or any other similar malady that prevents you from arriving on time, please send a text to your coach and captain(s).