Hibbing Daily Tribune
HIBBING — Special teams can determine a lot of games in high school hockey, so it’s important to take advantage of all power-play opportunities.
Over the weekend, the Hibbing/Chisholm High School girls hockey team didn’t do that, going 0-for-9 with the man advantage in a 3-0 loss to Blaine and a 2-1 overtime loss to White Bear Lake.
That part of Hibbing/Chisholm’s game will have to improve immensely as the season goes on, and the Bluejackets can take a step forward today when they host International Falls at 7 p.m., at the Hibbing Memorial Arena.
Other than that, Hibbing/Chisholm coach Pete Hyduke liked the growth his team gained against the Bengals and Bears.
“In many areas we grew,” Hyduke said. “We worked hard, for the most part, but there’s areas where we still have room for a lot of growth.
Our power play is one of them and overall team play.
“Our puck movement could have been better, and that could have resulted in some goals for us and wins. That’s both on the power play and full strength.”
The key on the power play is awareness and vision.
“They have to look at what they’re giving you,” Hyduke said. “You have to identify right away what they’re trying to take away, then exploit what you need to on that power play. There’s many options on the power play for attacking the net or house area.
“If you don’t identify what they’re trying to take away, you can’t exploit what you need to offensively. We need to be better at identifying and puck movement and not just be locked in on getting the puck and shooting it. We had many opportunities a good pass would have broken them down, and we would have had better scoring opportunities.”
With experience on the power play, the key is working as a unit.
“They have to all work as one,” Hyduke said. “You have to be on the same page. It’s awareness. You have to see what you’re defensive team is trying to take away from you before you can exploit them offensively.”
So Hibbing/Chisholm has drawn a lot of penalties, so the Bluejackets have the personnel to send teams to the box.
“They are drawing penalties,” Hyduke said. “We tell the kids to go hard, and make them draw penalties, if need be, to create those opportunities for ourselves. In that aspect, we’ve done a better job of that, creating opportunities for the power play.
“We need to take advantage of those opportunities, and make them pay off.”
The Broncos come to town with a team that the Bluejackets have had a hard time handling. Most of the games are one-goal games, and some have gone into overtime.
“They lost a few good players from last year, but they always come ready to work hard,” Hyduke said. “They will be a typical Falls’ team that has good goaltending, they play hard and they play physical.
“I don’t expect anything less out of them than what we’ve seen in the past. We’ve had a lot of games with them. They’ve been some great games.”