On Friday March 4, 2017, The Boston Bruins hosted a girls hockey day. Many of our Spitfires participated. They had the opportunity to skate with professional players and role models. Thank you to the Boston Bruins for such a great event.
On February 24th, more than 325 Spitfire players and family members joined together at Showcase Live to celebrate the 2016-2017 season. The night was filled with food, dancing and fun! Thank you to all players for representing our organization so well on and off the ice. Thank you to the families, coaches, managers and volunteers for your time, hard work and dedication to our Spitfire Community! Go Spitfires!
The Patriots weren't the only local team winning big games last weekend. The U-10 Spitfires brought home the Championship at Waterville Valley on Sunday!
The girls were fiercely competitive starting with a dominating win on Friday night. Their strong efforts continued with 2 decisive wins on Saturday, putting them in the Championship game at 1:30 on Sunday vs the South Shore Seahawks.
It was a tight game early ending in a scoreless first period. The very physical puck battles continued into the second eventually resulting in the first goal of the game by Kaitlin Johnson putting the Spitfires on top. The lead quickly became 2 -0 when Lilly Pergola buried a nice shot after some strong puck movement down low by her line mates. The Seahawks fought hard and battled back late in the second to make it a one goal game.
Goalie Ava Larkin redirected a flurry of shots in the 3rd as the Spitfires continued to roll 3 solid and relentless lines and 2 sets of agile defense. Every girl demonstrated exceptional effort and grit as the game tightened up significantly. Finally, late in the third, Lilly Liebhoff snapped a shot low stick side to solidify the championship!
On and off the ice these girls put together a phenomenal weekend of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and skill that made us all proud.
This is the second Championship of the season. In October, the Major 2 team brought home the Championship from the Rhode Island Columbus Day Invitational!
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was famous for saying "failing to prepare is preparing to fail." In any sport, the work done before a game directly influences the effort during the game. But practicing on-ice skills and improving athleticism aren’t the only things vital to success when it comes to hockey. Nutritional training and eating well to prepare the body for a game or practice is just as important.
Eating the right type of foods and drinking the right fluids can be the difference between a good game or practice and a bad one. However, for young players and parents rushing to and from the rink, proper nutrition is often easy to overlook. Additionally, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Young men and women playing in different age groups will respond differently to certain foods.
"Eating anything is better than eating nothing, but it's important to avoid foods that are difficult to digest," says Nancy Clark, a registered dietician from Newton, Mass., who has experience working with the Boston Bruins. "A lot of times, kids may just avoid eating because they're on the ice so early in the morning. In this case, even a bowl of cereal before bed can help. Blood sugar tends to drop over night, so eating before bedtime is better than not eating at all.”
Clark points out that greasy foods—a favorite among kids—are harder to digest. They can result in a child quickly losing energy during practice or a game. So, she recommends avoiding those foods around competition.
“The kids will learn too,” she says. “They'll see what helped them and learn not to eat certain things before a practice or a game."
The type of food and fluids that helps young people excel in an intensely physical sport like hockey are those that offer a boost of energy without excessive sugar or fat. It’s also important to remember that meals following strenuous exercise are as important as those before it.
"After a game, I suggest eating something packed with protein," says Clark. "Say chocolate milk and peanut butter. These help the body recover and build on the workout they just had in the practice or a game."
As a parent looking to emphasize healthy foods and drinks that will help your child succeed, it's important to think ahead. If your schedule includes early morning or late-night practices, planning ahead and developing a healthy food routine is even more critical. It will help you avoid those last-minute trips to rink vending machines or fast food restaurants, Clark notes.
"My daughter is a hockey player, and she has a lot of early-morning practices and games," explains Clark. "For parents in this situation, getting breakfast ready for the morning so you can just grab it and go will help get on that schedule. Things like fruit, granola bars, and even a bowl of oatmeal are all easy to digest and create the type of energy hockey players need."
In terms of hydration, water is the best bet, Clark says. Some sports drinks can offer a lift, particularly after exercise that last longer than an hour, but most of time, the best way to hydrate the body is to simply drink water.
"Energy drinks are really just stimulant drinks," Clark says. "They don't create energy. They just have stimulants. Hydrating with water or juice beforehand then maybe a sports drink during or after is the best way to stay hydrated."
Still, there is no single right answer for every young hockey player’s tastes. Adopting a nutrition routine that a child will actually accept is the first step. Once they see positive results, it will make it that much easier for them to stick to it. As children grow and advance through different levels of hockey, their nutritional needs don't change too drastically. However, this same type of routine, with some minor modifications, can be used all the way through when they become teenagers and young adults.
The hours spent becoming a better skater or mastering shooting and passing are critical to a hockey player's success during a game. However, just as important are those few moments deciding what to eat or drink before and after you come off the ice.