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Cornered Coach: 'T' for Tie


They say a tie is like kissing your sister.

That's always struck me as a bit of an insult to sisterhood and, to be honest, a tie is a sweet result in house league hockey. 

Saturday, the Atom Avalanche I coach in a local Toronto house league pulled out a dramatic draw in a game against the talented Hurricanes. With time ticking down, our "franchise guy" Eoin Bradley (The Big 'E') grabbed the puck, took off like a rocket, and scored a breakaway goal with just four seconds left on the clock. Final score, 3-3, although it could have been even more exciting. At the tail end of Eoin's rush, you see, a Hurricanes defenceman chucked his stick in desperation, which would have resulted in a penalty shot. Fortunately for us, however, Eoin's initial shot went in as our guys went crazy celebrating a pretty sweet point.

The Hurricanes, of course, were a little less elated by the saw-off. But the fact is, in house league hockey, a draw is the perfect result.

Heading into every hockey season, I always have the same goal for my team—10 wins, 10 losses; a perfect split of our 20-game house league schedule. Everyone loves to win, of course, but it's also important to learn how to lose and a down-the-middle split is the ideal way of making sure that both of those masters are served.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that a few ties tossed into the mix are also a good thing.

Think about it.

In life, we all win a few and lose a few. Most of the time, though, we're pretty much stuck in a neutral mode. Get up, wolf down breakfast, go to work, pick the kids up from school, a little play time, some homework, and then we do it all over again. Nothing grand, but nothing bad—just an average, normal day.

Ties are very similar. Your team does some good things, makes a few mistakes, and at the end of the day everybody goes home fairly happy with the end result. 

Next week, however, the play-offs begin—and yes, winning becomes a tad more important.

The good news?

Our postseason dance begins with a round-robin format, meaning ties are still part of the equation. So, unless we make it through to the sudden death semifinals, I'll have to warn my troops to stay puckered up.

There's a pretty good chance a few more sisters might get smooched before we're done.

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