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Tier 1 Labor Day Faceoff a valuable bonding experience for GBL Jr. Bruins

By James Murphy/, 09/06/19, 1:30PM EDT


The GBL Jr. Bruins’ 18U team went 2-1-1 at the Tier 1 Faceoff at Foxboro Sports Center this past weekend. The “tie” was actually a 2-1 overtime win over one of the preseason favorites, the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, but still goes down as a tie in the EHF Selects standings and National Rankings. 

Still, Tyler Gaulin’s goal 4:24 into the extra frame served as just the type of team building head coach Pat Bohan and his staff were hoping to achieve at the Labor Day weekend showcase.

“We knew that the Whalers, the Rangers and ourselves were going to be some of the better teams in the East, so those are the games you want to play and learn where you’re at,” Bohan said, of facing the likes of rivals like the Cape Cod Whalers and Mid-Fairfield Rangers in Foxboro this past weekend. 

With only one practice together before the tournament began on Aug. 30, the tournament basically served as their second, third and fourth practices and an instant chance for the team to find chemistry on the ice against the high-end competition.

“We just got together [August 29], unlike other teams who had the luxury of practicing, so we’re really reintroducing ourselves or in the case of new players, introducing ourselves,” Bohan said. “So when you see a win like that or even just good plays or solid stretches of play, it shows how quickly these kids can bond because good players like to play with good players.”

Bohan was impressed with what he saw and actually had a feeling that his team may bond fast despite the baptism by fire environment for the new GBL Bruins players in the tournament. 

“After we practiced Thursday, we took all the kids and some of the parents out to the Olive Garden for a team dinner,” Bohan said. “You could even see at dinner all the different personalities interacting. There wasn’t this kid over there or that group over there, it was like ‘well these kids are going to mesh quick’ and that’s the key.”