The U14 Red Patriots opened the 2019-2020 season in Ohio and hit the ground running. With a tough week of practice, focus on competing hard throughout the week, the results of the games showed that the Patriots were ready to go from the puck drop of their first contest. Going into the tournament with a lot of unknowns about their opponents, Coach Zeigler led his team to a commanding 11-0 win over the Knoxville Bears. Keeping the momentum going, the Patriots continued to show their strength offensively and defensively of their opponents with a 10-0 victory over the Columbus Capitals. The Patriots went into their third game of the weekend facing the Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets, and the determined Patriots as they showed another example of their firepower, winning 7-0, which granted them the birth to the championship game, where they would come to face the same Jr. Blue Jackets team. With the opponent already knowing how the Patriots play, the game was a lot tighter, with the Jr. Blue Jackets goalie holding down the fort. The Patriots would go on to secure the tournament championship with a 2-1 victory.
This is the first year of Coach Zeigler’s career behind the bench at the U14 level, having prior experience at nearly every other age level has definitely helped to push the Patriots to the championship! When being asked about how he prepares the team for a season kick-off tournament, Coach Zeigler said, “One of the things I tell every team I coach is, “the difference between a good team and a great team is consistency.” Consistency is one of our buzz words. Every season will have ups and downs but finding a way to play your best regardless of the last game’s score or who you are playing against is what will give you the chance to be great.” The U14 Red Patriots will look to continue their winning ways and emphasis on team play throughout the season. Go Patriots!