We arrived at the pool and jumped straight into our warmup and apnea table. We marched into the locker room blaring our music and hoping to intimidate. The swim warmup went well, and we were totally prepared to jump in and win!
It was silent in the stands when the buzzer went off. We had a huge cheering section that was ready to get going. The Colombians came out hard, pushing us into our half. We pushed it out to the wall and kicked hard, getting clear and out of the danger zone.
The entire first half both teams swam a lot and the puck ricocheted up and down the pool. The Colombians played a very strong game, getting some really solid pushes and driving as a solid mass of bodies. They mostly played a clean game, really using their own skills more than petty fouls. The refs were good, making fair calls and missing very little.
The Colombians did some really strong drives but the defensive players did and amazing job swinging it out of the middle and out around their driving players. The forwards were always there ready for a pass or ready to help disrupt their back passes. Both teams were playing well, making it a really fun game of hockey. It was a bit stressful though!
Eight minutes left in the half; coach Phil called a timeout to give everyone a chance to breathe and get usual focused again. Starting again, we pulled off a great swing and swam up into their half. We kept it up there for the next few minutes, never quite getting it into the trough.
After a few fouls BAM got kicked out for a stick foul. We kept it out of the goal until BAM hopped into the pool again, scooped up a forward pass, and drove it all the way up the wall. Shortly before the corner we broke it off the wall, and Kim finally slammed it into the goal, seconds before the half ended.
We were full of energy at half time, adrenaline running through our veins. We knew they would come out hard, and sure enough they again pushed the puck into our half right off the bat. Once again our defense was strong and we kept the Colombians out of the goal despite quite a few disadvantage pucks in front of our goal. With just under three minutes left in the half the Colombians squeaked by our defense and scored. We called a timeout again, knowing we had to score. We didn’t want overtime. Again we got the puck into their half, but they kept it out. We almost got a penalty goal called for us, but the refs changed their minds, giving us an equal puck because both teams were gloving. We have another really close drive but time was called before we quite got to the goal.
Tied at 1-1, we then went into overtime. That meant we had another two halves, each five minutes with a one minute half time.
Again they came out and smashed the puck into our half of the pool right off of the strike. There were some really close calls but we got it to the wall. In a sudden show of force they drove, putting all but one of their six players in a tight group. We tried, but couldn’t quite clear the puck out around the oncoming wall and they scored. Halftime and we were down one.
We hit hard off the strike and after two minutes, Kim got the puck into the goal. We were tied again with just three minutes left. No more goals were scored, so we went into sudden death overtime. The first goal scored would win the game. It would go on as long as needed and the game clock was set to 99 minutes.
We went out hard again, putting everything we have left into these last few minutes. After forty minutes of high intensity hockey we were tired but could not show it. This was one of the most important games and we had gotten this far. We had all been working for hours, months, years, just to win this game.
We broke it off the wall, getting up the middle onto the lip of the goal, but . Elsa received an uncalled head shot but kept playing, kicking furiously.
The Colombians swarmed up the middle putting all the people they had on the bottom. Desperately we tried to break it out, tried to get around them, but they kept it in the middle and finally got it into our goal. We had lost.
It hurt. We had done done everything that we could, but the Colombians had taken advantage of all our little mistakes. It was an epic game that I know I will never forget.
Needless to say, we were very tired after our game. We got out and cheered on the masters men in their last game of the tournament. They played a really good game against Australia, and won, taking fifth place.
We didn’t have enough time to head home before our 5:40 pm game later that day so we found a cozy spot in the grass for a rest and some non-chlorinated air. It seemed like no time at all before we were up again and warming up for the game against France.
We went out hard but we definitely felt the affects of our last game. We managed to put in a penalty shot (even though Tyera didn’t know what was going on). Final score was 3-1, with France winning the game. It was not what we hoped for, but it is what it is. We left everything in our game against Colombia.
Exhausted, we headed home, then went out for a well earned dinner and ice cream. We had one more game left for 7th or 8th place versus Canada, and we were going to win it.
You can re-watch the epic battle versus Colombia here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azT0YnmXvak
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