Reminders for the Post-Season, News (Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario)

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Reminders for the Post-Season
Submitted By ALLIANCE Hockey on Thursday, January 23, 2020
It is one of the most exciting and important times of the season - the post-season!   

Within ALLIANCE Hockey, Playdowns are the post-season games where teams compete for a Member Association, ALLIANCE Hockey, OHF or Hockey Canada Championship.  The Playoffs are considered as either round robin games, gaining teams entry into the Playdowns (i.e. applicable at Minor Development and Minor Atom AAA / Seeded) or as the next round of competition following the elimination from Playdowns.

Both rounds of competition are important and can feature some of the best games of the season…if the focus is on Player Development and Player Experience.  It takes a group effort from Officials, Coaches, Parents and Players to maximize the Player Development and Player Experience. 

Whether participating in Playdowns, or Playoffs, below are some important reminders to maximize Player Development and Player Experience.

  • Bench Staff

Your role is crucial to team success; skill and talent can only take a team so far.  Focus and preparation are the keys to success.  Each member of a Bench Staff needs to understand their role and stick to it.

Bench Management
The bench is a place for players to Rest, Rehydrate and Refocus

Refocusing is when correction and instruction occurs.

The Head Coach is responsible for communicating with Officials and their voice should be the only one coming from the bench.  One voice from the bench is a signal to the Official that your team is controlled and disciplined and can also be a catalyst for more effective communication.  Multiple voices, whether from other Bench Staff or players is a distraction to the refocusing process and can disrupt preparation for the next shift.

Keep the focus on your team.  At no time shall anyone make derogatory comments towards another team.  If such an instance occurs, Officials have been instructed to issue a bench minor or GM penalty; which will be a judgment call based on the severity of the comment.  By keeping the focus on your team, this will also provide an example of conduct to parents which will help to limit any distractions to players.  Officials are human and they will make mistakes.  There will be adversity along your journey and how you deal with it as a Bench Staff/team may be the difference between winning and losing.
Coaching Code of Conduct


  • Parents

Enjoy the ride and cheer for your team.  Supporting your team off the ice is as important as supporting your team on the ice.  Minimize distractions --> It’s the kids’ game…not yours.
Parent Code of Conduct

  • Officials

The game is for the kids.  Your job is to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience. 

Note that at the younger age groups some teams do not have designated captains or assistant captains so keep communication lines with teams open; keep it short and to the point. 

Work together as a team; your work ethic, communication and professionalism will not go unnoticed.
Referee Code of Conduct


  • Players

“Milk the experience”- try to make the most of each opportunity you have been provided.  Stay focused on your team and your role. Always respect your opponent. Refrain from anything that could be a distraction to your team or result in an undisciplined penalty or suspension.  The ‘bad and ugly’ does not win hockey games or make for a fun experience.  The ‘good and sacrifice’ wins hockey games and creates a lasting experience.   Outworking your opponent, blocking shots, playing hard and playing with sportsmanship will garner positive results.

A team pulling in the same direction wins!

What are you willing to sacrifice to win?  Think about how your actions affect others, including your own team.

Think about these realms and how they can so negatively affect the playing experience:

  • Abusing Social Media
  • Bullying
  • Racial Slurs
  • Trash talking

The recent World Junior Championships and Team Canada’s gold-medal performance offered a great example of a successful team, where every player accepted their role and pulled together.

Yes, this was a high-performance event, but we can always take away important lessons and observe from successes such as that of Akil Thomas’ experience.

Akil Thomas scored only one goal during the entire world junior hockey tournament, but it was the goal that mattered the most: the game winner in the gold-medal game for Team Canada. 

Thomas played on the fourth line of Team Canada's World Junior championship squad and had about five minutes of ice time during the game — but he made the most of it by scoring to make it 4-3 for Canada over Russia near the end of the third period.

Akil Thomas accepted his role, worked hard in games and practices and made the most of his opportunity.
Player Code of Conduct

Best of luck in the post-season!  We will be cheering for you!


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