US coach keeping blinders on as he preps for Olympic debut

US coach keeping blinders on as he preps for Olympic debut

South Korea – Robb Stauber cannot miss seeing the Olympic rings painted at heart ice – even on the apply rink. The previous goalie is doing his greatest to disregard all of the reminders that he’s making his head teaching debut on the world’s largest stage for ladies’s hockey.

Being on the Pyeongchang Video games is reminder sufficient of the monumental activity Stauber accepted in making an attempt to finish the Individuals’ 20-year gold medal drought.

So Stauber is making a aware effort to stay to the method he has preached to his gamers of merely staying within the second.

“This can be a hockey event,” Stauber stated after apply Thursday. “I’ve accomplished hockey personally my total life. I am unsure I do know something higher, so I do know and I do know what I see and I do know what I imagine in and I imagine in our gamers, so I am sticking to that focus. I personally do not wish to get caught up within the Olympics. I take pleasure in it. I bear in mind watching it as a child. I get all that stuff.”

This is not Stauber’s first Olympics. He was an assistant in 2014 when the Individuals blew a 2-Zero lead and misplaced in time beyond regulation to their largest rival, Canada. However Stauber, who performed 62 NHL video games in stints with the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres, accepted the job final Might understanding precisely what USA Hockey anticipated from him.

“The drought’s going to finish,” Stauber stated. “It’d as properly finish now. I imply it may finish, and I feel we’ve got the gamers to do it, and I like our method.”

Katey Stone coached the Individuals in Sochi, and Ken Klee coached america to consecutive world championships earlier than being ousted in March 2017.

Stauber had solely been head coach of the Minnesota Whitecaps for the 2015-16 season. He was goalie coach on the College of Minnesota, serving to the boys win back-to-back nationwide titles in 2002 and 2003. He was goalie coach with the Minnesota-Duluth girls for 4 seasons capped by the 2008 nationwide championship.

Since 2010, the native of Duluth, Minnesota, has been concerned with the U.S. girls’s nationwide crew as one of many first hires by Reagan Carey after she took over as director of girls’s hockey by USA Hockey in August 2010. The final supervisor of the Olympic crew had watched video games with Stauber, getting the prospect to find out how he watches video games and his imaginative and prescient for his groups.

Carey turned to Stauber final Might after he guided the Individuals to their fourth straight world championship and eighth within the final 10 years. She stated his consideration to element fashioned by his expertise as a goaltender will assist Stauber now.

“Being head coach is a special stage of strain, however his coaching whether or not as an athlete, I feel as a coach and simply his method to issues actually consideration to element and protecting issues calm and constant (I) have zero issues about his skill to handle the Olympic video games any totally different than he has any of the world championships or camps or occasions earlier than this,” Carey stated.

The Individuals have embraced Stauber’s method. It is why they’re speaking solely about Sunday’s sport in opposition to Finland and never a preliminary spherical rematch with Canada on Tuesday. The tip purpose is taking part in for a gold medal on Feb. 22.

“We’re not trying to find the internal energy anymore,” captain Meghan Duggan stated. “We spent the final 4 years getting ready ourselves for these video games, and the primary factor for our crew is we give attention to ourselves. That is it. Our first sport is in opposition to Finland on the 11th and that is who we have been getting ready for since we obtained right here, that is the place our focus is correct now.”

Stauber has modified up how the Individuals play. He desires them skating quick, taking part in off one another to attain. The Individuals struggled to attain in December as they wrapped up an exhibition tour in opposition to Canada scoring solely three objectives whereas shedding 4 video games.

Over the previous month, Stauber has seen enchancment.

“The previous month we see some issues that we love and typically not solely will we prefer it, we’re nearly stunned by a few of that creativeness and creativity, how they’re feeding off one another,” Stauber stated. “It is like, ‘Wait.’ Once we’re somewhat stunned, I ponder what others may assume.”

It is nearly time for the Individuals, and Stauber, to show what they will do.