Rockies adopt torpedo attach 0
With every new season there are changes that will drastically improve the dynamic of a team.
Such is the case this season for the Strathmore Rockies of the Western Women's Hockey League.
Returning head coach Tom Molloy has implemented a new, more aggressive system of play that he hopes will push the Rockies over the top.
"The system is really good for big and wide ice," said Molloy.
"The style is similar to one that I was doing as a head coach in Austria. I think it's more aggressive and will provide us some success."
The new system, called the torpedo, offers up a style of play that is heavy on the attack and strong on the forecheck, which will utilize and take advantage of the Rockies' speed this season.
The torpedo is different than a traditional attack in that it has two forwards forechecking the puck, while two skaters stay at centre and a lone defenceman brings up the rear.
The Swedish national team pioneered the system after they had some international success with it.
"We did it in the last game of the year last year and we totally controlled the game," said Molloy.
The style was used against the Minnesota Whitecaps, a team that won the league championships.
Prior to the new system, the Rockies played a more conventional style that forgoed aggressive forechecking.
Molloy said the torpedo system will restrict the movements and the speed of the opposition teams as they break out of their zone.
Molloy hopes the torpedo will give the players an advantage over other teams because they will be better at recovering turnovers in the neutral zone.
"It puts pressure on the puck all the time and will define the roles of the players a little quicker," said Molloy.
One of the other major differences this season is a better consistency within the lineup.
Whereas last season there were two or three players who played on the team as alternates, this season will see a more concrete lineup, which will help with team chemistry.
"It's difficult when you're constantly getting new players into the lineup every other game," said Molloy.
"Hopefully this season we can avoid that and play a more solid three lines."
Although the Rockies are excited about the season to start, especially with a bold new strategy and a locked lineup, they will be missing an important part of their roster as the puck drops next month.
Samantha Holmes, the team's captain last season, will not play this year after the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome.
Last season she was sidelined most of the Rockies' games after receiving two separate concussions.
The risk of playing are too great.
"It's just two dangerous for her to play this season," said Molloy.
Holmes will stay on as team president and will oversee the direction of the franchise.