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Coyotes’ new hire Fry remains fan of inline hockey By Phillip Brents

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handler’s Lyndsey Fry is perhaps best known as a member of the USA women’s ice hockey team that captured the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. In November, she landed an NHL front-office job as a special advisor to Arizona Coyotes president Ahron Cohen as well as becoming a brand ambassador for the team. But she also boasts a highly-successful inline hockey component to her game after winning a silver medal with the USA senior women’s team at the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) inline hockey world championships in 2016 and a gold medal in 2018. “I love inline,” the former Harvard University standout said. “I can’t say enough great things about it, to be honest. I think I like that the game and culture are a little less structured than ice hockey. Ice hockey is a very systematic, positional game. Inline is more of a creative, possession and flow game.” Fry, who also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Canada, said she prepares the same for both ice and inline. “As far as my approach to the game, I mentally prepare exactly the same,” she said. “I focus on working hard every shift and having fun. I will say that from a tactical point of view that I often have to remind myself that if I don’t like my options entering the zone in inline, I can always turn back and regroup with my teammates. Ice is different because we have rules like offsides and icing that prevent us from doing that

sometimes.” is “a completely different experience than the OlymThe United States defeated the Czech Republic pics,” but she said it still ranks very high on her list of 3-2 to win the gold medal at last July’s FIRS world accomplishments. championships in Italy. “Of course, the Olympics is something special Fry, the first Arizonan of either gender to play in that I will cherish forever,” Fry said. “However, I take the Olympics, was among a lot of pride in my inline three Arizonans on the U.S. medals because my role is roster, joining Allison Era different for that team. I am (Youngstown) and Kathermuch more of an impact ine McGovern (Tempe). player for the inline team The USA senior womthan I was for the Olympic en finished 5-1 overall at ice team, so I loved winning the tournament, including a gold this past summer with 3-0 showing in the playoffs sweat covering my face and in which every game was smiling with my teammates.” fiercely fought. Fry, who served as an asThe Americans were resistant coach for Team USA quired to win a nerve-rackjunior women’s team at last ing 2-1 shootout over New summer’s FIRS world chamZealand in the quarterfinals pionships, said she would to begin their gold medal like to continue to represent odyssey. her country on the internaThe championship game tional inline hockey stage. victory made amends for a “I would love to play for 5-1 loss in pool play to the Team USA Inline as long Czechs. as my body will let me,” “I think our key to sucshe said. “The competition cess this year in particular USA Olympic ice hockey medalist Lyndsey Fry maintains a continues to get better and though was to let go of the winning tradition on the inline hockey court as part of her better though so I will have idea that we were defending resume, which now includes a full-time job with the NHL’s to continue to train hard Arizona Coyotes. world champs and accept if I want that to happen. It that we had to work just as hard as any other team sounds crazy, but if inline gets into the Olympics in throughout the entire tournament,” she said. 10 years, I would love the opportunity to play on that Fry admitted winning a world inline championship team.”

Coyotes looking for consistency during second-half play men and creative passes are not part of Tocchet’s blueprint for the second half. Should the Coyotes ike most of us, Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Toc- employ his instructions, they could have an opportuchet formulated his new year’s list of resolutions. nity to sneak into the postseason. For that to happen, Of course, all coaches want wins, success for there needs to be a clear focus. players and joy for the fans. This is easier said than “We have battled many injuries as a team and had done. some inconsistency,” said Arizona forward Alex GalAt this time last chenyuk. “That has year, the Coyotes to be the difference were in the throes for us going through of dire straits and the next half of the showed only 10 season. We need wins in their initial to find a consisten42 games. Now uncy in our game and der Tocchet’s secstick with it. That’s ond year behind the the most important bench, the Coyotes thing.” nearly doubled their With 12 players win production, but either done for this there could be red season or remainflags on the horizon. ing injured, Tocchet For one, Tocwants his players on chet orchestrated a the same page. If a strong second-half player is recalled from turnaround last seathe AHL’s Tucson son, and goalie AntRoadrunners to fill in ti Raanta lead the Heading into late January, Clayton Keller led the Arizona Coyotes in for an injured player, charge, Now, Raanta scoring and was named to the NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Tocchet wants that later this month in San Jose. Photo/Norm Hall is out for the remainplayer to immediately der of the season with a knee injury and Tocchet’s step into the role of the player he replaced. list of resolutions now include a basic desire that That may not be easy to achieve. Given the style coaches have for all players. and role for each player, Tocchet told reporters after Over the final half of the season, Tocchet wants an early January practice there needs to be a commithis players to be aggressive to the net and take direct ment to consistency. That commitment must extend shots on goal. The stickwork moves around defense- for a full 60-minutes and the length of the 200-foot By Mark Brown

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rink. “I’m still figuring out from last year which guys can play under this pressure and which guys work hard every night,” Tocchet said. “I like the fact that we don’t give in and are trying to get some consistency in the way we’re playing. We need 21 guys every night. You can’t be good every night, but you can’t play less than average.” Over the first half of the season, the consistency which players and Tocchet hope for in the coming weeks was absent. In the first 42 games of the season, the Coyotes had only three winning streaks, and these resulted in a five-game winning streak (Oct. 23-Nov. 5), a threegame streak (Nov. 27-Dec. 4) and back-to-back wins on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. During a 14-game span, from Dec. 6-Jan. 4, the Coyotes went 3-10-1 and at their halfway mark, only Philadelphia, Ottawa, St. Louis and Los Angeles had fewer standings points. If the Coyotes are to leapfrog over teams and strive for a playoff spot, Galchenyuk could be an important factor. Brought over from Montreal in a celebrated trade for Max Domi, Galchenyuk was expected to carry a significant offensive responsibility. “Galchenyuk scored in front of the net (on Jan 6 against the Rangers) and that’s something he has to do consistently, not every once in a while,” Tocchet said. “When Alex is playing well, he’s going north. He was in front of the net and that’s where he has to go.” Through the first 42 games, Galchenyuk scored but seven goals and compared to a 30-goal season with the Habs (2014-15) and a 20-goal season the year before, Tocchet hopes that the former first-round pick will provide the consistency and production this team needs over the final half of the season. AZRubberHockey.com

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