George Donovan is a 44-year-old Canadian who has been to the Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp on multiple occasions. This week, he will serve as a guide through a daily diary of his experiences to all the goings-on at the camp this year, which started Monday and runs through Thursday when the championship team is crowned and awarded the Wayne Gretzky Cup.
We beat the No. 1 team back-to-back, that was the highlight for sure. We went from second-last to fourth with those two W's. It was a fantastic game. We are playing well above our caliber. Our goalie kept us in it.
Tomorrow is the end of the tournament. The top two teams get byes into the semifinals and then the other four teams play one game each and the two winners go to the semifinals. Today bumped us way up, so rather than playing the strongest team in the play-in game, we'll play the third-weakest.
I scored a couple of goals, which was nice. The second game was against the strongest team, which we ended up winning 1-0, I had the goal, so that was awesome. We know how strong they are because they are loaded, and not with pros either. That's not a good thing because the pros don't get to play tomorrow in the playoffs. The pros are all done. It's all on the campers.
We'll be missing the pros on our team on Thursday. We have Dave Semenko on our team. We have Brenden Morrow, he is really strong; after all, he just retired a week ago. We also have Mike Krushelnyski, and he's been great for us. He gets the puck a lot. As a team, we just continue to get better.
These pros have been doing it for so long, they just get it. They don't play competitive hockey any more, if they play at all. Plus, Cap Raeder, our coach, is doing his job. But guys like Krushelnyski will pull the players over, and he tells someone to cut and then do a loop. The player doesn't know why, but he does it and tall of sudden the puck is on his stick and he has a breakaway. That's why you do it, because he sees it. He's always seeing something. He might wait a few shifts and then he calls you over and he lets you know what it is. On a faceoff, it might be the weak defenseman on the other team and he'll tell you to go at him because you are going to get the puck and then he'll send it and you have a breakaway off the faceoff and the puck never hit the ice. He just one-times it on the draw. It's awesome.
Plus, every team plays a game with and against Wayne Gretzky. We played with Gretzky during our first game on Tuesday. It's funny when you play with Gretzky on your team. Normally, when you rotate lines, guys just slide down the bench but everyone tries to squeeze in to be near Wayne. I've already done it at past camps so I let the newer campers have that chance. I've felt that experience and it is awesome. Wayne's good on the bench. He'll talk to you, but usually he is making fun of the pros that are out there.
Now, I'll probably have some dinner with my buddies that came in from back home and then shut it down. If we make it to the championship game on Thursday, we'll have to play three times. I'll need all the energy I can muster.
Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp diary, Day 1