World OutGames: Hockey

Photo Credit: Andrew Delaware
It was difficult for us to take our eyes off Gavin Clifford, 46, from Vancouver. He was instrumental in many of the attacks on the Vermont net. A manager with the Canadian federal government, Gavin has been playing with the Vancouver Cutting Edges for the past four years. We caught up with him rinkside to ask him a few questions about his experience playing hockey in Montreal.

This has been a very exciting semi-final game against Vermont. What has been key for you in this game?
Before the game we decided we were going to keep skating. We knew it would be a tough game. Vermont wouldn't have reached the semi-final if they weren't good. We've got a good skating team, so we thought, even if it gets close, or stays close, keep skating, keep focused, and we'll do OK. They have a shorter bench, so they must be tired. We sure are.

Vermont has played excellent defense, what have you had to do to get around that?
We had to jam the net. That's pretty much how we got our last couple of goals, is we sent it towards the net and have a couple skaters go that way. The last goal we got I think went off one of the defenders, but we had a guy going right in there, so that was the key and it has worked well for us. We finally got some rubber past their goalie. He was outstanding.

What sort of training did you do to prepare yourself to come here?
We hired a personal trainer who did some dry land training with us on hot Friday afternoons for the past 16 weeks or so. I think that really helped us, it has paid off, for sure. We also rented some ice through the spring and summer, which we don't normally do. So we've come in to the OutGames in good condition. This is the second tournament I've been to. We won the tournament in New York that I attended, and we are hoping to pull the same thing off here in Montreal.