In the Crease
The action packed and inspiring
real life story of a
"We really wanted to do for hockey what Friday Night Lights did for football and Hoosiers did for basketball," said co-director Matt Gannon, who co-produced the Oscar nominated "Girl with a Pearl Earring" starring Scarlett Johansson and grew up playing hockey himself. "And that's tell a great sports story about a team overcoming adversity and riding the high of big wins and the heartbreak of tough losses. But what makes this story even more special is that it's not actors. It captures real players, coaches and parents experiencing real emotions."
For "In the Crease," Gannon and co-director Michael Sarner filmed the elite, California Wave Bantam AAA travel team as it trained for the USA Hockey National Championship and culled the movie from over 180 hours of footage spent with the team on the ice, in locker rooms and at players' homes, as well as from interviews with parents and scouts. They also spent weeks crisscrossing the country to speak with NHL players like Niedermayer to get the pros perspective and add a fantastic extra dimension to the story.
"This is a film that gives a true
inside look at the hockey experience. Players, coaches and families around the
world can relate to it, and hockey fans get to see some of the best young talent
in the game and what really goes on behind the scenes, " said Sarner. The Wave
team, based out of
Despite the team's recent success, it's still an underdog story. "These are beach kids who walk into an ice rink in flip flops, strap on their equipment and play against some of the best young teams in the country with much more impressive histories, " said Gannon. "But, in the end, it's not just the Wave's story we're telling, it's every team's story of what it takes to become champions."
The filmmakers said that one of their goals was to show the type of impact hockey was having on these young players' lives - the winning, the losing, and everything else they experience. The tremendous passion for the sport is clearly evident in those portrayed in the movie, as is their commitment. But, the film also expertly captures the Wave players going through the universal experience of just being a teenager - dealing with a parents' messy divorce, trying to balance a social life and girls with being an athlete.
What really shines through in the end is how hockey ultimately has a very positive effect - keeping the players out of trouble, teaching them life lessons and dedicating them to pursue a dream that they share with their teammates. Gannon believes the film also shows how "NHL players like Scott Niedermayer are just the coolest, most down to earth professional athletes in the world." "Scott was unbelievably generous with his time, " said Gannon.
In addition to Niedermayer, the film also features special appearances by NHL players Brendan Shanahan, Joe Thornton, Scott Gomez, Jeremy Roenick, Glen Murray, Brian Rolston, Mike Comrie, Martin Havlat, Craig Conroy, Mathieu Schneider, Mike Knuble, RJ Umberger, Derian Hatcher and retired great Al MacInnis.
You can view the trailer and buy the DVD at http://www.InTheCreaseMovie.com