The Christmas break is always much anticipated for university students. It gives everyone the opportunity to go back to their hometown to unwind and forget about the stresses of the previous semester. For athletes it is also a break for our bodies that have endured much training during the first half of the season.
It had been almost a month since the Gryphons had taken to the ice for a regular season game. We had spent almost 2 weeks practicing before our first regular season game of 2014. This gave us time to work through our on ice systems, regain any muscle that we had lost over the break and simply get rid of the “rust”. This past weekend proved that the long break did not seem to affect our ability to win. With such a close race between those teams sitting near the top of the standings, every game was worth so much more than a mere 2 points.
On Saturday, Guelph had their first game of the New Year against the Waterloo Warriors. We cruised to a 5-0 victory with scoring coming from all lines. Waterloo could not match the hustle and speed displayed by Guelph.
Our Sunday game against Laurier proved to be a more difficult battle. The high-tempo game generated a whirlwind of excitement at both ends of the rink. Each team showed domination during different times of the game. Regular time and even overtime was not able to declare a winner. Finally, a shootout would result in Guelph reigning victory. Strong goaltending and a high compete level were major contributors to our success. This game gave us a taste of what we are about to see in playoffs.
This final stretch of the regular season is where we will determine the type of team we want to be heading into playoffs. It is this point of the year that teams can either crumble or rise to the challenge ahead. There is no such thing as an “easy win”. Guelph is coming into playoffs with a vengeance. We have always been a team with skill, but this year I truly believe we have the hard work and grit to accompany it.
This is our year!
Bye for now,