The first two weeks of classes here at Amherst have gone by quickly and we are all starting to settle in and get back into the routine of college life. For me this is the longest part of the year because hockey season seems so close but is still about seven weeks away. We have already had three captain’s practices at Umass and they have all went very well. Our second practice came with a little adversity though as there was so much fog we couldn’t see from one blue line to the other. I’m sure anyone who has ever played hockey can remember a time when a rink was a little foggy and you couldn’t see through the glass. However, this time there was more than a little fog, and it made it very difficult to do any full ice drills. It was impossible to see a cross-ice pass until it was halfway to you. Although it was a difficult practice it made our third practice seem much easier because we could actually see each other and the puck at all times!
On top of on-ice practices we have been doing a lot of off-ice work as well. During the first week we had testing, and it was a chance to see our hard work from the summer pay off. It included max testing for benching, squatting, power cleaning, and timed 150 yard shuttles. This past week we started our team lifts and people have also been going down to the rink to shoot and stickhandle. There is a net out on the concrete and we go there either individually or in small groups to shoot a bucket of pucks and do stickhandling drills.
Before classes started we had a few days for team bonding and were able to get to know the four freshmen. We pretty much just hung out on campus but some people went to a nearby pond called Puffers and about half our team also went on a river float. Now that everyone is all settled in it will be easier to do team activities, and there will be many fall sports games that we can go watch together. About half of our team works the field hockey games taking care of working the lines, announcing, statistics, webcast video, the scoreboard, and even live play-by play. Between classes, hockey practice, lifts, studying, and work, we all stay very busy!
In the next couple of weeks we are planning on doing a ropes course and maybe a team hike. We also have some volunteering lined up for Habitat for Humanity and a breast cancer event in Boston so the next couple blogs should be a little more interesting!