The past month was a very busy and exciting one for our team! To end interterm we held a couple “Junior Jeff” events where we got to skate with local youth hockey girls. The first event we hosted at our rink consisted of a skate, a locker room tour, and a video followed by pizza with the girls. The second event was a clinic that Coach Matthews ran in West Springfield. Six members of our team were able to go and we were each assigned three to four girls to work with and follow from station to station. Most of the girls in this clinic were much younger with a couple of them being only five or six. I was actually taller than all of my Junior Jeffs this time unlike the first event where I was more than an inch shorter than the eighth grader I was paired with! Both of these events were a lot of fun and were a perfect way to spend some of our off time. During the end of interterm I also started giving skating lessons to a couple of preschool-aged girls. I have loved every minute on the ice with them and it has been such a rewarding experience to see them take their first strides on their own.
During our second game against Williams we hosted a “Pink in the Rink” game in which we raised over $1,500 for breast cancer research. We wore pink laces, used pink tape on our sticks and socks, wore pink hair ribbons, and decorated the rink in pink. In between periods there was a chuck-a-duck contest in which people bought pink ducks and then chucked them onto the ice, aiming for the center-ice dot. The winner received an Amherst jersey, stick, and puck while all of the money for the ducks going towards the cause. There were also four donation jars set up around the rink, each one decorated by a different class. Thanks to our superior decorating skills the junior class jar raised the most money. The other part of the fundraiser was a bake sale and some raffles. The parents put together gift baskets, bought gift cards to raffle off, and baked desserts to sell. It was a really fun day and we were able to help a great cause!
One of the most memorable moments from the past month was our first trip to Trinity. We played them right after Nemo left about 30 inches of snow in Hartford and our bus had a difficult time getting there. Many of the streets near Trinity College were unplowed or too narrow for the bus so we ended up arriving twenty minutes later than normal. Then on the way home we actually got stuck while trying to make a turn. Luckily there was a very nice gentleman who was out shoveling and came over to help us. Our entire team tried rocking back and forth and chanting the “I believe that we will win” chant. Although I don’t know that either one really helped we had a lot of fun! In exchange for pizza the nice man with the shovel dug us out of there in about ten minutes and we were on our way back home.
As far as hockey goes we have had our ups and downs over the past few weeks but there have been many positives. We just barely fell short of clinching second place and find ourselves in a good position heading into the postseason. I don’t think anyone would have believed me three months ago if I had told them that we would finish the regular season just a couple wins behind Middlebury and with a chance to clinch second place going into the final game. We have come so far and have a great opportunity next weekend to get closer to our goal.
It was great to honor our seniors and their parents last weekend at the senior banquet. They have been an inspiration and have had a huge impact on this team all year. However, it’s not over. The best part of the season is just beginning.