Happy Holidays Everyone!!
I hope you all enjoyed some time celebrating with friends and family. I was fortunate enough to finish exams earlier than most of my teammates, and head home to Connecticut for a much-needed 9 day vacation. It was only the second time I have been home since the summer, so it was nice to to sleep in my own bed and indulge in plenty of home-cooked food! After taking time to rest and recover from a grueling first semester, it was time for our team to head back to campus for practice on December 26th.
Due to the monstrous Nor’easter that slammed the east coast, stranding two of our teammates in the Midwest, and the USA Hockey holiday camp that took away five more, we kicked off the second half of the season with a much smaller team than usual. Although we suffered a tough road loss at Princeton with a depleted roster, we have won our last two in a row and now stand at 13-3-4, 6th place in the national polls, and 1st place in the Hockey East standings. The second half of the season is always intense and the games even closer than the first half, and our team is looking forward to the challenge!
Being at school right now is kind of strange for us, because we don’t start classes until January 18th. That means that we have a little more than three weeks to actually “live the dream,” and just focus on playing hockey. The only people on campus are student-athletes, and the dorms are practically empty. This leaves us with a lot of free time on our hands. Last week, our team went over to Kinger’s house (our coach), for dinner and to watch the WJC gold-medal game (what a comeback by Russia!) and the last episode of the HBO documentary 24/7. We also exchanged presents for our annual tradition of Secret Santa.
With our extra free time, we are also able to participate in several community service opportunities that we don’t always get to do while classes are in session. Every Thursday in the winter, we send as many people from our team as possible to the Newton Special Athletes program. We work on teaching the younger kids how to skate, while talking and skating with the older or more experienced participants. We’re planning a visit to the Massachusetts Hospital School, which provides services for kids and young adults with multiple disabilities. Also, on the schedule is our annual sled hockey game (which we tend to get slaughtered in) against the Massachusetts Hospital School Chariots team. Another field trip we are planning is to St. Columbkille’s elementary school, to visit our pen-pals, along with the men’s hockey team.
We also have several other regular community service events that we participate in along with our fellow student-athletes. Some of these include Food for Families – delivering food monthly to low-income families in a nearby community, HEAR – speaking to students in local elementary schools about our experiences as student-athletes, and trips to the Franciscan Children’s Hospital – visiting with patients of all different ages from various backgrounds. So although we have a surplus of free time until classes start, we are still able to find some fun and exciting things to do, to fill the time until classes start again.
That’s all from me for now – thanks for reading!