It has been over a full week since I arrived back on UVM’s campus. Both school and hockey are in full swing and I could not be more happy to get started with my sophomore year. My sister, Annie, is going to school near home this year, so my parents were not able to make the trip to move me in this year since they stayed home to help her out.
I was looking forward to getting back on campus and seeing everyone again, but as it got closer for me to make the move back out East, it dawned on me how hard it was going to be for me to leave my family again. No matter what, I will always have a hard time leaving, but the fact that I get to go somewhere where I am happy to be and surrounded by people I love is something truly special. I am beyond lucky to have that in such a beautiful place like Burlington.
We started our first week of classes this past week. Having the long, holiday weekend is a great way to ease back into school work and studying. I declared a coaching minor in the middle of last semester, so I am starting to knock out some of my credits for that this semester. Choosing coaching as my minor was sort of a no brainer because it is something I can see myself doing, and it will enable me to stay in the sport even after I am done playing.
The first day of classes also called for the first day of off ice testing. Testing is typically not everyones favorite, mostly because it puts a bit of stress on everyone, especially some of the incoming freshman (I know from experience.). This year, to make it a bit more fun, we had our seniors draft teams for testing week. We got to choose team names, pick what we wanted to wear, and we earned points both individually and for our teams depending on how well we did in events. From knowing people at different schools, I have heard of the different things teams test in. What we do is 200 meter shuttles, the beep test (everyones favorite), broad jump, vertical jump, bench press, front squat, and pull ups. Testing can undeniably be a little nerve racking with everyone wanting to do their best, but the way we did it this year was a great way to keep us loose and even up the compete level.
We have been able to hop on the ice a handful of times so far, but have not started official practices yet. It is definitely nice to be back on the ice with all the girls. It was different to go from being with them every single day, both at the rink and away from it, and then not being with them over the summer. We were not required to be back on campus over the summer, so everyone sort of went their separate ways for the past few months. Seeing everyone again was so great and I am glad to be back with my UVM family.
We kick off our season with two exhibition games at home, one against University of Montreal, then the following weekend we have a Friday night game against McGill. That same weekend we get right into conference play on Sunday with a big game at Providence. It will we be an exciting way to start regular season play because we had beat the Friars 2-1 in a three game series in the quarter-finals of Hockey East last year.
There are a good amount of new faces around the rink which includes, two new coaches, Jess Koizumi and Josh Leigl, a new head of our hockey ops, Josh, our new equipment manager, Tyler, our seven freshman, and one junior transfer from North Dakota, Taylor Flaherty. From being around everyone for a bit of time now, I am eager to see what the season has in store for us. We are a group with a lot of character and seem to have a high amount of energy. It is early, but I already know that this season is going to be another successful one for us, I am confident we can pick up where we left off last year, and were going to have a great time along the way.