We just ended “J-term” here at St. Norbert, which is a three-week period between Christmas break and second semester. A couple girls on the team took a class to get ahead on credits, but most of us just enjoyed our time off. The days went by really fast, as it seemed like we were at the rink or the gym most of the day. I enjoyed doing some fun (voluntary) reading, eating and making home-cooked meals at the international house, shopping, and catching up on a few seasons of Gossip Girl. We did a lot of team bonding as well, including Secret Santa, a New Years get together, a little sledding once we finally got snow, and a sand volleyball tournament. Volleyball was a lot of fun, and each team had to come up with a theme, costumes, and a cheer. I was on Team USA, given that we were the only team consisting of all American players. We lost a couple players to illness and injury so our team was pretty small to begin with, and I’m pretty sure we lost every game in the tournament, but it was a ton of fun regardless. The other teams were nerds, Indians, and two different groups of superheroes. However, my favorite part of J-term was that my brother came up to Green Bay to visit me before his own semester at Michigan State started. He got to see me play for the first time in over three years! He has been one of the most influential and supportive people throughout my entire hockey career, so spending a hockey-filled weekend with him really meant a lot to me.
As far as the season goes, we have continued on with our pattern of splitting weekend series, winning three and losing three of our last six games. I think putting two games together is mostly a mental challenge for us as a team, in terms of coming out and playing our best hockey on a consistent basis. As everyone gains more experience, I know we will be able to see what works best and hopefully put whatever it takes into every game. Although we are only around .500 in conference games, we got enough points from the last few series to get us into a good place for playoffs, and I have to believe we will only go higher in the standings over the next couple of weeks. We have had some really good practices leading up to now, and I have seen a lot of improvement even just since Christmas break, which makes me really excited as we are moving toward the end of the season in such a strong and positive way. Well, I’m still getting back into the swing of things for school and I have a bunch of homework to finish up now, but stay tuned as the Green Knights build some momentum heading into the NCHA playoffs!