Sunday, our usual rest day, was spent preparing and playing for possibly the biggest game of the year against cross-town rival Niagara. It was the first game back from break and the Griffs had only practiced for three days leading up to the game.
I started the game and was shocked early as Niagara came down on a breakaway and scored just a couple minutes in. Josh Heidinger (Griff # 12) came right back and put a rebound in. This was just the beginning to an intense game in front of the largest Canisius crowd at home of 1,711 fans. The atmosphere was amazing and after winning 4-3, the Griffs were feeling pretty good about the game.
On New Year’s Eve Day, we had a light practice in our new venue. Every Griff found themselves moving their equipment into a new home for the next couple of weeks, the Pepsi Center in East Amherst. This is where we would be practicing and playing for the next two weeks. The evening events found the Griffs spending it together bringing in the New Year.
The Griffs had a good night but we were waking up bright and early in the morning. Practice was at 10 a.m. at the Pepsi Center. Most of us ended up going for a nap immediately following practice, while the rest attended the Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we prepared for our two games against Bentley. These days had been fairly relaxing as there was no school and only hockey to worry about.
Friday arrived and after the pre-game ritual of eat, nap and eat was completed, the game began. Bentley scored early in the game to take the advantage and this time, it took the Griffs until the middle of the third period to tie the game. It was a slow game which provided no winner. We were upset after the game as it was the Griffs’ first non-win at home, ending in a 1-1 draw.
Saturday, after the same pre-game routine, a different Griffs team showed up. This time the Griffs found themselves up 4-0 midway through the second when Bentley ruined the shutout. I found myself scrambling, losing my stick, balance, and brains long enough to let in the goal. After regaining our composure, the Griffs came together and put up a solid defensive effort in the third. The Griffs came out on top, winning 4-1, and more importantly moving up in the Atlantic standings into sixth-place overall. The unbeaten streak also continued for the Griffs at home as we extended it to five games.
I have just come back from spending some time with my mom, who traveled out from Winnipeg to watch these games against Bentley. Have a good night.
Andrew Loewen (Griff # 1)
Did You Know ...
Campus Chronicles and additional Canisius hockey coverage can be found each week in the Buffalo and Niagara area in the Metro Source. For previous entries plus additional Canisius features, visit Metro Source's website by clicking here.