It’s that time in the season and The Battle of The Bridge has come and gone. Except this time it was different. Instead of playing in front of a packed house at Buffalo State, we traveled to a sold-out Dwyer Arena to play against the Niagara Purple Eagles. The outcome of the game was also different from last year, a 5-2 loss for the Griffins. In a game where emotions were running high, we were unable to capitalize on our chances and came up short in the end.
We didn’t have too much time to wallow in our sorrows, as UConn was coming to town whether we were feeling good about ourselves or not. As Coach Smith always stresses, it may take us 10, 30, 60, or 65 minutes to win a game, but we need to stick to the systems and be disciplined within them and we will come out on top. This was evident in this weekends play.
Saturday was a close game by all accounts. We battled hard in the first period searching for that point in which the game would be ours. Somewhere in the second period (for us Canadians) the TSN Turning Point occurred. Leaving the period up 4-0 and finishing the game 6-0, we played our game and set ourselves up for Sunday afternoon.
Sunday was a different game, trailing UConn until midway through the third. Each individual was forced to dig deep to help the team find ‘the edge.’ Even though it was the last 20 minutes, or so we thought, of the weekend we had to claw our way back into that position coach talks about, to win the game. With just over four minutes remaining in overtime we came out on top. A come-from-behind victory like we had today always tastes a little better heading into the next week of games and practices.
As many of you may know, the Griffs’ schedule usually consists of games only on weekends. However, this week was different and it saw us play three games in six nights. For those of us who played junior hockey before college, it felt like we were 18,19,or 20 again, minus the homework of course. This week gave me a feeling of what it used to be like back in what some might call the “glory days.” Playing for the Weyburn Redwings in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, my schedule was filled with games. Different then college, my ice time was mostly spent playing hockey rather than practicing hockey in preparation for the weekend ahead. It was nostalgic to look back on a time that saw me as an assistant captain on a team that would go on to win the Royal Bank National Championship (yes, I have the ring if you would like to see it) and then go on to lead my teammates as the captain. Like a lot of the men on the team today, these were the times that set the stage for the next step in our hockey careers and built our character so we can be the hockey players and men we are now. A little different then today, hockey was our first priority – we did not have to worry about balancing time between hockey and the schoolbooks. As great as our time in junior hockey was, we have closed that chapter in our lives and are looking forward to writing a new one in the weeks and months ahead as Griffins. Until next time Be Bold, Wear Gold.
This is your captain here, over and out
Did You Know ...
• Urszula and Stefan Kostuch, parents of Dave Kostuch, were both confirmed by Pope John Paul II?
• Former Assistant Coach of the Golden Griffins men’s ice hockey team, Greg Fargo, and the Elmira Soaring Eagles are ranked number one in the Division III National Women’s Poll Rankings? Congratulations Coaches, Staff, and Players.
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