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Campus Chronicles with Chris Forsman

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 09/15/2009
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The Griffs are coming off a championship weekend and hopefully it will be the first of many awards to come this year. Alright, just to clarify the championship comes from this past weekend's dodgeball tournament.

The second annual Canisius College dodgeball tournament was put on by the women's lacrosse team as a fundraiser for the team, but also to raise money for breast cancer research. In all there were 18 teams involved, five of which were made up of hockey players. A total of 25 players, alumni, and staff from the hockey team took part in the fun-filled event along with several other student-athletes, coaches and students from the College. There were several teams represented at the event with the second-biggest contingent coming from the men's lacrosse team led by Coach Mearns. Just a thought for next year: maybe a few more coaches should take Coach Mearns' lead because I am sure that participation would go up if a few more were playing. After all it is not about trying to hit your friends or Coach with a dodge ball, it is about raising money for a great cause. That's just something to think about for next year to try and boost participation.

Now let us talk about the action on the court; congratulations to the winning team of Jason Weeks, Phil Rauch, Matt Zuke, Eric Rex and last but not least, one of Canisius' oldest residents - and it is not Father Dugan - but none other than fifth-year man Ryan Klusendorf. All five of the hockey teams did well, and it was an all-hockey final that went down to the wire, with Klu's squad winning it all.

A quote from Eric Rex that sums up the tough competition and how much it means to win such a prestigious event, "You know I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. Maybe when I throw on my championship t-shirt and ice my shoulder before bedtime it will hit me and honestly it's something that they can never take away for us." Thank you to the women's lacrosse team for putting on a great event - it was a great way to start the weekend.

Now down to business of this past week for the Canisius College hockey team. This past week was the usual grind of workouts, running and on-ice activities. With each passing week, it brings us one week closer to the start of the season. The completion of this week brought an end to our skill session groups. Three times a week we would go out in groups of four and skate for half an hour.

With the completion of this aspect of preseason, we move into the next portion of preseason on-ice training. Over the next few weeks the team will be spending more and more time on the ice. We will be on the ice for two hours on most days, doing hockey related activities. Once again, I say "hockey related activities," because NCAA rules only allow us to skate as a team without coaches. So for an hour we run practice drills without any coaches on the ice and for the second hour depending on the day we either scrimmage as a team with no coaches or if the coaches come out, we do an hour of conditioning. Needless to say, as much as we like seeing our coaches, on conditioning days we hope that highway 1-90 past Riverside Arena is closed for construction.

All kidding aside, the conditioning skates only last two weeks and it is not all about conditioning. Some drills are meant to improve skating and for the most part, that is what we focus on. After all, skating is the most important part of the game and we devote an hour of practice to this skill. These skates are a unique event only found in college hockey. For the coaches to be out with us as a team, we are not permitted to have blades in our sticks, so we skate with just an empty shaft or a stick with a broken blade. To lighten up the event some guys get creative with what they put in their hands - some of the objects include brooms, Swiffer Sweepers or nothing at all. In any case, after this week of captain's practices, scrimmages and conditioning skates, it brings us another week closer to the start of the season. Until next time keep your stick on the ice, except in a conditioning skate of course.

Chris Forsman, #4

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