The Griffs came into the weekend excited for our first action of the 2009-2010 season. The guys were focused after a full week of practice, ready for our season opener against the Ferris State Bulldogs. The Griffs started at home for the first time since my freshman year way back in 2006 against Robert Morris, when this year's senior class first came to Canisius College.
The week of practice went by quick, the first few weeks of the season are always spent getting use to new line combinations, and defense pairings, while trying to learn the systems and plays being taught by our coaching staff. As the week went on, the team really started to focus in on Friday night. Come Thursday and Friday, class and homework become harder to focus on as Friday night nears.
With the arrival of Friday, there was a lot of anxious hockey players ready to start the season, but before puck dropped at 7 p.m., a typical Friday game day for a Griff starts in the morning with class, then followed by a light lunch, followed usually by a relaxing period, either TV or a nap for most until around 3 p.m. Then we all meet for a pre-game meal of chicken and pasta, then to the rink around 5 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start.
Friday night's game was a hard fought affair, and unfortunately we came up on the losing end. It was a fairly solid game. We were down 2-1 after two periods, but gave up a few late goals in the last 10 minutes of the third period. Against a good team like Ferris State you have to play a full 60 minutes and on Friday night, we did not do that.
There were several positives after our first game of the season and after a Saturday morning stretch and video session at the KAC, the team prepared a game plan that would hopefully help us win on Saturday against a very tough opponent. Saturday night was another physical affair and team defense was key. The Griffs won 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Klusendorf tally early in the third period. It was a big win for the team because we came with a full 60-minute effort, which we lacked a little bit the night before. Winning a game 1-0 is a pretty good building block at the start of this young season because winning one-goal games now will only help us further on down the line. All-in-all, not a bad first weekend of play for the Griffs.
With this being a holiday weekend, I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there. Next week the Griffs are off to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to take on the Lake Superior State Lakers. Hopefully the boys will be inspired on the trip because we will be playing in the backyard of two of the most famous Griffs of this past decade, none other than Joey Coccimiglio and David Kasch, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. We will see how it goes. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.
Chris Forsman, #4