The Griffs are coming off of a solid weekend of hockey play and a relaxing week with only two days of classes. The boys started off the week with a normal schedule of classes and practice on Monday and Tuesday but were given the rest of the week off of school for American Thanksgiving.
On Wednesday, the team met for practice and a cardio session but was then given the rest of the day off. A group of guys headed to the Sabres game to watch them take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. For Penguins fans such as Brian McGinty and me, it was great to see our favorite player Sidney Crosby work his magic on the ice.
For a small town Canadian boy, it was great to come to school that has an NHL team just down the road, considering I had never seen an NHL game before coming to the States. It's not only exciting to watch the highest level of hockey in the world, but it's a great learning tool as we can see how these players play the game up close.
On Thanksgiving Day, Coach Smith gave the team the day off from practice and invited us to his home for dinner with his family. After a team workout in the morning, the team attended the Griffs women's basketball practice where we learned what playing intense defense was all about.
The team arrived at the Smith residence around 2 p.m. and spent the time before dinner watching football or trying their hand at Guitar Hero and air hockey. I considered myself to be a pretty good air hockey player before I went up against Ellis Smith and that changed fairly quickly. After watching Ellis' sister Kylie play Guitar Hero on the "Expert" level, I decided that I wouldn't even try to compete against her in fear of losing twice in the same night.
Before dinner, the Griffs split up in three teams and competed in the first annual "whipped cream and gummy worm challenge." The competition consisted of each player having to rhyme off a tongue twister three times in a row followed by pulling three gummy worms buried in whipped cream off of a plate using only their mouth. I am proud to say that my team took home the victory anchored by a stellar performance by freshman Jordan Mustard, who pulled the gummy worms off that plate like an expert.
Dinner was served and it was as delicious as we all hoped it would be. The boys filled their plates with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and all the fixings as we fueled our bodies for a big weekend of hockey ahead.
On Friday, the boys loaded onto the bus and headed for Waltham, Massachusetts for a series against Bentley University. We've built up a good rivalry with Bentley over the past few seasons and know that every game against them is a tough battle. Saturday night, the Griffs came out a little slow and fell behind right off the bat. We would go on to battle back throughout the game but ran out of time as the game ended in a close loss.
The turnaround time before the next game was the shortest we will have all year, as the next game was at 4 p.m. on Sunday. We knew that we would have to start the game much harder than the night before and were confident that if we played our game, we would be victorious. After a hard fought back-and-forth game, the Griffs found themselves in overtime for the eighth time this season. When Bentley took a penalty early in the overtime period, the boys knew that we had to capitalize on the opportunity. When Ben Danford found the back of the net from the point early into the penalty, the boys exploded off the bench in celebration. We knew we had played a strong game and it was great to be rewarded in the end with a win.
The team now enters the quiet month of December where we only have two games. We now have a few weeks off before our next contest against RIT. We are excited about how we have been playing in the last couple weekends but know we can be much better. The Ice Griffs will use these next few weeks to get better every day in the weight room and on the ice.
See you at the rink,
Scott Jenks, #3