Although the weather might have made it feel as though it was, the trip to Colorado was not a vacation. The Griffs flew to Denver last Thursday then hopped on the Ramblin' Express bus to head to Colorado Springs to face off against the Air Force Academy. The trip is always a memorable one as the boys get a chance to experience beautiful Colorado, while being able to play against a team that we have had some great battles with over the past few years.
The juniors and seniors on the team had a great time reminiscing on the plane about the last trip to Colorado in which we won both games against the Falcons, who were nationally ranked at the time. As much fun as it was to reminisce and discuss our past success, we knew that we were facing a very strong team and would have to play our best hockey to win.
After getting a good couple of skates in and adjusting to the altitude difference, the Griffs were more than ready to go on Friday night. After a slow start in the first period - which we will blame on plane legs/altitude difference/time zone difference, etc. - the boys came out flying in the second period by scoring three quick goals in the matter of a couple minutes. It reminded the juniors and seniors of the last game we played against Air Force two years earlier, where we scored three goals in 67 seconds to win the game.
After battling through the rest of the second and third period, the Ice Griffs picked up our sixth tie of the season in an exciting and evenly-matched hockey game. Of course, we would have been happier with a win on Friday night, but as a team we were happy with our effort on the night.
The next morning the boys woke up to a beautiful sunny day and headed to The Garden of the Gods for some sightseeing and photo ops. The Garden of the Gods is a public park that contains unique red rock formations. The most interesting and popular rock in the park is the "balancing rock," which appears as though it could topple over at any moment. The boys gathered at the base of the rock for a picture as we all nervously smiled and hoped we wouldn't be the first tourists to be crushed by the massive hunk of sandstone. After keeping a close eye on some of our young and extra curious freshmen, we hopped back on the bus and headed to the hotel to get ready for the game that night.
It was another back-and-forth battle on Saturday night that, once again, came right down to the wire. The Falcons managed to get the edge over us on the night as we ran into some penalty trouble at the wrong time. We played a strong game, but were disappointed that we couldn't get the win that we felt we deserved.
Overall it was a good weekend for the Ice Griffs, even though we didn't come out of it with an ideal record. We know that every game down the stretch is crucial to our playoff status, but we need to remember to focus on the only thing that matters: the next game.
See you at the rink,
Scott Jenks, #3