I would like to start this weeks chronicle where I had finished off last week’s edition, and that was saying, “tough times don’t last, tough people do.” Call it what you want, but after a disappointing weekend at the Amherst Pepsi Center behind us, it was time to move on...upward and onward! The team rolled into Colorado Springs to face off against the Air Force Academy with the mentality “either you’re in, or you’re in the way,” and would begin what would turn into a historic weekend.
A lot of things were different in Griff Nation this past weekend. One was transportation to our destination. Instead of departing from Buffalo in a bus, the team would leave New York via an airplane. For some of the guys this was a welcomed change, but for others (not going to mention any names, Scarsella and Kostuch) they would have rather, “walked naked to Colorado then fly.” After touching down in Denver, we would gather our equipment and jump on the bus for the remainder of the trip to the AFA.
I had a sense from the beginning of the week that something special was going to happen. For some reason, the team was in a better mood then usual. The guys had put the disappointing weekend behind them and had really stepped up and focused on the task at hand; and that task was competing against the 15th-ranked team in the nation. Mentally, the men had built off failure and had come together to make our trip really enjoyable and fun. The team was not going to let the early mornings, time change or altitude adjustments become excuses.
There is only one word that can describe the games this weekend, and Coach Smith said it following the first win Friday night, “SICK.” Having been in a similar underdog situation earlier in the season when the team traveled to Clarkson University, the men scratched and clawed for a full 60 minutes coming back from a 4-2 deficit to win 5-4. Air Force made the score 4-2 with just under 9 minutes remaining in the contest and every spectator in the Cadet Ice Center had counted the Griffs out, expect for my teammates, our coaches and our support staff.
Similar to how a surfer takes to the ocean, the men rode the wave into Saturday night’s game. The team was in a different position this night, leading 3-1 heading into the final 20. Battling hard, we were able to come out on top and complete the sweep and for the first time, the team would not only beat a nationally ranked team, but we would also sweep such an opponent.
In my pre-game speech to the men, I had expressed the opportunity we had in front of us. I told them that a lot of opportunities only come once in a lifetime, like that of sweeping the 15th-ranked team in the nation. I told them “DO NOT BE A SPECTATOR.” I am happy to report for those of you not there that night, there weren’t any spectators for the proud Griffins of Canisius College.
This is your captain here, over and out
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