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Campus Chronicles with Peter MacDougall

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 02/10/2009
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Coming off a successful weekend against the Sacred Heart Pioneers, the team did not have much time to recoup because we had to travel to Erie, Pa. to face off against the Mercyhurst Lakers. This game was originally set for December 19 but due to weather conditions prior to Christmas, we were forced to reschedule. With such a tight race in the AHA standings, the men knew these two points were very important.

The rivalry between the Griffs and the Lakers has had some close games and this one wasn’t any different. Jumping out to an early lead the team push forth in hopes of gaining some breathing room, but that wasn’t the case on this night. With a Lakers’ goal early in the second period, the team had to bear down and fight on. However, the two teams would trade goals in the second half of the game and regulation time would settle nothing. Not long into the over time, the Griffs would get a much needed bounce and a much needed two points.

There was no time to celebrate though. The team was scheduled to travel east to battle the United States Military Academy at West Point. On this weekend, Tate Rink was rocking with just under 2,700 spectators in attendance on both nights. On Friday evening the spectators got just what they had paid for, an Army Black Knight victory. The Black Knights took a two-goal lead early in the contest and the team was unable to rebound, falling 4-1.

Saturday was a new day and a new two points up for grabs, and our team was fully aware for that. The Griffs came into this game with the mindset that failure was not an option, and that was proven right from the drop of the puck all the way to the buzzer at the end of regulation. After 60 minutes the Griffins found themselves in another tied game. Being in this position less than a week before, the men were confident that we could pull it off yet again. That was not the case on this night and this battle in the trenches remained even at two apiece.

The past weekend’s games were enjoyable to be part of as a player. As we caught our breath between the third period and overtime on Saturday night, the fans at the Tate Rink were just heating up to cheer their team on to victory. From a small-town Canadian kid, it seems that military schools, whether it’s the Air Force, Army, or Navy seem to have great fan support no matter the sport. The respect and support the athletes receive from their fellow students/cadets while attending these academies is top notch. It seems that both the spectators and the players can relate to one another because all have to rely on others at some point, whether it is on the ice or on the battlefield. The trust that someone will your back or bail you out when you need it most seems to completely relevant to me as a athlete but I understand that, to players on Army team, this concept is appreciated on a whole different level.

The Black Knight fans provided an outstanding hockey atmosphere at West Point this weekend; even if it did mean that someone in section H was letting #32 know how bad of a game he had.

This is your captain here, over and out.
Pete MacDougall

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

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