Looking back over the 2008-09 regular season, the Golden Griffins have had some ups and we have had some downs. We have had some historical games, both good and bad. All in all, the season has gone well thus far. Although we came up short of our goal, which was finishing top four in the AHA standings, the team is confident heading into a time when wins and losses mean living to see another day or dusting off the golf clubs to begin a long offseason.
The greatest feeling for any athlete, next to hoisting a championship trophy over their head, is the feeling one gets when the regular season has come to an end and due to all the hard work and dedication that you have put forth so far, your team is embarking on competing for a league championship and then a national championship. We are at the time in the season when it hurts to roll out of bed, bend over to tie your shoes/skates and take a stride because of that injury that has been bothering you since January. But similar to any true champion, you push forth because your teammates need you and that ultimate prize is within reach.
Playoffs in hockey are like no other. Every man and woman that has ever played the sport will tell you how long the offseason feels. It gives teams and individuals a lot of time to think about the “what if’s”, and “should of’s”. Given the haunting nature of the offseason, a lot of hockey players will do anything to give their team a chance to win during the postseason; whether it’s blocking a shot, taking a hit to make a play or taking a punch to put your team on the power play. The time after your team has lost out is what scares a lot of players. That is why both men and women will play with broken bones and separated shoulders – because there aren’t many injuries that a championship can’t heal.
Growing up, every young hockey player’s dream is to play in the NHL. We have all been on the backyard rink pretending that it’s overtime in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. As you walk in over the blue line and put a move on the defenseman, you walk around him and now it’s just you and the goalie, you make a move and go top shelf with the game winner. You raise your arms in celebration and make the noise of a cheering crowd, because on this afternoon you are the hero (in your own mind at least).
While we may not be in the NHL, the Griffs will be living the dream in the upcoming weeks. We will all be given the opportunity to be the hero and help the team advance one step closer to a league and national championship. It’s that time in the season where there is no tomorrow, where the men are separated from the boys and the contenders are separated from the pretenders. The time is now...
This is your captain here, over and out.
With Buffalo being a long way from home, I often find myself missing a nice home cooked meal. This past week the Moser family welcomed the men and myself into their home for supper. I would like to send out a special thanks to them and all the other families that have given us a little extra for the bus rides home or taken some of us men out for dinner to help get our minds off of things for awhile. From all of the Ice Griffs, thank you for making us a part of your family and supporting us throughout the season.
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