Many people do not really know what goes on behind the scenes of a hockey game, they just see the final product as 2 teams playing the game they love while putting their body on the line for each of their teammates. Little do the fans know, one of the teams had to travel across the country the day prior, while sleeping on the floor of a bus with likely a couple feet in close proximity to his face. While these trips just mean spending more time with 25 of your closest friends, they can be very taxing on the body and on the mind.
After getting an early start to the day with a morning workout and practice, many of the guys rush out of the rink, trying to quickly sneak in a meal on their way to class. With a sleeper bus leaving that night at 11PM to travel to play conference rivals Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut, we must let our Professors know that we will be missing the rest of the week and will need to get any work that will be missed in order to not fall behind in class.
With only 18 beds on the bus, and 25 players travelling on this road trip the Freshman will have to settle for the floor as their sleeping facilities until we arrive at the hotel on the following day. While they might not be happy with it, they know that there is no other choice, and it is part of being a Freshman college hockey player. The only thing that could make the sleep a little better is knowing that next year it won’t be them on the floor, but rather the incoming Freshman.
With a bus driver that didn’t mind driving through the night, the bus arrived at a local breakfast establishment at a crisp 8am. Looking around the restaurant it was clear that nobody had a good nights rest, it didn’t help breathing in enough second hand smoke to give you a good buzz.
The rest of the day includes a pre-game practice at the home team’s ice rink followed by lunch and many different game-day rituals that significantly differ from one player to the next. Some guys might crawl into bed and have a nap while others might catch up on some homework that is due when they get back to school. Whatever different activities the players do they all have one common goal: to prepare themselves as best as they can for the upcoming battle with the Sacred Heart Pioneers.
Tune in text week to learn about where my hockey career allowed me to travel!