Two things have become synonymous with the start of September: school and training camp for the UMBC Ice Hockey team. On September 2, the tradition continued and has ushered in the start of the college hockey season. After a disappointing second half to last year's season, the team came into training camp with something to prove and hungry for a chance to right the ship. It certainly didn't take long for them to get started. The returners and newcomers immediately got to work, hitting the ice for power skating and a few hours of intense battle drills. With a physical first ice session accompanied with the yearly team dodgeball tournament and a grueling core workout circuit, it was safe to say that the guys crawled home and immediately went to bed, ready to take on Day Two of training camp bright and early.
Day Two of camp started out with more intense on-ice sessions focused around hitting and forechecking (after all, nothing jolts you out of summer vacation mode more than getting hit by a 200+ pound defenseman). It was then onto classroom time to begin learning systems, and then more off-ice workouts. Lunch soon followed and gave way to the ever popular “nap time”--that special time of every training camp when the team is allowed an hour and a half break to rest. However, all good things must come to an end and with the conclusion of nap time came sprint and endurance circuits. Immediately afterward, it was time for the second ice session where the boys left it all out on the ice for the second day. After ice, it was time for another off-ice session of stickhandling and hand-eye coordination drills only to be followed with dinner and a dismissal from Day Two of camp.
Day Three found the team utilizing their last bits of energy to push through the rest of training camp. With two on-ice sessions and more systems talk, the final pieces for this year's UMBC ice hockey team were coming together. Although physically and mentally exhausted, the Retrievers were relieved to hear that training camp was done and seemed to feel excited for the season to come.
There certainly is excitement for this year's team, a team stocked with talent, playmaking ability, scoring threats, goaltending and physical defensemen. Incoming forward Colin Edwards looks to slot into the first line to play alongside perennial scoring threat Ryan Atkinson and the ever dangerous Jean-Luc Durantaye. Newcomers Matt Scott, Spencer Reiber, and Ernst Reschetnikow look to provide even more offensive weapons to the team and to help out such returners as Johnny Lyons, Joe Parsons and Pat Laiosa. Rookie defenseman, Brennan Johnsson, looks to add grit and a howitzer of a slapshot to an already formidable backline. Healed up and ready to help lead UMBC to a deep playoff run is goaltender Dylan Knox and behind him is second year goaltender Kody Powers, who looks to add even more depth to the UMBC goaltending position. With all the pieces in place, the team has set their sights set on this weekend's season opener as the Retrievers head up to New Jersey to face-off against Montclair State University at 9:20pm.
|Saturday, February 18|