Well, we are 2/3 of the way through Hock-Tober and it's been a heckuva month for the boys from Mountain Hockey. Sporting a record for the month so far of 11-2-2-1 with 2 games still to play the boys have really stepped up. Starting with the Compuware Tourney where the boys gave the hosts a great game before bowing late to their most recent win over the Toronto Hill Academy team the boys have shown they can play with anyone.
In just this last week, the boys played 3 games on Monday the 13th, earning a 4-1 semifinal win over the Bay State Breakers Tier 1 team and then at 12:00 taking a tough 2-1 OT loss in the finals of the Pro Am Midget Fall Classic to the Boston Advantage. The Cuse led the whole way but the Advantage tied it with 17 seconds left and the goalie pulled and won it in OT on the PP.
From there ,the boys headed to Albany on Monday night and in a game that started 1 hr late and had a 45 minute delay, they took care of business and took down Adirondack 8-1.
Tuesday brought something special as the boys faced off with Team China's 18U National team. This is the team that is being groomed to be China's Olympic team in 2022. They were a very solid team and had won games in Connecticut before coming here. We had a hard fought 1-0 win in game 1 at Cicero Tuesday afternoon and then were able to post a 4-1 win that night while playing at Colgate. It was great for the boys to play in their 2nd D1college hockey rink in 2 nights. There was a nice little crowd and the Colgate coaches coming over to watch was certainly a nice bonus. They had some good things to say about our team as well so that was a nice capper.
This past weekend we were back in Detroit for the Warrior Classic Tourney. In Game 1, we tied the Michigan Elites 3-3. I honestly thought we were the better team but the W wasn't to be. The Elites went on to win the tourney. We played in soup at Plymouth and tied Iowa 2-2 and the put up 2 straight 1 goal wins over Traverse City and The Hill Academy. The win against Hill Academy got us the opportunity to attend their tournament in December in Toronto. It will be great for the boys to go up there and compete with some of the top teams in Ontario. The other great thing about the tourney was scouts from some top MI D1 schools checking our team out and gathering information about some of our players. You never know where and when the opportunity will come!
If the team can continue to improve,grow and play with a high level of consistency, then the goals we have set as a team, and hopefully they have set for themselves, will certainly be obtainable. This whole season for the boys can really be something special for this group. They still have 3 league showcases to attend in New Hampshire, Boston and Boston. The aforementioned Toronto tourney. The Northwood Lake Placid Tourney. A 4-5 game trip to Florida and hopefully a nice playoff run. We still have 33 league games left and will face off against the NY Aviators this weekend in Empire League play. The NY squad currently sits in 1st place in the Empire League. They bring an older group with many players who competed in last years Nationals to Cicero. The Cuse will try to keep their unblemished league record going. Game times are 3:30PM this Saturday and 1:30PM Sunday.
As I type this I can't believe it's only October. It's already been a great year and there is still 5 months left. 17-7-3-1 so far for the team playing against some of the top competition on the East coast and from the midwest, Canada and .... China!! The best thing so far though is that the team is a team. They are getting tighter. Learning what it takes to win. It's a really good group of players. A ton of character in the locker room. We are just scratching the surface of what we can be and have challenge after challenge ahead. They can continue to grow as a team. They can't rest on anything. At this level and for this group that's what it really is all about.
I look forward to the rest of the journey. Or as me and Coach Huff like to call it "The Process". In closing I just want to thank the parents of this team for supporting the boys and giving them these opportunities. We all know we couldn't do it without your support. Lastly a shout out to Jumbo! May your recovery be quick and we are all so glad that you are on your way to just that!