After our previous day of travels, we all got a good night’s rest and woke up for 9:30 am breakfast at the hotel. We sat down with some players from Chippewa (on the Midwest team) and ate our breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. Despite having to play them later in the day, the breakfast did not end in fisticuffs but rather with us clearing our plates and heading to our rooms for a pregame nap, just like every other game day.
After our nap, we headed downstairs in our suits to get on the bus to the rink. Sharing an isle with some players from Wilkes, we made the 15-minute drive from our hotel to the rink, and prepared to put our best foot forward.
Off ice warmups felt a little off for us as we did not have the usual scheduled meetings beforehand. Unlike our usual meticulous schedule for game day, the only time we had to go off of was the previous game, as our on-ice warmups started immediately after the finishing of the earlier game on dirty ice. My teammates went off for their regular routine as I got my titans apparel on including my shorts, shirt, sweatshirt and red under armor shoes. I prepared to run around the rink with my headphones, racket ball and phone. However, before I was able to start my routine, I was stopped by an equipment rep for Vaughn. He explained that he could help me find new pants as well as mold a custom helmet for me. Since I was interested, he offered to do the molding before the game.
As I laid down with saran wrap surrounding my eyes and a hair net atop my head, I began to regret my decision. Before I could muster out a change of heart, I was instructed to close my eyes as my temporary plaster sarcophagus was draped around me. As I laid in utter darkness in what felt like an eternity, thoughts began to race in my head. “What if my warmups is ruined and I play bad because of it?” An earlier conversation with coach Craig popped up in my head. “If a car salesman says you can have the car for $400 a month what do you say?” Apparently “sure…?” was not the right answer. Craig explained to me that I had to negotiate for myself, stand up for myself, and not just take whatever was offered… like a plaster molding of my face before a showcase game. Well Craig, I did not stand up for myself this time, sorry. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess. The molded helmet will be really good for me though, a big increase in protection and comfort I hear.
Anyways as my plaster cage was lifted, I hurried away to complete my warmup and got my gear on to head onto the ice. On ice warmups were a little unconventional with the unclean ice and slightly different shooting drills, but we made the most of it. Our coaching staff came in, Craig and Johnstown’s coach Mike Letizia gave us some advice. They told us to do the right things and to do what we do best, and not treat it just like an all-star game. “Play the game the right way” more or less.
All of us performed well, Cam Gendron scored in the first in what would end up being a 3-1 victory for team East. After the game we ate at the rink in a room set up for the players during the showcase. We enjoyed our meal of steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, and sliced bread. After we were finished, we got back on the bus to get some rest for tomorrow’s game.
Hanging out in the hotel together, we turned on our Monday night ritual, the Bachelor. Small spoiler, big drama coming up with Victoria F (my future girlfriend). After that exciting episode we got ready for bed to get some sleep before our game against selects blue the next day.