Friday, October 9, 2009

Follow Northeastern on its weekend trip at Colorado College

Saturday, Oct. 10

7:07 p.m. - PUCK DROP! Huskies and Tigers set for battle on the backend of the twinbill on Greg Cronin's 150th contest as head coach of the Northeastern hockey team. Follow along on live stats via

7:04 p.m. - Following all the same protocol as last night's contests, the National Anthem is in progress with both teams ready to collide.

6:28 p.m. - Both teams take the ice for warm-ups at the 38:00 mark.

5:30 p.m. - Coach Cronin rallied the troops in the locker room for one last strategic-talk session before taking to the ice for warm-ups.

5 p.m. - A lot of stick-taping, stick-handling and self-meditation in the hallways took place before the team stretch conducted by strength and conditioning coach Dan Boothby.

4:30 p.m. - After the wake-up calls subdued, the team put their warm-ups on and braved the walk down to World Arena. Temperatures were in the high 20s and it felt as if there was a cloud of heavy, wet dampness making matters much worse. At least the team will be prepared for the climate on the ice for game-time.

1:30 p.m. - The team congregated in one of the hotel's meeting rooms for a chicken and rice lunch while Coach Cronin broke down both man-up and man-down situations from Friday night's contest. Cronin would point out how he would like certain instances to change in tonight's game to help secure the Huskies first victory of the season.

10:30 a.m. - A few skaters, including Matt Lipsinki, Steve Morra, Drew Ellement, Dylan Wiwchar and Bryan Mountain made it over to World Arena to keep their legs fresh while the rest of the players went back to their rooms before a film/lunch session at 1:30 p.m.

9 a.m. - After wake-up call, the Huskies were greeted with some Rocky Mountain hospitality with the temperature at 19 degrees. All hockey players have great traction out on the rink but the entire parking lot to World Arena was a sheet of ice, itself. Everyone had breakfast and went over film in preparation for the morning skate.

Friday, Oct. 9

9:48 p.m. - Despite a hard-fought effort, Northeastern was outmuscled by Colorado College in the season opener, 4-2. Freshman Garrett Vermeersch tallied his first collegiate goal in his debut while Alex Tuckerman continued his hot streak from late last season with the Huskies first goal of the season. Senior defenseman David Strathman recorded his 40th career point with an assist on Tuckerman's goal while rookie goaltender Chris Rawlings stopped 33 shots on 37 attempts in his first endeavor between the pipes.

7:37 p.m. - FIRST PUCK DROP OF THE SEASON! Follow Colorado College's live stats -

7:34 p.m. - The PA announcers introduced Friday night's starters (for NU - G, Chris Rawlings, D, Jim Driscoll, D, David Strathman, LW, Tyler McNeely, C, Steve Silva, RW, Wade MacLeod.

7:29 p.m. - The lights turned out and Colorado College's mascot streaked across the ice with a spotlight on him. Colorado College's double-decker jumbotron streamed Tigers' highlights before CC took to the ice. The Huskies followed and the two teams got in their final stretches before the announcement of the starting line-ups.

6:45 p.m. - Northeastern retreated back to the locker room to go over some last-minute strategy and get mentally prepared for the first outing of the regular season. The crowd is starting to fill in the 8,000-plus arena at World Arena.

6:30 p.m. - The Huskies take the ice! Northeastern is looking sharp in its all-black garb with red and white piping.

6:20 p.m. - Head strength and conditioning coach Dan Boothby had the team stretch their legs in the hallway after Coach Cronin went over some final strategies. Everyone was laughing and cracking jokes, appearing to be very loose before the season opener.

6 p.m. - Equipment manager Matt Nareski continued to sharpen skates and tighten loose screws in helmets while the team stick-handled tennis balls and goalies worked on reflex drills in the hall with music blaring out of the locker room.

5 p.m. - The team came out of their rooms, all matching in their team warm-ups, and gathered in the hotel lobby to make their way over to World Arena as one unit.

3 p.m. - The Huskies returned to their rooms for some more rest before heading over to the rink for the first regular-season pre-game of the season.

2 p.m. - After a couple hours rest from practice, the team congregated for lunch at the hotel followed by a team meeting and film session.

11:20 a.m. - Some players headed into to shower up while others honed their shooting precision before resting up for Friday's tilt.

11:05 a.m. - Coach Cronin brought the whole team down to one end and started working on some four-on-four strategy.

10:50 a.m. - With half the team facing each other on the sideboards at center ice, Coach Cronin would toss the puck for the goalie to handle, and then the play would break into a 3-on-3 situation.

10:45 a.m. - The Huskies then split into two units on opposing corners. One player would sail the puck to the opposite side, skate to center ice and then man up on the one with the puck for a one-on-one situation on the goalie.

10:30 a.m. -To start off, the squad dissipated into four groups in each corner, working on some open ice passing to the side boards followed with a couple passes in the offensive zone and finished off with a shot on net.

10 a.m.- The Huskies arrived at World Arena to get in some stretching and their skates sharpened before taking to a freshly zambonied sheet for the final practice before the first game.

9:00 a.m. – A hearty breakfast was provided for the players and coaches in one of the hotel’s meeting rooms before the morning skate.

8:45 a.m. – Wake-up call.

Thursday, Oct. 8

9:15 p.m. – After a nice meal as a team, everyone walked back together (in the snow!) and retreated back to their rooms for a good night’s rest before the first regular season game of the year.

7:20 p.m. – The freshmen gathered all the pucks and the team showered up to get ready for their team meal at Carrabas near the hotel.

6:48 p.m. – The Huskies worked on faceoff situations and some corner work for the latter half of the session. Northeastern finished up the practice with some shooting drills and one-timer work.

6:30 p.m. – In end-to-end skating drills that turned into two-on-two situations in both zones, Northeastern’s two freshmen goalies, Chris Rawling and Bryan Mountain saw some fire in net. Rawlings and Mountain each flashed some dexterity and made some nice glove saves during the drills.

6 p.m. – Once the zamboni finished cleaning the ice, Coach Cronin gathered his team at center ice to go over some final instructions while they performed their final stretches.

5:15 p.m. – With the team hotel no more than a quarter mile from World Arena, the team walked to the arena and stretched together before taking to the Olympic-sized sheet for the team’s first skate outside of Matthews Arena.

2:30 p.m. – After almost eight hours of total travel time, the team and coaches retreated back to their rooms for some much needed rest before the 6 p.m. team skate.

2 p.m. – The bus arrived at World Arena, the site of this weekend’s contests against Colorado College. The team unloaded their equipment and set up the locker room for tonight’s skate and the rest of the weekend. World Arena is an Olympic sheet with 200 x 100 dimensions, making it much wider than Matthews Arena (200 x 90).

12:30 p.m. – Everyone received pre-made sandwiches before getting on the bus to the hotel. A cloudy, drizzly day obstructed the views of mountains in the distance during the bus ride, but the highway offered plenty of ups and downs to give everyone an idea that they weren’t in Boston anymore.

12:04 p.m. (switching to Mountain Time) – After gathering everyone’s belongings at Denver International Airport, the Huskies were greeted with brisk mountain air while waiting for the bus to transport them to Colorado Springs. The local temperature was in the upper 30s.

9:21 a.m. – With a plane that didn’t have a vacant seat to spare, the flight captain got onto the PA system and alerted everyone that the Northeastern hockey team was joining everyone on the flight and ended his speech with a ‘Go Huskies!’

9:00 a.m. – Logan Airport was very busy at the waking hours of the day, but the Huskies boarded their flight without a hitch and were treated to television with a variety of cable channels in the headrests for the four and half hour flight.

6:57 a.m. – The team looked wide awake as the players, coaches and team representatives loaded all the equipment onto the bus to get ready to depart for Logan Airport for the trip out to Colorado Springs.

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