Posted on: September 24, 2013
Travis Herlein is one of three seniors on the WolfPack hockey team in 2013-14. He and teammate Ben Bula have volunteered to write the team’s blog this year. Here is their first installment
We started off the road trip Thursday night after a strong high paced practice. The fellas were anxious and excited to hop on the bus and head to Calgary to see what was in store for us this weekend. The bus was the loaded and all the seats were finally decided; somehow veteran Scott Bollerfer aka “Scotty B” was left seat less. Once everything was all sorted out, most of the guys took it easy and decided to get some shut eye to prepare for Friday’s night game against Red Deer College.
Breakfast came early for some of the guys as we arrived to Calgary 3:30AM Friday morning. Some of the guys decided to go back to sleep to prepare for the game that evening, while fellow new comer Brodie Gibbon and some of the guys decided to go stretch their legs and explore the beautiful sites of Calgary; (which isn’t much).
After a suspect meal at Boston Pizza the guys walked back to the Hotel to throw their suits on and head to the arena. Most of the guys that had never been to SAIT’s arena were looking forward to seeing the arena as the veteran players were talking it up.
The boys took on Red Deer College Friday night with an early 5:00PM start. The game started off with the Wolfpack coming out strong. A few huge hits were thrown out that really set the tone for the game. The ref tried to throw a huge loop in our start to our game as he said we all needed ear pieces to play in Alberta; only five guys on the bench had ear pieces in at the time so we were exchanging helmets between twenty guys every shift, Coach Don Schulz and Kevin Johnson had no clue who to put on the ice. The Wolpack started off the scoring with Silvan Harper aka “The Gorilla Man” leading us off and hometown kid Josh MacDonald aka “Ryan Getzlaf” putting up the second goal of the game to put us up 2-0.
I thought the guys played a very strong game but a few hiccups along the way allowed Red Deer to claw back in the game. A solid effort was put out by the group of guys in the lineup but a full sixty minutes needed to be put together to come out on top of this one. We ended up coming out of the game in 2-2 tie after an overtime didn’t settle the outcome even though great chances went both ways. The guys took a lot of positives out of this game and were and new we had to be determined to play sixty minutes against SAIT the following night.
Saturday morning was also another early morning wake up for the guys as we headed down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. After breakfast, we needed to be out of our hotel rooms by 11:00AM except for three of the rooms. All the guys snuggled up in a couple rooms and watched some TV together before we headed to my place for pre-game dinner that my wonderful parents put on every year.
Since training camp started the coaching staff and players have been non-stop talking about this spaghetti pizza that Wanda and Don put on. As usual we arrived at my parent’s house with the pre-game dinner sitting there ready for us with Gatorade and water in coolers. After dinner and a couple card tricks the team decided to go in to a food coma before we headed to the rink. As you see a plate like this will do that to you Ben.
The team was full and focused on tonight’s game after a rested afternoon. We headed to the arena with an outcome already in mind. I could see before the game that the vibe was good and the guys were mentally ready to go. We hit the ice flying and again set the tone with a couple massive hits. Unfortunately due to a missed call by the refs I was tossed from the game before I even had my second shift of the game, while my friends and family came out to watch.
The guys dug deep and jumped out to 1-0 lead scored again by Josh MacDonald. The guys went in to the first period break 1-0. Josh put another goal shorthanded early in the second period, by a beautiful play from Duncan Schulz and Ryan Cuthbert. Silvan Harper again added a beautiful single effort goal to put us up 3-0. SAIT was able to get eventually get one passed Mr. Stephen Wolff as he stood on his head for us Saturday night stopping over fifty plus shots. Brodie Gibbon was able to notch his first as Wolfpack to give the team some insurance a 4-1 lead. The game was a really rough game but a great test and confidence builder for the team. With a solid effort that was displayed Saturday night the Wolfpack were able to come out on top with the Championship trophy.
After a fun bus ride home and some shut eye Sunday, the guys are back to the books this week, with a hard week of practice in line for the week as we head to Victoria this weekend for our first two games of the year. I’m looking forward to this weekend as this will be another huge challenge and test for our team.
Until next time,