Friday, March 4, 2011

Every Game A Hero

We're not ready to close up shop here at WaP. No, not after going through two months of Bracketology, not after everything we've seen this team accomplish since we watched the first puck drop in Colorado.

This is a better team than we have seen in the last three weekends. We know it is. We've seen how dominant this team can be. They have the opportunity to get it done. They can prove to everyone, starting tonight and hopefully lasting through the next two weeks and into mid-March that this is a special team.

Allow me to paraphrase from an open letter that Mike Doyle, a former St. Cloud State player, wrote to his team midway through this season when they were close to the WCHA cellar despite being chosen to finish 2nd or 3rd in the league. (Read the original if you get a chance, it's an impassioned plea from an alum). He said it all, and I've modified slightly for our condition. Hopefully, someone on the team can see it.

There is still time to salvage the season. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. This would be a wonderful turnaround, but you have play up to your potential and battle every minute of every game.

During the Clarkson game two weeks ago, you proved, when motivated, that you could be an elite team. I know the bounces haven’t been on your side recently. But, this is all the more reason to man-up and prove to the rest of college hockey that you weren’t over-hyped a month ago.

Each season is unique and you will never get another chance to play with this team. The locker room relationships are unlike any that you will ever make again. Don’t take them for granted.

For the seniors, this is your last hurrah. You may be looking forward to getting out and playing pro hockey. However, playing college hockey is like staying at a five-star hotel, while skating in the minors is like rooming at the Motel 6.

In college you are treated like a king: all the sticks you need, skate-sharpening wherever you lose an edge, first-class travel arrangements and spacious locker rooms in beautiful, sold-out arenas. Houston Field House may be old, but your locker room is better than 90 percent of the arenas you will ever see in the minors.

For the underclassmen, realize that four years fly by.

Confidence is a fickle jester taunting the psyche of a hockey team. A bounce or two can change the entire outlook of a season. When the self-confidence snowball gets rolling in the wrong direction, it feels like it’s impossible to stop. Confidence is something people outside the locker room don’t see nor understand.

Some of the RPI faithful are bemoaning your effort. Message boards are lighting you up like the Griswold house on “Christmas Vacation.”

You cannot let this lack of faith bury your confidence. You can only play for the guys in the locker room wearing the Cherry and White.

Isn't that the truth?

Now, who's ready to be the hero tonight?

Let's get it pumped, people.

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