Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cottonmouths 2011-12 Training Camp - Day 3

Day 3 was a pretty light one after the long day on Tuesday.  We only had one session, lasting about an hour and a half.  Once again, the pace was pretty brisk.  There was not too much contact, though, with tomorrow being a game day.  The guys worked on systems and did a lot of skating/passing/shooting drills, working on general skill level and repetition.  They're looking sharper each day.  Jerome has been shuffling lines around, both out of a desire to experiment with different line combinations and today out of necessity...Sam Bowles did not skate today.  He had a minor procedure to correct a nagging injury that has been bothering him.  No word yet on how long he'll be out, but he vows he won't miss a regular-season game.  I'm just not sure he'll have the final say on that one.

In any case, the boys are in high spirits and there's a lot of energy in this camp.  Some of it is nervous energy, as it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we have 22 guys in camp and only 18 roster spots to go around.  Some of the guys will be going home after the weekend, and everybody wants to make sure it won't be them.  The competition is helping to bring out the best in the players, and that's good to see.

The practice ended with a game of Juice-Boy.  It's basically a shootout where each guy goes in turn until he scores.  The last guy to score has to bring a gatorade to each of the other guys on the team.  Today's "winner" was Brody Malek, but it was a heated battle to the end between him and Bret Tyler.
Morgan James makes an attempt on Andrew Loewen in Juice-Boy.

The lineup for today was as follows:


Braid      Hammond   Kinnunen
Hergott    MacDougall    Sullivan
Moore            Lind          Berube
Wall         James


Tyler        Barlow
Cianfrini    Maldonado
Krelove       Kessler


Vigier     Loewen

This will likely be my last blog until the weekend.  We have a game tomorrow night in the Columbus Ice Rink against the Knoxville Ice Bears, then we travel to Knoxville on Friday to play the Bears on their home turf.  I doubt I'll have time to blog after the games, but I'll do a wrapup of the weekend on Sunday or Monday.

Cottonmouths 2011-12 Training Camp - Day 2

Day 2 started off with a less strenuous skate than Day 1.  That's because we had a scrimmage scheduled for the afternoon against Kennesaw State University (coached by former Cottonmouth Barry Dreger).  Since we were going to play a simulated game in the late afternoon, Jerome didn't feel the need to tire out the boys too much in the morning.  He wanted to see them at their best in the scrimmage.

We added 2 more players to the training camp roster this morning - Peter MacDougall returned after attending camp with the Reading Royals (ECHL) and David Berube made his way here after being released from the South Carolina Stingrays' (ECHL) camp.  Both were on the ice this morning.  The lineup was as follows:


Hammond   Bowles   Sullivan
   Moore        Lind      Kinnunen
Hergott      Braid       James
Berube   MacDougall  Wall


   Tyler          Barlow
Maldonado   Cianfrini
   Kessler       Krelove


    Vigier    Loewen

Again, I'm not sure of the exact pairings on defense, but basically that's what we had out there.

After a brisk but brief skate this morning, the guys came back this afternoon for the scrimmage.  It wasn't like a real game-not the same intensity-but it was better than a regular practice.  Sometimes it's nice just to see a different face on the other squad...even behind a bird-cage.  KSU was short a couple of guys, so Jerome let them borrow a couple of our defensemen.  The guys rotated through the lineup, 2 different D-men swapping jerseys to play for the KSU Owls for each period.  In the first it was Will Barlow and Bret Tyler.  I told Ty he looked damn good in that KSU jersey (they looked like Tyler's hometown Boston Bruins' jerseys).  For the last 2 periods we swapped goalies with KSU, letting Vigier and Loewen face some better shots from our guys than they were seeing from the college kids.  The Owls were a little better than we expected.  They had a lot of energy and just kept coming at our guys.  They were relentless.  I guess that's a product of their coach.  That's the way Dreger was.

The good guys won, but it was a pretty good game for both squads.  All in all, not a bad way to end a long but productive day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cottonmouths 2011-12 Training Camp - Day 1

Day one of Training Camp is in the books, and it was a good one.  With a lot of familiar faces (and only 4 new ones), it didn't take long for the guys to find their rhythm.  The new guys did a good job of blending in and keeping up with what turned out to be a breakneck pace.  It was like the whole team picked up right where they left off at the end of last season.  This is a good thing, because we were on a pretty good roll at the end of last season.  There was a lot of fast skating and good intensity.  All the drills were fast and furious.  After nearly an hour of drills, the boys were split into 2 squads for a scrimmage that was not for the faint of heart.  The glass was rattling as guys battled along the boards for loose pucks.  I've never seen such an intense start to the first day of training camp.  These guys look hungry for roster spots, which is a good thing.  There should be some good battles for a few jobs and Jerome will have some good players to choose from.  He should have everything he needs to build a strong team.  I'm excited about this season.

Today's practice lineup looked something like this:


Hammond     Bowles     Sullivan
Hergott        Braid        Wall
      Moore          Lind         Kinnunen


Tyler        Barlow
Maldonado  Cianfrini
Kessler      Krelove
Malek        James


Vigier   Loewen

I'm not sure of the exact pairings on defense, but those were the guys in the lineup.  Cole skated during warmup drills, but was not allowed to be involved in contact drills (and there were lots of those).

It was a very eventful first day, with a couple of players leaving the ice due to minor injuries.  Hannah was a little busier than she expected to be on the first day.  Overall, it was a great start to camp and I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings.  Stay tuned!