Frozen Winter

The rink had its own architectural plan.  The roof was slanted.  The main beams for the roof were massive wooden planks.  The wood had aged from the cold humid atmosphere of the rink.  The aura of the rink was like Ontario.  Upstate New York right on the Canadien border.  The level of competition right up there among the best in the region.  The practices were intense.  The coaching staff tested our skating skills first.  Being quick was a big factor in drills.  4 mile jogs in the morning before each practice.  Our coaches wanted us going as fast as we could all of the time on the ice.  We approached each practice like a game.  Developing good puck handing and learning to work together as a team was next.  We split off into lines as forwards or defensemen.  In drills our coach asked the wingers to practice as defensemen or had defensemen lining up as wingers or even taking face offs.  In the morning the rink had fog hovering throughout the air.  The condensation made it tough to see through the plexiglass.  The ice felt good under our feet, it was perfect.   In practice we worked until we thought we were going to fall over.  After practice we got to practice our shooting.  I tried out as a walk on.  Coach Roll recruited the three leading goal scorers in the Metro League all members of the New York Junior Apple Core team in Long Island.  After practicing in Oswego I got into Junior B games, the Baltimore Bandits had a spot open.  For most of the season I practiced or scrimaged in Lancaster or got in Central Penn Panthers games.  That winter the Boston Breakers coach invited me to go to Ontario for games against the Canadien Junior A teams.  I left Philadelphia on the train to Boston.  Traveling is great, I got in games against teams in Long Island, New England, Quebec, also in games against the Czech Republic, Sweden, got to practice against one of the Soviet teams and so on.  The last season in the Metro League on the Junior B Rangers. 


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