By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor
After a grueling weekend in a home-and-home against Mercyhurst, Canisius has utilized the first half of their bye week to “rest, refocus and re-attack” per head coach Trevor Large.
With a 4–4–3 start in conference play the Griffs will see a thirteen day split in between their last and next game’s, allowing the team to work on their game both physically and mentally. For the team who’s physicality has both helped and hurt them, this lengthy break gives players like defenseman Brenden Datema who was named “Sponge of the week” by the “Everything College Hockey” account on Instagram time to recover after blocking 10 shots last week.
“Honestly a Sunday off after a game is all I really need to get right (physically) but this week has allowed us to regroup and work on our game as a whole. Offensively we’ve worked on creating a net presence, and we took a bunch of time to work on some stuff off the ice as well,” said Datema.
Large mentioned the teams work off the ice, saying “We had a big culture day Wednesday where we're talking to guys about staying on task, making sure everyone feels welcomed and valued for who they are. We had a great day in understanding who we are, (because) it’s about ‘’who are you?’ not just making hockey plays.”
The seventh year head coach acknowledged certain points that the team needed to work on, but one positive aspect of the team's game he pointed out was their play at even strength. “We’re a lot to handle with how hard we play, and the guys are attentive and they see what our best hockey looks like and want to be better for it.”
For Canisius, the biggest struggle has been staying out of the box to see opportunities at five on five, or even a man advantage. As it stands, the Golden Griffins average the seventh most penalty minutes in the country, with almost 14 minutes a game being the norm. The team improved in that aspect last weekend though, surrendering under six minutes of penalties across the two game stretch.
The Griffs will continue on their break until December 15th when they host AIC on back to back nights at home.