By Gino Antimarino
Photo Credit: Arnav Pokhrel (Instagram: @prod_adp)
The coach bus hasn't had that much time to cool off, yet the Syracuse Men’s ACHA Hockey team will fire it up again for a road battle against Stony Brook.
After an eight-hour drive to Ohio University last weekend, the Orange get set for a five-hour trip to southeastern New York, this weekend. Every player has their own way of dealing with the long bus rides, but for SU forward Jack Wren, getting ready mentally allows him not to get fatigued physically.
“For me, personally, it’s all about preparation,” Wren explained. “I like to make some food for the bus ride, that way if we don’t stop, then I’ll have something to eat. Honestly, just preparing for the game is the biggest thing for me. I like to get my mind set in order to get fueled right and I’m just on the bus, hanging out, having fun, being one of the guys. But, once you get to the rink, you have to lock in.”
Last season, the Orange took on the Seawolves at Tennity Ice Pavilion in a two-game weekend series. Stony Brook bested Syracuse in both matchups, but the second one was much closer than the first. The Seawolves topped the Orange 9-1 in the Friday contest and then 6-5 on Saturday. Wren remembered the vast difference in how his team played in that series.
“Last year, our first game against Stony Brook didn’t go as planned,” the sophomore said. “It was kind of a tough loss to swallow and we came back the next day angry. We played with a lot of passion and a lot of grit (in the second game against Stony Brook, last year). It unfortunately did not go our way again, but only losing by one goal to a team that was then ranked… we showed that we can play with them if we just set our minds to it.”
Stony Brook was a top-level opponent last year. The Seawolves ranked 18th in the nation for ACHA Division I and posted an 18-11-4 record. This year is a different story. SBU has won just two out of its nine games this season. Syracuse Head Coach, Chris Timmons, said that he thinks his squad has a great opportunity for revenge this weekend.
“Truthfully, I think we can take away some big conference points here,” the bench boss for SU said. “We just have to make sure we come out flying… Friday we have off so we have to make sure we’re ready to go come Saturday. If we play in our system, move the puck well, move it quickly, generate chances, and put the puck in the back of the net, we’re going to be successful.”
Syracuse has a chance to break its two game losing skid on Saturday with puck drop at 8:30 p.m. Sunday’s matchup begins at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s not about the flash, it’s not about the pizazz, it’s about the grit and the hard work,” Wren added. If we can get those guys (Syracuse’s role players) to step up and guys play their roles and do what they're good at, I think we have a really good chance this year (to win).”