The Vanderbilt Ice Hockey Club’s opening road trip of the season yielded its first loss at the hands of the University of Alabama 9-3.
Despite getting off to a quick start with a power play goal from senior Kyle Brennan just 20 seconds into the first period, the fastest goal to open a game in the program’s history, Alabama’s conditioning and sound positional hockey proved too much for Vanderbilt to handle over 60 minutes.Â In particular, it was the gap in conditioning between the two teams that presented itself early as the deciding factor in the contest.
“I think that going to Applebee’s before the game was a bad idea,” said freshman Jordan Zauderer, who along with several others looked pretty green around the gills by the first period intermission.Â Indeed, fourteen Commodores in total made the regrettable decision to load up on potato skins, jalapeno poppers, and fried chicken mere hours before a showdown with one of the league’s premier programs.
Senior P.J. Tatum explained, “I just couldn’t think properly with a box of chicken strips swimming around in my stomach.”
Amidst what amounted to a fairly thorough drubbing by the Frozen Tide, the story was not all bad for Vanderbilt.Â Whereas the team struggled to keep itself out of the penalty box in its first two games, Friday’s effort was a much more encouraging story as only three Commodores received minor penalties.Â “It was something we planned to work on coming into the game so I’m happy that the boys responded,” said Coach Thomas Bernstein.
Heading into the remainder of its schedule, Bernstein was clear about the things that the Vanderbilt Club needs to work on.
“To me, it all comes down to putting together lines that really fit, then giving them the opportunity to gel during both practices and games,” Bernstein said.Â “It’ll be a team effort to make that happen.Â The guys will have to make sure they carve out time for practice each Wednesday, and I’ll have to do a better job of managing our roster both before and during games.”
“Oh, and we’ll also be screening ‘Super Size Me’ this week following practice.Â I’m thinking a ‘Clockwork Orange’-esque approach may be needed in order to scare the guys into employing more nutritious pregame eating habits.”
Vanderbilt’s next game will be on Friday, October 22nd against Emory University in Nashville.Â For more information, please contact the team’s administrator via the contact form on this website.