The construction of the new athletic complex presented both the boys and girls varsity hockey teams with the challenge of adjusting to a new “home” rink at the Eaglebrook School. “It’s been a big change,” girls hockey coach Gen Pitt said. “Every practice at Eaglebrook takes about three hours of [the girls’] day.”
The changing locations — the girls team practices at the Collins/Moylan Skating Arena in Greenfield as well — have kept the teams from wearing in their home rink. “It’s become our rink, but at the same time we know it’s a temporary one,” said boys hockey coach Jan Flaska. “Music, the locker room, all the things that make up a team’s aesthetic, we don’t have that.”
Buying into the extra time needed for practice has been essential for success this season. “We as a team talked about it early on and how this is part of the deal this season. We didn’t want to let it be an excuse this year,” said Ms. Pitt. “The payoff is obviously worth it, but we won’t let this be a layer to our mindset, our fitness and our energy on the ice.”
For girls hockey, their focus has created successful results, and they look to continue what has already been a strong start to 2018 following three consecutive wins in January, all of which they earned on their opponent’s ice.
“The girls are a lot of fun,” Ms. Pitt concluded. “They take hockey seriously, and they take their school work seriously, but they still joke around and sing on the bus, and it’s fun being with them every day.”
On the boys’ side of things, the Eaglebrook rink has not hindered them either. The team comes off of a 7-3 dismantling of Loomis Chaffee, and more recently a 4-2 win at home against Trinity-Pawling.
One of the defining qualities of this year’s team is the upperclassmen’s outreach to younger players, facilitated by the added time together in transportation to the other rinks. When asked about his favorite aspect of the team this year, Will Holland ’20 did not hesitate: “My teammates. They’re all great guys, and I learn a lot from them,” he said.
Captain Theo Lenz ’18 explains that “having to travel everywhere has definintely been somewhat of a humbling experience. Sure we don’t have a nice locker room to call home, but it’s created a culture where the team feels at home when we are all together, no matter the location.”
Looking forward to the second half of the hockey season, the two varsity hockey teams continue to find success in every rink they come across.