Today being Monday I thought to myself: why not start off the week with a hockey practice?
I drove out to UBC, walked in the rink and saw fresh ice but no action. No water bottles lined up, no nothing. Maybe I missed it? The only hint that I had something was going to happen, was a few Vancouver Canuck fans complete with jerseys on, waiting patiently in the stands. I decided to wait around a few minutes. Sure enough Cory Schneider skated onto the ice and set up the net for practice. Then a minute later James Reimer, goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs skated out. Then a coach who I had never seen before stepped onto the ice. Well it was safe to say these two goalies were getting the practice they needed. Vancouver Canuck D-Man Dan Hamhuis skated out and he was the guy in charge of taking shots on the goalies.
I watched for a while but my parking was about to expire so I decided to take off. Then out of the corner of my eye a bunch of locked out NHL players skated onto the ice. The usual suspects including both Sedins, Malhotra, Glass, Mitchell and a San Jose Shark. No Max Lapierre, Mason Raymond, Chris Higgins or Kevin Bieksa. I popped a few more coins in my parking meter and decided to stay for practice.
The players were doing their thing on the ice and I got word Jason Garrison and Alex Edler were skating on the main rink with the UBC Thunderbirds! I grabbed my bag and headed out. I was on a mission. Find Edler and Garrison.
#1: I wanted to see what his personality seemed to be like while watching him skate with other players
#2: he is SO HANDSOME! I wanted to see if he was as good looking in real life as he is in pictures (I always need men for the Heart of the Week segment)
Well I wasn't let down. Garrison looked to be a very hard worker out there on the ice, smiling with the Thunderbirds and oh so handsome. Photos do not do this man justice.
I heard that UBC's head coach Milan Dragicevic was working his special teams at practice. "Special teams" meaning the guys that kill penalties and the guys that work the power play. In hockey as we know there are 12 forwards and 6 defencemen dressed for games. When a team gets a power play chance they will mix up their lines and send out different combinations. The team on the power play will send out a "special team" to try and create a scoring chance and the team killing the penalty will send out a "special team" to kill the penalty. Coach Dragicevic was working his special teams.
There is one thing I really really like about Coach Dragicevic. It is how often he makes his guys do push ups. I love it. It makes me laugh every time. Last year at Canuck practices I saw Coach AV get his guys to do push ups a few times but Dragicevic does it almost every practice. What girl wouldn't like to watch fit, handsome man doing push ups?
I only watched these guys practice for about 10 minutes. Long enough to see them do push ups, get a good look at Garrison, confirm his handsome status and watch the end of practice pep talk. The team huddled together including Garrison and Edler and then one of the Thunderbirds simply said "The Sun is out Guys." They all had a good laugh and skated off.
And that is a wrap on practice. See you next time! XO