By Greg Garno, Daily Sports Writer
Published October 3, 2013
Is the team chemistry stronger?
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Last Friday, the Wolverines took the day off, for what is likely a program first: to play paintball. It has little to do with hockey, of course, and more to do with team bonding.
Bennett, DeBlois and Copp, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last year, have organized more activities as a way to combat last year’s issue. Throughout last season, team chemistry was poor and contributed to the early struggles, according to Berenson and players.
“I think there’s a better attitude in that locker room,” Berenson said. “I think they can’t wait to play, and they’re more worried about doing the right thing this year.”
Added Bennett “Everyone wants to be a little bit closer than last year, and I think we’ve done a good job of that so far.”
Part of that is due to the different leadership in place from last year. Last year, Berenson selected a fourth captain, former forward Kevin Lynch, a few weeks into the season, a rare event in program history. This year’s trio of captains is more vocal and already more involved in getting the team together.
There’s a different feel now. Captains organized shootouts; skaters ran into boards to distract their teammates during interviews with reporters; and everybody suffers through conditioning workouts now.
But what will it take to show the improvement?
“I’d like to see our team establish some type of identity,” Berenson said. “Our team was not as ready to play and win (last year) as it is this year.
“This team’s got a lot more humility right now. I think they’re going to play hard.”