Sitting there Wednesday, watching practice, you couldn’t tell anything had changed.
The motions were the same. The drills. The pace. The intensity.
But something was different. There was no Mel Pearson in skates with a stick watching over practice. No assistant coaches. Just the players led by their captains.
During the preseason, the NCAA mandates teams have two days off from practicing. Optional practice is allowed one of those days, but no coaches can be on the ice. During these practices, the four letter-wearers — the captain, Will Lockwood, and the three alternate captains Luke Martin, Griffin Luce and Jake Slaker, all seniors — are responsible for keeping the intensity.