TEAM BONDING BIG PART OF CANADA WEST'S PREPARATION
Thursday, October 29, 2009TEAM BONDING BIG PART OF CANADA WEST'S PREPARATION
Canada West head coach Rylan Ferster has a lot of things on his mind as he prepares his team for the 2009 World Junior 'A' Hockey Challenge.
And when you have 22 players playing together for the first time, team bonding is a priority.
"We want to have a lot of team-building activities for the kids," said Ferster following Wednesday morning's practice at Credit Union Place in Summerside. The quicker you get to know people and get on the same page, the quicker we'll have success."
Canada West, which opens the eight-day tournament against Russia on Sunday at 2 p.m., went bowling Tuesday, visited the Summerside Fire Hall on Wednesday and had a Texas Hold 'em card game in the evening.
"Obviously, in a short-term competition, you want to get together right away and have some activities," said Ferster. "Our host, Todd Richard, has been outstanding for us setting things up."
Canada West right-winger Tanner Fritz says the exercises have helped players become more comfortable around their teammates.
"You do stuff like introduce yourself in front of the guys and tell something that nobody really knows about you," said Fritz, who plays with his hometown Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. "You are rooming with somebody you don't know so obviously you're talking with them. You play cards together and we do a bunch of things."
Meanwhile, Canada East centre Andrew Calof says his team's bonding has gone well.
"Every day we're all hanging out together, playing cards, just talking and getting to know each other," said Calof, a member of the Nepean Raiders of the Central Junior Hockey League. "We have a good environment going on right now where everyone is friends with each other, and we're pretty comfortable."
And Fritz looked comfortable on the lanes, bowling a 232 and earning bragging rights over his head coach.
"I thought I was really good the first game, so I had a little bet with Fritzie in the second game and I certainly didn't fare very well," admitted Ferster, who bowled a 189 in his first game.
"I had about a 90 (in the second game), so I think I owe Fritzie a Gatorade.
"I think our guys had a lot of fun."
But Fritz was humble in victory.
"It was the lane," he said with a smile. "As soon as I switched lanes, I went from good to bad real quick."
The Journal Pioneer