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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

All Sixty, All the Time

A college hockey game is sixty minutes long; everyone knows that. But for Peter Belisle, getting his team to play consistent for all sixty of those minutes has been a challenge.

During their current six-game losing streak, the men’s hockey team has seen leads slip away and last-second goals break their team morale. It’s hard with a team full of freshmen and sophomores, but Belisle has been working hard in practices to enforce playing all sixty minutes hard and smart. “Sixty minutes. It’s a theme this week,” Belisle said. “I’ve been putting sixty minutes on the clock [during practice], trying to stay focused for all of sixty.”

In a recent home game, the Beacons saw a 3-1 lead slip away in the matter of five minutes at the hands of conference foe Castleton State College. UMass Boston eventually lost 4-3 and in the process lost a great chance to gain two conference points. Last weekend, while playing at St. Anslem College, the Beacons got down early, 2-0 in the first period, but battled back to tie the game at two.

But in the final seconds, with the pressure on Beacons goalie Ryan Donovan, the game was lost. “[There’s a] shot from the point, we block it, it deflects right to a St. A’s stick, and the guy [Joe Fernald] buries it,” Belisle said after the game. “I told the guys between periods of the … game, ‘Guys, we gotta relax, we’re working too hard, we’re not working smart.'”

With other coaches, the problem in inconsistent play can be related to conditioning and being in shape, but Belisle, who worked his players for sixty minutes straight in two practices last week, is sure it isn’t the problem. “I hope I’m doing my job conditioning these guys,” he said. “If anything, I don’t think it’s conditioning at all; it’s just playing a smarter game, a more complete game.”

Belisle said that after those two days of hard skating and work on the ice, he wanted to sit his guys down in the film room and show them what to work on. “I want to try and teach them some more things [from] the films, see if we can learn from our mistakes, learn from our lapses. That’s my theme this week.”

Belisle wants to make sure that between the current losing streak, the departure of Adam Larrabee and the flu bug that’s been going around the team, they can stay focused. “We’ve been mentally rattled [recently],” said Belisle.

With only two games remaining, he wants to make sure that his team has some momentum going into the ECAC East tournament. If the team can get a couple wins, Belisle says, they may be able to surprise or upset a top team like Norwich, New England College or Babson. “All the pressure’s on them,” he says. “No one will expect anything from us, so we won’t have any pressure to win.”

About the Contributor
Ryan Thomas served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2007-2008; 2008-2009