Day 3 of training camp got underway today with a high pace that continued throughout the entire session at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. The first fifteen minutes of practice were focused solely on high speed puck handling and skating. When asked after practice about the pace of play, Coach Spencer said, “We were very impressed with the high tempo practice today. We wanted to work the group hard from start to finish, and have a game day pace across the board.” He also added that the coaching staff chose to skate the team a little harder today, and also ramping up the physicality and puck battles.
After the skating drills, focus shifted to game-speed regroup drills, 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 breakouts, and 2-on-2 board work in the corners. With a very truculent energy on the ice, the players were not holding back when battling for the pucks. “We want to keep the pace and tempo high for the rest of camp. It’s such a short season so there is no time for slumps, and not enough time to work yourself out of a funk. Every practice needs to be at game pace, and that starts in camp” said Coach Spencer after the practice.
The game speed continued from the drills into the scrimmage to close out Day 3. Playing 4-on-4, team red had the edge on team white today. With everyone beginning to find their feet on the ice, the passes were crisp, and the shots were hard. Nick Coltura, a member of the 2016-17 recruiting class, showed why he is a great addition to the SFU Hockey program with his smooth skating from the back-end, and steady stewardship of the blueline. Coltura joins SFU after finishing his junior career with the Coquitlam Express, and looks to bring his all-around defensive game to become a stud for the Clan.
The eleven new players have so far impressed the coaching staff, but there is an even higher level of expectations for all returning players. Coach Spencer also mentioned that they have been pleased so far with the overall level of fitness for the team as a whole, and it’s been evident that the team prepared themselves for training camp, “It’s clear that they worked themselves hard this offseason, coming into camp that is exactly what we want to see”. With today’s session being the halfway point of training camp, the game-day pace is expected to continue for the final three days in preparation for the team’s first exhibition game, September 10th against the University of British Columbia. Camp continues each day at 10:00 until Saturday, and is open to the public.