Nothing says more about a team than how they pick themselves up and dust themselves off after a heartbreaking loss.
Going into this past spring’s ACHA Division II National Championships, the NYU hockey team was coming off a hot end to the regular season and had the hefty title of defending champs to add to their bravado. After going 1-1 in the first two games of pool play, the team was faced with a must win match to move on. They ended up losing in dramatic overtime fashion, eliminating them from the tournament.
But it’s a new season, and head coach Chris Cosentino’s “focus on what you can control” mentality is alive and well. The team lost five players to that pesky plague called graduation, including star goaltender Sam Daley. Team tryouts for the 2016-2017 season will take place next week, followed by an intense training regime.
Cosentino seeks players who can make an immediate impact, but likewise wants everyone to continue to work hard and earn their roster spot.
“Obviously, a freshman loves to hear that he will have an opportunity to play a big role right away,” Cosentino said. “But more importantly the mindset has a bigger impact on the returning players because it removes any sense of entitlement. Plus, it keeps our older players motivated to work hard in the offseason and not think that anything is guaranteed. Because nothing is — in hockey or in life.”
Training camp consists of a series of both on and off ice activities, including yoga, three-mile “warmup” runs and hill workouts at Central Park. The goal, however, is not to put the hockey playing hopefuls through hell, but rather build a team full of talent and trust.
“The main goal of training camp is to physically, mentally and emotionally prepare the team for a long season,” said Cosentino. “Build them, don’t hurt them.”
NYU’s hockey contingent is no joke. They may often be taken less seriously because of their ACHA billing in contrast with the maybe more compelling NCAA alternative. But this competitive group is gearing up for another fight in hopes of reclaiming the title of National Champions.
“[A]s long as we work hard in creating a foundation of trust, we will be in good shape.”
What is sure to be an exciting Violets’ season will kick off Columbus day weekend with home games at Chelsea Piers on Oct. 7 against Siena College and Oct. 8 against the University of New Hampshire.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 6 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]