Preface: Sophomore year I didn’t travel with the UNH men’s hockey team on overnight trips. Before the team left for New York for the 2011 NCAA Regional’s, I left this pep talk I had written on their locker stalls.
I’ve got a task for you boys; can you be perfect for three more games? You’ve been told your whole life that no one’s perfect, no one rises above everyone else without a single flaw. That is true as a human being and as you develop into the character you are today. But I believe in hockey you can be perfect for a game or three. In hockey, being perfect isn’t having the sickest celly after the game winner, or going bar down every shot you take. In hockey being perfect is doing the little things, playing two way hockey, giving support, crashing the net, winning face offs, doing the things that aren’t mentioned on the score sheet or in the box score. Being perfect is setting your teammates up for the perfect one-timer, always playing that “pedal to the medal” mentality and being able to climb over the boards after each shift and tell your line mates and Umile, “I gave it all I had, what can I do better?” Being perfect can’t be done alone. You need a family behind you and supporting you every step of the way. That family has to have gone the through some of the same obstacles and emotions as you have on this journey. Whether that family is sitting next to you right now in the locker room or showing their support back home in Durham, wishing they could be there to celebrate afterwards, they are there and they will go the distance to have your back and be perfect too. Right now, we are an ELITE team; we are 1 of 8 teams still skating in all of NCAA. After every practice you have been bringing it in as a family and on 3 chanted, “Mo-Town” Well boys our dream will soon become a reality. Now let’s punch our ticket to Mo-Town and end Cinderella’s ball a little early tonight. Good luck boys, Can you beperfect for three more games?”