|The new-B's wait to hit the ice. |
On day two of development camp at Ristuccia Arena, the first on-ice session was devoted to power skating. Twenty-four skaters in three lines flew up and down the ice as each player spun, carved, pivoted, and accelerated his way through an hour-and-a-half session that kicked off the second day in Wilmington.
Observing from the ice was Bruce Cassidy, the newly appointed head coach for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate.
“I think the skating part’s always interesting because there’s a lot of edge work and you’re not sure what guys are at what level,” Cassidy remarked.
For hockey players, these on-ice power workouts are a necessary part of the sport, providing the opportunity to improve as a skater. However, most hockey players don’t find themselves taking on the workout at a development camp for the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.
"It’s a tough skate,” reveals Rob O’Gara of Milton Academy, and a recent B’s pick in the 2011 Entry Draft. Even as a younger player, O’Gara has a number of power skating sessions under his belt. But here, he says, it’s different.
“Guys are quicker, bigger, faster. It’s a little intimidating, to be honest, but you just try to match that.”
But O’Gara says he feels like he is holding his own so far.
“Just got to keep playing hard and match the tempo. That’s the biggest thing,” he said.
Camp veteran Tommy Cross
sets that tempo.
The defenseman has reaped the benefits of the intense skating workouts. His experiences over the past five summers at the B’s development camp have led to standout moments on the ice for the Boston College.
“Well its great stuff, its useful, important stuff,” Cross said. “You don’t do a whole lot of it during the year but its great to learn it this time of year, in the summer and definitely bring those drills and some specific things back to school.”
Because of his experiences with high-intensity sessions such as these, Cross believes he has developed an understanding of his capability in those high-intensity moments.
“Yeah, you use everything when it goes into overtime. So it gives you some confidence and in those overtime games I guess you just want the puck on your stick.” ---Rosemary Moran