By James Murphy
The Under 19 Boston Shamrocks squad are on the road again! After playing in the NAHA Labor Day Tournament in Burlington, Vermont two weeks ago, the Shamrocks embarked on a much longer trek Thursday to Hamilton, Ontario for the Stoney Creek University Showcase. With a nine-hour drive there and back, Director of Hockey Operations and head coach Sean Fisher is approaching the journey as a team-bonding opportunity for a roster that was literally assembled from scratch this past off season.
“A weekend away early on like this one, is definitely an opportunity to do some team building,” Fisher said. “Team building is building, it’s not something that’s just going to happen and we’re going to have to work at it, especially when we have girls coming from all over North America and all different teams before this. We’re still getting to know each other and a trip like this is great for that. We have a couple team building sessions built into our itinerary this week so it will be fun. It’s always good to get away, get to know each other and test ourselves on the ice.”
One thing that can plague a team and it’s dressing room early on, are cliques, but Fisher isn’t worried about that at all, based on what he’s seen thus far. “Cliques are obviously something you never want to see as a coach and it’s about breaking down those barriers, especially when you have so many people from different walks of life,” Fisher said. “So this is obviously one of those weekends where we can avoid that and start that team building process. Also, even already, you’ve seen the North Shore (Massachusetts) girls really helping the out of staters feel welcome and showing them around. That’s been great to see!”
Another thing that has impressed Fisher over the last two weeks of training camp has been the development of a leadership core. “We have a whole new roster and essentially no old players so what’s great about that, is you can essentially allow the leadership personalities to organically straighten out the ship, he pointed out. “So, the leaders of the group, as they always do, filter to the top and you can see that happening already.”
With the team coming together as a group, now it’s time to get the chemistry flowing on the ice and this showcase will be the prefect opportunity for that. “Well, we gotta get better everywhere, to be completely honest,” Fisher acknowledged. “But the fact that we now have pretty much our full roster will be great. We were missing four significant bodies at NAHA so now that we have a full roster I think this weekend will be a good measuring stick to show them and me where we’re at and where we need to get. I think after this weekend I will have a better idea. I think I have a good grasp now but after playing these games this weekend with a revamped roster, I’ll have a meaningful idea of where we are.”