The junior hockey season continues for the Minot Minotauros. It has not been an easy one for the second year team. With just two wins on the season the inexperienced team is starting to show signs of progress. With some recent player acqusitions, and a much more aggressive playing style, things are looking up. Here is post four in the series, as we go inside first year goalie Ryan Ruck’s life as a junior hockey player.
We are now a month into the season, and I love the junior hockey life! I thought for sure I was going to be tired, and exhausted everyday this season. It’s not as bad as you might think! Sure we are on the ice everyday, and at the gym between 2 and 4 times a week, but it’s not as time-consuming as you may think. On Tuesday and Thursday I go to work from 7am to about Noon. Then it’s of to practice. That’s about as busy as my week gets! The best days of the week are of course game days! On Friday, if we have a home game we have a pre-game skate at around 10:00 am. I then go home to take a good nap, and get some food. Then I am ready to go! Saturdays are the same if we are at home, but away games are much different. This past weekend was a little rough. We had a Friday home game in Minot, and then Saturday we had to travel to Brookings, South Dakota, a little rougher. We normally meet at the rink in the morning, and immediately bus off to the away game which this weekends was a an 8 hour bus ride! On the bus it’s pretty relaxed. We can either watch movies or sleep. On the way back home after an away game normally everyone sleeps! On Saturday I paid one of the league veterans on my team 20 bucks to sleep in his bunk for the whole 8 hours. I thought that was money well spent!
The only real tough part of being a junior hockey player is being a rookie. A rookie is a player that hasn’t played in that league before. I am a rookie, and we get picked on all the time, made fun of, and just got the short end of the stick. It’s not that bad! I mean everyone has to go through it at some point, and looking ahead to being a veteran in the league makes me even happier. I am loving being a junior hockey player, and I love everyone on my team. We all can get on each others nerves at points, but we tough it out. At the end of the day we are all brothers.
We now leave on Thursday for a 10 day road trip. We fly to Wenatchee, Washington for two games. Then we are taking the train to Fresno, California for a two game stint. A bit of a journey, just to play 4 games, but I am looking forward to it. I know we will be able to get a few more wins under our belt. I will check back while I am on the road and tell you how life is going.