WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown Wolves wrapped up their 5 day training camp at the Fairgrounds Ice Arena Friday.
The team had 25 players in attendance and held several practices and 3 scrimmages to get a feel for what the 2020-21 roster looks like on the ice for the first time.
”We’ve spent the last 6-7 months talking hypotheticals and playing around with numbers. And now, finally seeing the guys working together, seeing the dynamics, seeing the different guys and it’s been great for us, it’s been great for the coach and great for the guys to finally get an opportunity to start building something,” said Watertown Wolves Owner Andreas Johansson.
The one thing that stood out to Johansson during the week was how quickly he saw his players get back into game shape as the week progressed.
”You know, we started out Monday, it was okay but it was a little slow, it was a little touch and go and you see that just a few days in it’s already starting to kind of- the line formations are kinda starting to give themselves. You start to see who can play with who and the pace of the game’s already picked up. You know, I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway that you realize that when we come back early January we don’t need that much time to get ready to go,” said Johansson.
With the exception of a few players that live in the area, most of the team packed up and went home for the holidays instead of kicking off the season, which is usually what happens after camp. It is something that was tough for Johansson to see.
”It’s definitely tough, I mean, I feel like now we’re almost ready to go. You know we could go and start the season next week if we were able to. So of course they’re gonna go home, it’s gonna be a month, we’re gonna have to do everything all over again,” said Johansson.
The players that showed up for camp and the ones that have been showing up for daily workouts over the past few months from all over the country have been doing so without being paid, something Johansson says shows their dedication to the sport and the character not only as players but individuals as well.
”It’s 100 percent dedication to winning. You know, they all want to work on their game, they want to be together with their teammates, they love the sport. At this level you’re not playing for money, you’re just playing because you love the game and you want to take an opportunity and that’s what I love about these guys. I mean every single player in this locker room- fantastic individuals aside from being great athletes,” said Johansson.
The hope is to get an abbreviated season in beginning January 15th, but if that doesn’t happen, Johansson says he’s here for the long term and is committed to putting a winning product on the ice not only for Watertown, but all hockey fans in the north country.
”I’ve said from the first minute I’m not doing this for financial reasons, you know. I love the sport and I can see all these guys that are up here, you see it in them that this is an opportunity for them to live their dream, play professional hockey in Watertown. We know that there’s gonna come a 2021-22 season and another season and another season and we’re looking to build a culture. I mean, once you have the right culture of winning and success, the players become interchangeable, you know, so long as the culture is right,” said Johansson.
The Clarkson Lady Golden Knights were looking to bounce back from a loss to Colgate on Thursday night Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena as they hosted the Lady Red Raiders in a battle of the two top 10 teams.
Only one goal in the 1st period, a little over 5 minutes in Colgate gets on the board when Kaitlyn O’Donohoe capitalizes off the Clarkson turnover and dents the back of the net. Score: 1-0 Colgate after 1 period.
The Lady Golden Knights tie it up in the 2nd with a shorthanded tally. Caitrin Lonergan’s backhand lights the lamp, tying the score at 1 after 2 periods.
In the 3rd period, Colgate regains the lead when Kristyna Kaltoun-Kova rips yarn off the centering feed, giving the Lady Red Raiders a 2-1 lead.
But with 8 seconds left in the game, Nicole Gosling buries the blast, t0ying the game at 2.
Clarkson and Colgate skate to a 2 all tie.