By Gary Rennie
LaSalle Vipers’ head coach John Nelson put away the usual drill and playbooks at Thursday’s practice for the team’s annual “Olympics.”
The players and assistant coaches – Chad Shepley, Matt Beaudoin, and Nathan Savage – were split into two teams that competed in fast-paced puck battles, shootout and skill events Nelson has dreamed up over the years. Equipment manager Jake Mocan joined in.
It was mostly non-stop stick handling and shootouts plus one-on-one, two-on-two and right up to five-on-five full-ice scrimmages for 60 minutes.
Nelson kept score, refereed any disputes about goals and awarded penalty shots for misbehaviour.
Players mostly changed on the fly in each competition to keep up the overall pace. Not much rest.
“It’s a morale builder,” said Nelson. He tries to do the “Olympics” once a year to have some fun at a practice, but still keep it high-tempo.
Team Gray took an early lead and looked confident, but Team Black fought back for the eventual win in the final minutes.
The winners got an early rest and the losers had an additional five minutes of on-ice stop-and-starts.
Team Black: Brett Vorshuk, Evan Ferguson, Abdul Abouzeeni, Jack Bowler, Stephane Crevier, Zane Dalpe, Cody Schneider, Max Sieberer, Stefan Dobrich, Jackson Bernard.
Team Gray: Aaron Shaw, Matt Carvalho, Kory Silverio, Spencer Paradis, Colton Krzeminski, Jack Chumley, Gianluca Pizzuto, Dylan Robinson, Dean Albano, Will Tragge.