Lehman: No bag skate necessary

Ryan Kelly looks on during  the second period of UM-Dearborn's game vs. Oakland on Jan. 23, 2015. The game was cancelled due to thin ice. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)
Ryan Kelly looks on during the second period of UM-Dearborn’s game vs. Oakland on Jan. 23, 2015. The game was cancelled due to thin ice. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)

By ERICK LEHMAN, Staff Columnist

Erick LehmanIn the age of social media, a simple Tweet, Facebook update, or even an Instagram post could cause a big stir amongst athletes.

That wasn’t exactly the result Jan. 19 after the University of Buffalo hockey team tweeted a link to The Michigan Journal’s game story on the Bulls’ sweep vs. the

University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team, pointing out that there was no mention of a “bag skate.”

The Wolverines did not look like the same team that won six consecutive going into the series after the sweep, but were missing a few key contributors in Jeff McFarland, Ryan Kelly, and Andrew Palushaj.

“It’s petty, just pretty dumb overall,” sophomore forward Michael Payne said Jan. 21. “We’ll see them in Nationals, and we’ll beat them.”

McFarland took to responding to the tweet, telling the Bulls to “talk to us after nationals.”

Now myself or my coworkers who played hockey did not know what a “bag skate” is, so we took to Google.

Urban dictionary defines a bag skate as; “A hockey practice where players are forced to do repetitive skating drills until they are exhausted, or have “skated their bags off”. It’s often used as punishment for an underperforming team.”

“We definitely didn’t play to our standard,” Payne said. “But we weren’t bad.”

The Wolverines did not look like the Wolverines of late, but were still able to fire off 46 shots on goal in Jan. 17’s loss. They were just unable to find the opening behind Buffalo’s big goaltender.

“It was one of those weekends for us, the puck just wasn’t going our way,” assistant coach Chris Zarb said after Saturday’s game. “To outshoot a team 46-22, you don’t expect that to happen but their goalie played very well.”

Freshman forward Cody Staub said it best after the 4-2 loss on Saturday: “Someone needs to lose, just was us this weekend.”

This Wolverine team has overcome an immense amount of adversity this season.
Remember October?

The Wolverines lost seven games in a row and compiled a record of 2-8 in the month of October, as well as a record of 3-11 from Oct. 3 through Nov. 15, when the Wolverines win streak started.

With that in the rearview mirror, the Wolverines have their sights set high, and they’re ready to take the next step.

As if getting swept on your home ice wasn’t bad enough, trash talking via social media just adds more fuel to that fire. And for this Wolverines team that already has gallons upon gallons of fuel dumped onto their fire, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is no doubt in my mind if these two teams meet again, the Wolverines will prevail and push themselves through any adversity to get to the next level.

Sometimes all it takes is a little humiliation and some bad mouthing on the internet.

Those are two contributing factors that propelled the Wolverines through a successful November and December. And they weren’t shy speaking about it, quieting any doubters.

It’s early, with nearly an entire month of regular season to play. But I will make one bold prediction for these Wolverines: You will be seeing them skate in the GLCHL tournament finals, as well as late into the National Tournament, no doubt about it.

And it is all because of the gallons of fuel that has been dumped into the fire under this team since the day they stepped on the ice for the first practice of the season.

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