Baby, I was born today!

Note: This was intended to be posted yesterday, March 28.

Hey all long lost blog readers,
Today is my birthday! I share this day with the likes of Keith Tkachuk and Lady Gaga. I know a few other non-famous folk who were also born this day, but I won't go into that. I already got a great present from Benny. He gave me a Nook Color. I have already put it to good use and purchased "My Horizontal Life" by Chelsea Handler. I love her books. They are so real and funny. Definitely makes my day. My parents are also giving me money towards souvenirs from the Frozen Fours.

Speaking of the Frozen Four...

As many of you know, BU women's ice hockey went to the Frozen Four last weekend for the first time in team history. They had to beat Mercyhurst in the quarterfinals to do so, whom they lost to in the quarterfinals last year.  They pulled off a 4-2 victory to clinch a trip to Erie, PA. Not much about Erie made it an ideal town for any Frozen Four, other than the beer bar next door to the hotel. And despite the fact that there were at least 10 high end hotels in town, all four teams were placed in two adjacent hotels. It made for many awkward moments.

So much happened that weekend, I'll just go in chronological order.

Wednesday: We practiced at our rink that morning and left that afternoon for Erie. As our cross town rivals, Boston College, were also participating in the Frozen Four, we had to share a charter flight with them. It was quite humorous to see them sitting in the far back of the rear plane and our team sitting in the front with at least 10 rows of seats separating each team.

Thursday: This day was really slow. We practiced early in the afternoon. We also received our tournament gear (zip up hoodie, baseball cap and hockey pucks). That night, we attended the Frozen Four banquet where we also received beanies. The food was tasty, especially the dessert. There were a few speakers that included the hosts from Mercyhurst. They made it extremely clear that they were none too pleased that Mercyhurst was not participating in the Frozen Four. Sorry? Jennifer Botterill also spoke on her Frozen Four experiences.

Center Ice logo at practice

Our own athletic training room

Friday: Friday was the longest day of the whole weekend. Our game wasn't until 8PM! There was an optional morning skate and the rest of the day was spent just relaxing at the hotel. My dad got into town in time for the 5PM game featuring Wisconsin vs. Boston College. I went over to the rink early with him to watch the beginning of the game. It looked like from the get go that Wisconsin would win easily. Much to everyone's surprise, BC came back to make it a close game, but ultimately Wisconsin pulled off the win. Our game couldn't have been any more stressful. Even though the scoreboard showed that we were outshooting them, every shot they took felt like 10. Cornell scored first. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. I thought, "This is better not how this games turns out. We tried so hard and had such a great season, only to lose now." But it didn't take long before we answered with a goal of our own. By the end of the second period, we were winning 3-1. In the past two seasons, we are undefeated when leading after two periods. That thought kinda comforted me, but I knew that 20 minutes is a long time in hockey and anything could happen. We ended up winning 4-1 to earn our first trip to the National Championship game. I got so many congratulatory texts that night that I just had to turn off my phone for a while so I could really enjoy the moment. I had so much adrenaline going that day, that I didn't eat much, so I went out for dinner with my dad that night. Unfortunately, not many places are open at midnight in Erie.
Motivational poster made by the team

Pre-game vs. Cornell

Saturday: Saturday morning, I went with a group of the staff to Tim Hortons for breakfast and went to the grocery store to buy ice cream cake. The coaches had promised the girls that they could have ice cream cake if they won the semifinal game. While we were at the grocery store, the girls were at a banquet to announce the Patty Kazmaier award winner. That afternoon, they had another brief practice. The coaches allowed the girls to spend the rest of the day with their families, so I spent the evening with my dad. We had dinner and went to the mall and Target to waste time while waiting for Benny to arrive.

Sunday: The big day that we had been anticipating all year was finally here! I have never been so nervous. I kept telling myself that it was ok and that just making here was a great accomplishment, but at the same time, I still really wanted to win. Being from Wisconsin, I had hoped all year that we would be playing Wisconsin in the NC game and now here we were. We left the hotel to a pep rally put on by the band and fans.
The fans!

BU hockey's biggest fan (One of the assistant coach's nephew)

The girls arrived at the arena and did everything that they have been doing all tournament for their pre-game activities. The whole warm-up and game went by so fast. We kept it close for a period, but then Wisconsin ended up just being too much and we lost 4-1. I'm feeling better about it now, but it hurt initially to think that we had had such a great season, and no championships to show for it. No Beanpot Championship. No Hockey East Tournament Championship. No National Championship. But it was such a great accomplishment be have had such a great season and to even make it to the NC game. After the game, the team went to a local restaurant to have one last team meal. It started off slow and quiet, but then the seniors started toasting to their teammates and the season and the group became their usual rambunctious selves.
Pre-NC game warm-ups

Even the restaurant didn't expect us to still be around for the NC game
To top off the weekend, we flew charter home. But it wasn't just any charter. It was U2's charter (yes, the band). When U2 isn't using it, the Boston Bruins use it. It was definitely the nicest plane I've ever been in. It is going to be really hard to going back to flying coach on domestic airlines.
U2's plane

Interior of U2's plane...the seats reclined fully to be used as a bed

Each individual on the team and affiliated with the team received
 a miniature version of the actual second place trophy

Frozen Four

A year after losing to Mercyhurst in the NCAA quarterfinals, the BU women's ice hockey team beat Mercyhurst to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in team history. I am so proud of this team and I am so honored to have been a part of it.

I first took an interest in ice hockey by watching the Wisconsin Badgers men's team on TV. Since then, I have watched and been to many men's Frozen Four tournaments. I never thought in a million years that I would actually be working with a team, men's or women's, who would be participating in a Frozen Four tournament. Sure, I thought it would be cool, but I never thought it would actually be real. And I definitely never thought it would occur in my second year as a certified athletic trainer. This is all so surreal.

I think what I'll remember most about the game is not necessarily that we qualified for the Frozen Four, but how excited everyone was. The team was so happy. The coaches were so happy. The fans were ecstatic and loud. I was proud to be a part of it.

The Frozen Four is this weekend in Erie, PA. We definitely have our work cut out for us. We play Cornell in the semi-final round. Wisconsin and Boston College are competing in the other semi-final game. If we played Boston College in the final game, it would obviously be a big deal as there is a big rivalry between the two teams. In terms of the season series, each team has won two games, so the title game could easily go either way. Wisconsin is quite possibly the best women's ice hockey team, although their most recent games have been tight, so they are definitely beatable. Personally, I would love to play Wisconsin. It would be so bittersweet, growing up a Wisconsin Badger fan, only to face them in the National Championship game. Don't worry. I am 100% BU now, but I still have a tremendous amount of respect for the team and especially Mark Johnson. I didn't really know much about women's hockey until I worked with this team, but I have known who Mark Johnson was for a long time. It would be so unreal to be working for a team who was competing against Mark Johnson's for the national championship.

I am so excited and can't wait for this weekend to be here. The first game will be Friday evening. My dad is even making the trip up to watch the games. Ben will also be attending the final game, assuming we make it that far.

Go BU!

P.S. The BU men's basketball team also clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament by winning their conference tournament. Of all teams that they could possibly play, guess who they are playing in the first round? That's right. Kansas. Normally, I wouldn't care, but my brother is a freshman at Kansas. Its on like Donkey Kong!

National Athletic Training Month

Hey all,
I bet you didn't know that March is National Athletic Training Month? Well, now you know, so you have no good reason to lose at Jeopardy.

In celebration of this great holiday, the NATA is having a video contest for athletic training students. Needless to say, some students here at Boston University have put together a part cute, part funny video about what athletic trainers do to help promote the profession. It has recently come to a head that people are confused as to what athletic trainers actually do (they frequently confuse them with personal trainers), so clarifying it for the lay person has been a big initiative for the profession.

The video contest winner is based at least partly on how many people watch the video. Now, you don't need to watch the whole video. All they need are lots of hits. So please, please follow the link below. The video is about 7 minutes, but just clicking through takes 3 seconds.

One Month Later...

Sorry, folks. I haven't posted in a month! I wasn't kidding when I said the past month would be crazy. On Friday, I turned in my big graduate paper. The hockey team also wrapped up the regular season with 10 games in three weeks. Thank goodness they had a bye week before the playoffs to recover from the intense season finish.

This weekend was one of ups and downs for the team. We were defending Hockey East tournament champions and we had just won regular season champs only to lose in the semi-final round of the Hockey East tournament this year. There was a lot of stress and nerves going into the NCAA selection show last night. We didn't know how much losing in the semi-final round would hurt us in our placement in the tournament. We were all ecstatic to find out that we were ranked third and will be hosting the first round. Even better yet, we will be playing Mercyhurst in the first round. This is a big deal as we lost to Mercyhurst in the first round last year. The team is excited to get another chance at playing the Lakers in the tournament.

The game is Saturday at 3PM. I am already bouncing off the walls with excitement. The weekend can't come soon enough.