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Members of the Ohio University club hockey team practice with potential new players during open tryouts on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 in Bird Arena. 

Hockey: As Ohio gels, newcomers work to fit in

Ohio hockey players welcome freshmen into the team. 

Leaning casually against a wall outside the dressing room, senior Michael Harris laughed as he thought back to his freshman beginnings with Ohio and compared it to this year, his final go-round.

“It’s so much different,” Harris said. “I was shaking in my boots before our first game my freshman year. Now it’s like, I’d do anything to have the season start and just get ready to get back on the ice with the green and white and give ‘em hell.”

Harris, with his tattered green hockey pants that flap loosely as he skates, looks every bit the part of a seasoned veteran.

That’s why he understands that the new guys, who appear to be fitting in nicely after just one week, will need some real game action to truly settle in.

“It seems like they’re all pretty comfy right now, but there’s nothing that can really take away your first game jitters,” he said. “They’ll just have to get hit, lay a hit or shoot the puck, get it all out of them and then they’ll be all right.”

Freshman Bryan Lubin, a 21-year-old Michigan native, admitted he was a little nervous heading into his first week of practice because he wanted to blend in with the Bobcats.

Lubin’s transition was smoothed with help from sophomore Drew Crandall, whom he used to play with and has known for several years. Crandall introduced Lubin to other players on the team and helped him get into a house he’ll share with some teammates.

“I have a good feeling with the guys coming in, all the returners, we’re going to have a lot of fun,” Lubin said. “It’s one big team. There’s no cliques.”

Echoing Lubin’s sentiment, Harris said his freshman class was guided completely by the older players on the team. Anything from going to the library, to lifting in the gym, Harris said he felt the presence of his more experienced teammates.

“What’s special about Ohio hockey is that we have such a tight-knit group of guys that even the new guys really feel at home right away,” Harris said. “All the older guys, we’re here for them to help their transition from juniors or wherever to get ready for the season to start.”


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