Hamden, CT - The Sacred Heart men's hockey team switched it up a little bit Monday afternoon with a trip down to the Hamden Hockey House (H3) for a light-hearted 3V3 exhibition. H3 is a smaller rink, opened three months ago, that allows players to work on their skills in a more controlled environment. The Pioneers split into four teams of six, playing three on three against each other. Every minute a line shift would occur and six new players would come onto the ice.
"I know when you're struggling like we are this year, the season becomes extremely long. I thought bringing the guys to a rink like this would be a nice change a pace for everyone and hopefully make the team remember why they love the game of hockey," Head Coach C.J Maratolo said.
Each game of 3V3 lasted 25 minutes, a break would follow and then they would play for 25 more minutes.
"I think it was a great idea by coach. It was a nice change of pace for the guys, I personally have never skated in a place like this," senior defenseman Alex Stuart remarked.
The players seemed to enjoy playing against each other on such a small rink, and even though it was a practice everyone still wanted the bragging rights of a victory over their fellow teammates.
"It was kind of like when you used to play pond hockey with your friends as a kid. It was a great way to not think so much and just play," commented junior defenseman Neil Fachini.
Coach Maratolo seemed pleased with the overall experience.
"The idea was to make sure the guys had some fun with their teammates, as well as work on their skills. I think we accomplished both those things."
The Pioneers play a two-game series at home this weekend against Canisius.