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Sean Duddy, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native and freshman defenseman on the men’s hockey team, blogged from the team’s trip to Big Rapids, Mich., for a two-game series with Ferris State. The Buckeyes won the opener, 6-2, to move their winning streak to 11 games. In the second game, the teams tied, 2-2, through overtime before Ohio State won the shootout, 1-0, to earn all four league points on the weekend and stay unbeaten in their last 12 games. The Buckeyes return home next weekend to host Western Michigan at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena.

Saturday
Today we were up at 9:15 again for another excellent breakfast. Instead of waffles, we had French toast and fruit, along with eggs and hash browns. After breakfast we headed over to the rink for team and individual video. It seems like I never have any individual video because my clips always make it into the team video. After video some guys walked back to the hotel, while others stayed at the rink to loosen their legs up and stretch. A few received treatment for bumps and bruises they got the night before. I went for a jog around the rink and flushed my muscles out with a roller, and then walked back with Corey Toy and Matt Bartkowski. Back at the hotel we didn’t have enough time to sleep before pregame meal, so Kyle and I just watched some hockey highlights and then headed down to the bus. The meal was the same as yesterday, but we had breaded instead of grilled chicken. I personally like grilled chicken better than the breaded variety, but most of the guys like breaded so I just have to deal with it. After the noon meal we went back to the hotel to try and catch a quick nap. The game was at 5:00 instead of 7:00, and that changes everyone’s gameday routines. Like I said yesterday, each guy is really strict about their routine during the day, so an earlier game time can really mess things up. The guys who normally take long naps have to take shorter ones, and everyone feels off-track because their bodies are used to the 7:00 game. We headed over to the rink at 3:00 and prepared for the battle to come. Ferris came out really hard just like we thought they would, but we answered them and came away with a big shootout win. After the game we packed the bus quickly, grabbed some pizzas and hit the road. I beat Bartkowski at chess and wrote today’s blog, and now I’m going to sit back and enjoy a movie. Goodnight.     
 

Friday
Today we were up at 9:15 for our game day breakfast. One of my favorite things about playing on the road is the amazing meals we get. Road food is way better than dorm food, and this trip is no different. After the meal of waffles, eggs, hash browns and oatmeal, we headed to the rink for our pregame skate. I enjoy the skate because it allows me to get the feel of a puck on my stick and loosens my legs up, and it allows the team to make sure we’re all on the same page for the game. It also helps us to get a feel for the ice and the boards so that there are no surprises come game time. Everyone had great energy during the skate, and the few drills we did went very smoothly, so I was confident we would have a great game. After the skate we went back and had another meal of grilled chicken, pasta and marinara sauce. Chicken and pasta is the classic pregame hockey meal, and it never gets old for me. After the meal we headed back to the hotel, and everyone went to prepare mentally for the game. Every player has a slightly different pregame routine. Some guys like to take three hour naps, others like to take shorter naps and a few guys don’t sleep at all. I like to take a shorter nap, an hour and a half at the most, and then go for a walk and drink a bottle of water. The coaches always lay food out in front of their room at 4:00, and I take full advantage of that. I load up on bagels, bananas and yogurt, and throw in another bottle of water to make sure that I have the energy I need to play well. After the snack, Kyle and I put on our suits and headed over to the rink for the game. The feeling I had after the pregame skate turned out to be true, as we played a great game. Ferris is a good team and they came out hard, but we kept our cool and took advantage of our opportunities and ended up winning 6-2. It’s great to get another win on the road, but we know that they will come out even harder tomorrow and we need to match that. After the game we had yet another great meal of lasagna, pasta, salad and bread sticks, so I know everyone will be well fed for the game tomorrow. Now I am going to get my beauty sleep, goodnight.  

Thursday
Today I was up bright and early for my 8:30 econ class. It was freezing cold and windy outside, and I would have liked nothing better than to crawl back in bed, but I somehow made it to class. Afterwards I headed back to the dorms to pack for the trip. I am a terrible packer, I usually throw way too much stuff in my bag and I always feel like I have forgotten something. After packing I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to my second class of the day, philosophy. We had an earlier practice time than usual so that we could make it to Ferris at an acceptable hour. Practice was short and sweet, perfect to get our legs ready for the battles to come this weekend. Everyone seemed to be on the same page, we’ll be hitting on all cylinders this weekend. The bus ride was very long and we only stopped once in Findlay for our typical Thursday Outback meal, it never gets old. I also got my own seat on the bus this week, which is very nice especially on those long rides. After the meal we watched a couple movies and relaxed, and the trip actually seemed shorter than the six hours it took. Once we got into town we dropped our stuff off at the rink. Ferris has a small building but they’ve done a lot of work on it, and it is pretty nice. We finally got to the hotel at midnight, and my roommate Kyle Reed and I grabbed a pizza and headed up to the room. Now I’m going to finish watching the Red Wings beat the Kings, and then hit the sheets. Goodnight.