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Freshman defenseman Sean Duddy blogged from the men’s hockey team’s trip to Manchester, N.H., for the NCAA Tournament Northeast Regional. The Buckeyes, in their first NCAA tournament since 2005, were eliminated by No. 1 overall seed Boston University Saturday.

Click on the photo gallery above for a photo gallery from gamday. There are two screens of photos … click “Next” on the bottom left to go through the pages.

Day 3 Saturday

Today we were up at 8:30 for another pregame breakfast of eggs, cereal, waffles and oatmeal. Most guys are happy with whatever is available to eat, but Hunter Bishop brings his own plain oatmeal to breakfast. I’m more of an apples and cinnamon oatmeal guy myself. After breakfast we headed over to the rink for a stretch and meeting. We went over some X’s and O’s and then discussed the little things we needed to do to win the game, for example get pucks to the net and play the body every time. The attitude was loose and positive, exactly what we wanted it to be.

After the meeting we went back to the hotel for a lunch of pasta, chicken and salad. Out of every pregame meal this season, I thought this chicken was the best. At this point each guy went back to his room to go through his pregame routine. Some guys nap for a couple hours, some for a short time and some don’t sleep at all. Each guy has his own preference. I watched I movie and hung out in the room until it was time to head over to the game.

At 3 o’clock we ate a snack at the hotel and then bussed over to the arena. North Dakota and New Hampshire were playing when we arrived, but we were only focused on our own game. After a pretty solid warm-up we finally took the ice. Whether it was our lack of tournament experience or just bad bounces, BU jumped all over us right from the start and went up 6-0. We battled hard, outplaying them for most of the second half of the game, cutting the lead in half before giving up a couple empty net goals. It was a very tough way to end the season and end the senior’s college careers, but we battled hard and didn’t give up. It has been a very fun season for everyone, and it’s just the beginning for our freshman class. 

Day 2 Friday

After a great night’s sleep we got up bright and early for a breakfast of waffles, eggs, fruit and cereal. I was starving when I woke up, so the oatmeal and eggs really hit the spot. After breakfast most of the guys went back to sleep. Westy and I watched a show about private jets and yachts for the rich and famous, and then headed back downstairs for lunch at 11:45. The meal was really good, sandwiches and soup, and it gave us the energy needed to have a great practice.

We arrived at the rink a couple hours before practice and some guys did video interviews with ESPN while the rest of us prepared for practice. The atmosphere was pretty hectic around the rink, with four different teams practicing, but we were able to stay composed and focus on what we needed to get done. After the skate a couple guys had to do a press conference while the rest of us goofed off in the locker room. Once the conference was done we hopped back on the bus and headed back to the hotel.

After an hour rest we went to the Longhorn Steakhouse for our typical meal of salad, steak and mashed potatoes. That never gets old.  Finally we went back to the hotel to relax and mentally prepare for the game tomorrow. It’s going to be a good day.

Day 1 Thursday

The flight to Manchester is much shorter than the one to Alaska, so we were able to have a normal practice at 1 o’clock today, and guys were able to get treatment and pack after that. We met for a meal of chicken and pasta salad at the rink at 4 o’clock and then headed to the airport. We finally got a chartered flight, so the process of getting to the plane was much easier than usual. We drove right on to the runway and walked to the terminal to wait for our plane. This terminal was much nicer than the regular airport; it had reclining chairs, a big screen TV and a ping-pong table. We watched Cash Cab until the plane arrived, I love that show.

Dusty actually made the flight on time this trip and avoided another fine, but I’m confident he’ll do something else during the trip to earn himself a max. I will never be able to appreciate another commercial flight after flying on a chartered plane. The seats were huge, with tons of legroom, and the stewardesses brought us snacks the entire flight. Jeff Deits had been chirping Westy all day about his skills in NHL 09 on PSP, but when West challenged him to a game he backed down. You have to be pretty soft to back down from Steve West. After a smooth hour and a half flight we arrived in Manchester.

Once again having a chartered flight paid off, as we stepped off the plane and right into another comfortable terminal to wait for our bus. Once it arrived, we quickly packed our bags and headed to the rink to lay out our equipment. The Verizon Wireless Arena is a really nice rink, and I think the atmosphere will be great for our games. After unpacking we headed to the hotel, ate some pizza and hit the hay.