The Ohio State men’s hockey team left Wednesday for Fairbanks, Alaska, where they look on the Nanooks in a CCHA series. The Nanooks won the opener, 1-0 in overtime, Friday night, and completed the sweep with a 6-2 win Saturday.

Buckeye sophomore Brandon Martell, who spent the 2008-09 season in Fairbanks playing for the Ice Dogs in the North American Hockey League, is blogging from the team’s trip.

Saturday: This morning started with another good breakfast followed by a chilly walk outside. Even though we don’t have a pre-game skate on most Saturdays, we still make sure we go for a decent walk to get the body awake and the legs flushed out. Some guys get a short nap in before video and lunch, and others might get a few homework things done. After a short video session and lunch, it’s down time again to prepare whichever way you choose. Tonight’s game was a tough one to finish the weekend with. It’s crunch time, late in the season, and we need to win. We’ll correct our mistakes however, and get right back to work. Unfortunately tonight we have a long trip back home but we need to turn the page quickly because Monday starts a new week and our focus needs to be one-hundred percent on Michigan State.

Friday: Today started bright and early with breakfast at 9:30. We can’t complain too much though when you have scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, and oatmeal waiting for you. We ate at a place called Finish Line. We got a short pregame skate in after breakfast, and had a little down time after skate before video and lunch. Today’s pregame meal was a spinach salad with chicken and pasta. That’s pretty much the norm for game day meals. After a quick video session it was off to the anticipated pregame nap time. I’m pretty sure there’s only a very select few that don’t enjoy the pregame nap. Tonight’s game was back and forth but didn’t end our way as we lost in over time. Guys got a quick flush in after the game and we got right back to the hotel to get a meal and some fluids back in us to get ready to take care of tomorrow night.

Thursday: Well, last night ended on a rough note. We waited at the airport baggage claim only to have zero of our 52 checked bags show up. Apparently they were left in Anchorage, and finally showed up early this morning. Today was a nice Fairbanks day, about 5 degrees and sunny. We had a quick breakfast, brought our gear to the rink, and had some down time before practice.

Most guys got some studying done or took naps, trying to adjust to the four-hour time change. It’s a good thing we gained time coming this way. It’ll be a different story on the way home. Practice was good today, high tempo and upbeat to get the jet lag flushed out. We will definitely be ready to go tomorrow night. As for dinner this evening, we headed to Big Daddy’s BBQ for some ribs and bbq brisket. We decided it was time for a freshman shoe check, so of course super freshman Sean Duddy was the lucky victim. Although, he didn’t find it as funny. Now we’re heading back to the hotel to relax and start preparing for tomorrow night.

Wednesday: So today started off with a bright and early departure from Columbus. Our flight left at 9 a.m. Only to be followed by a four-hour layover in Minnesota. But with the mall close by and plenty to do in the big airport, the time went by pretty quick. The flight from Minnesota to Anchorage, however, didn’t go by so fast. Six hours from takeoff to landing, and we were lucky to have the crying baby along too. Most guys either slept or did some homework and they played a couple in flight movies, including The Social Network. We had a short layover in Anchorage and a quick flight into Fairbanks with dinner waiting for us at the hotel. It was one long day of travel.