Photo Credit-Charlotte Rush
Hear from Rush Head Coach Troy Schwab on their planning to get ready for Nationals in Utica this season.
“Nationals is being held in Utica, NY this season at the brand new Nexus Center. The facility has 3 ice sheets that will be used during the tournament. The nice part about this is no more 8:00am games. The earliest we are scheduled to play at either level will be 12:00.
The week has been busy with ownership trying to figure out travel, accommodations, and food. Once we are able to get to Utica and the tournament starts, we want to make sure that our sole focus is on Hockey and everything else has been taken care of.
At the elite level we are scheduled to play the Northern Cyclones, Florida Eels, and Jersey Hitmen. Many think the Northern Cyclones are a favorite in our pool. They are a very good, offensive minded team that will be a huge test for us to start the tournament. The Eels are a team we have played already this season and are very familiar with. There is a very good rival amongst both teams and playing them at Nationals will only add to that rivalry. The Jersey Hitmen on day 3 will be a very tough match up. There will be plenty at stake for this game.
The Elite team looks to be an under dog going into Nationals this season. It may be one of the first times a Rush team has been an under dog or not given the proper respect they probably deserve. Our players are fully aware of the narrative that surrounds this team by people outside our organization and are very excited to get to Utica and start playing games.
The way the format and the schedule is laid out this year at the premier level will create some interesting drama but also some challenges as we try to prepare for our opponents.
We currently only know our game 1 opponent with that being the Minnesota Moose. Our game 2 opponent will be decided this weekend in a series between Utah and Ogden. We have started to do our pre scout work on all 3 teams in preparation for pool play.
After the first two games, all teams get seeded for the round of 16. After the round of 16, all teams get reseeded for the round of 8, and the after the round of 8 all teams get reseeded for the final 4. It’s a unique way to do it this season, but it also makes preparing tough. Some nights we won’t know who our opponent is until 8pm and then we have to play them the next afternoon. With the people we have on our staff, we will make sure to still be well prepared for every game.
It’s an exciting time of the year and we are excited to get started.”
Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link.