When I last wrote about the Black Bears before real-life, work, and apathy towards writing happened, they were mired in a pretty big skid of eight games. Unfortunately, it got to the a franchise-record 12 games before they finally broke through into the win column. After the down streak, the Black Bears have gone 5-0-1 including a recent sweep in Johnstown against the Tomahawks, which has helped give them a bit of breathing room in the fourth and final playoff spot.
However, they’re going to be going on a hell-week of sort after this weekend’s games against the Northeast Generals at The Den in Piney Orchard. After this weekend’s games, they’ll have six days without games, then starting April 23rd, they’ll have six games in eight days. This is due to the make-up games that are needed for when Danbury shuttered down for a couple months due to COVID restrictions. The eight-day trip starts in Attleboro to play Northeast on the evening of the 23rd and afternoon of the 24th, then down to Danbury for games on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, before returning to The Den for a Thursday and Friday tilt against New Jersey.
As if these players haven’t been battle-tested enough, this will really show their determination going into this string of games.
While it is a lot of hockey in the short time frame, this is a team who has dealt with adversity and such before. Knowing the task at hand, head coach Clint Mylymok and assistant coach Brandon Gotkin will be able to keep the team’s focus at said task during this stretch. Plus, who knows, but a road-trip like this could be something that bonds this team closer together, like so many youth hockey tournaments in years past. Not only that, but the returnees from last year are running it back, as this team is neck-and-neck with the virus-shortened season team from last year in terms of their record.
If nothing else, it’ll make the players dig deep within themselves and maybe find an extra gear they didn’t think they had. They might be a tired bunch, but it feel like this team is a tight bunches, too. Guys who will be able to pick others up on the bench, get each other motivated when the time calls for, and carry through it all together.
But that’s two weeks from now. Task-at-hand is attempting to get four-points this weekend and then figure out the next weekend at that time.