After three consecutive losses, it’s time for a change of pace and something different at practice in an unusual week.
Since the ISU hockey team plays two games this weekend — on Saturday and Sunday with no game on Friday — and will be able to practice five times this week, it had a senior’s practice on Monday.
ISU coach Al Murdoch told the seniors on the team to create the drills and instruct the team how to do them.
“For 40 years now, I’ve had seniors come up with drills,” Murdoch said. “Some are good, and some are terrible. But usually by their fourth year, they come to appreciate [it].”
Murdoch told the seniors before the practice he wanted them to be creative when thinking up their drills. He pointed out his dislike for a particular drill designed by ISU captain Brandon Clark.
“There’s a lot of people standing around here [during the drill] — I don’t like drills where they stand around so much,” Murdoch said. “That’s how they learn.”
ISU senior forward David Kurbatsky said Murdoch only told them about creating the drills about five minutes before practice started.
“None of us were prepared, but it puts us on the spot there and see what we can do in the short amount of time we have to get ready for it,” Kurbatsky said.
Kurbatsky said he thinks this type of practice helps the team focus more.
“We’re actually thinking about what we want to do [and] what we want to accomplish,” Kurbatsky said. “Already we’ve had some good tempo in this practice so, so far it’s going good.”
Murdoch commented on Kurbatsky’s drill, which had a faster pace than Clark’s.
“There seems to be more people active, but not many people are touching the puck,” Murdoch said. “The weakness of this drill is that it’ll go for 10 minutes, and we’ll have a total of three shots on net and zero goals.”
The Cyclones were swept by No. 6 Oklahoma last weekend at home. It was the second time this season the Cyclones were swept at home, but Murdoch decided not to have the same type of practice they had after the first sweep.
“We did it against Arizona State: They didn’t touch the puck for an hour and a half,” Murdoch said. “Once you’ve done it once, it doesn’t have the flavor anymore. It doesn’t seem to accomplish what you want it to accomplish. So we’ll see what five practices does this week. And well, hopefully they have a good positive attitude about it.”