Sports editor’s note: Throughout the season, Hunter Miska and Olivier Mantha will write a column for the Penticton Western News giving readers insight into their lives on the ice and away from the rink.
While being on the road with the Vees, we have a great time and now that we’re getting more wins away from the South Okanagan Events Centre it’s even better.
At the start of the season, we weren’t having our best games on the road. We had to figure out a way to play good not just in our home arena but in our opponents’ as well. Playing in another barn with a crowd that is cheering against you for some can be tough. It’s a mental game and you have to be able to fight through that and keep focus. I take it in when I am getting chanted at. They try to get me off my game and try to get me to lose my focus, but I just take it and compete to the best of my ability to win. Then by the end of the game they have nothing to chirp about.
Also with having a road game, the bus rides can be tiring depending on the length of the trip. It’s good to get in a light jog or stretch before the bus ride because all your going to do is sit there. When you get off, your body won’t be as stiff and tired. We make sure to drink lots of water and have snacks to munch on so we’re hydrated and ready to go.
When we stay in hotels, we all have one teammate as a roommate. Myself and Olivier (Mantha) room together. So it feels normal cause we live together at our billet house.
It’s nice to get away from the area once in a while to get to see other parts of B.C. and to play in other facilities.
There is no crowd better in the BCHL than our own here in Penticton. So when we get back from away games, it’s a great feeling knowing we’re coming back to a great atmosphere and a crowd that will be with us the whole way.