Ice Hockey Notebook: ‘Suicides’ a useful practice drill

Owls coach Ryan Frain talked of his use of the “suicide” drill in practice.

A whistle’s screech echoed throughout the Northeast Skate zone.

Donning a black “Puma” baseball cap, coach Ryan Frain had just unleashed a handful of his players across the ice laden with faded Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) logos at center ice.

The sound of several pairs of skates shuffling beneath the Owls ice hockey team shredded the ice in “suicide” drills during the team’s second practice this week.

“That is the kind of stuff that is going to get these guys where they want to be,” Frain said, referring to Monday night’s emphasis on stamina drills. “I went through the same kind of things when I was a player and if I wasn’t 100 percent because of it, I was pretty close.”

The suicides gained another element when Frain added pushups to the next drill. The players would have to race out to center ice, do an allotted set of pushups and race back again.

Frain reassures that he does not try to push his players over the edge, but tries to instead get them to go far beyond they think they can go.

Practice Jerseys

The first thing you might notice at a Temple ice hockey practice is that hardly any of the jerseys are limited to cherry or white.

The players wear different variations of light blue shirts, maroons, blacks, yellows and whites. Most have the Temple “T” stitched across the chest, but some are blank with no insignia.

“It’s just to signify the different lines,” junior defenseman Jason Lombardi said.

Forwards wear blues, oranges and greens, while the defense dons itself in blacks and whites. The yellow colors are worn by the team’s rookies who are still awaiting their jerseys.

Shortening the field

The biggest entertainment of Monday night came when Frain had both goalies Eric Semborski and Scott Salamon move their nets 50 feet apart at center ice.

Offense and defense then mixed on opposite sides and took turns trying to beat each goalie, but were not limited to just their initial shot. They were instructed to keep playing until they eventually deposited their respective pucks past the net minders.

This resulted in a chorus of cheers, yells and sticks smacking off the boards from teammates who tried to urge their teammates on.

Frustration and fatigue did not faze the goalies as they maintained a hard stance when protecting their nets.

“We just try to embarrass them and push the puck as far down ice as possible,” Salamon said of defending against his teammates.

Stephen Godwin can be reached at or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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