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Playing within herself

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Photos: Potsdam Athletics

There are always expectations when you step on the ice. There are expectations that you place on yourself, and expectations that you have for the team.

Then there are the expectations to score every time you step on the ice as a forward. Being a forward carries the extra weight. Unless you have a goaltender only allowing a goal per game, you need to score as a team to win.

Potsdam hockey junior Sara Barrett knows that scoring will help the team. She also knows that putting extra pressure on herself won’t help the cause. Barrett just wants to go out there and play the game the way she knows how, and the rest will come.

“My expectations for myself is that I want to do well every single game,” stated Barrett. “Team goal is to win, but I want to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to help the team. I want to make sure that I am in a good mental state before every game. I obviously want to score, get assist, help the team any way I can.”

For the first two seasons, Barrett has spent her time on the blue line. While she has made the change to forward this season, being able to play in a lot of games her first two years has her ready to finish the season in a big way.

Her first two seasons, Barrett was just learning the college game. She was getting acclimated with the speed, and everything that comes with playing college hockey.

“I know a lot about the game, and what to expect from other teams,” stated Barrett. “Playing your best every single game is all that you can do. Being constant is something that you really need.”

You would think after replaying travel hockey, there wouldn’t be such a big adjustment. But, that wasn't the case.

As most players will tell you, you actually play more games during a travel season than college. You go from playing four, maybe five games a week, to just playing on the weekends. It’s a big adjustment, because - for one - you have a lot of down time during the week.

Secondly, a player needs to make sure they bring their “A” game every single weekend. No chance for a let down.

“When we played travel we would have four games in a weekend, especially if it was a tournament,” stated Barrett. “Then you come to college and it’s only two games. Sometimes it’s a lot harder to play two games in a weekend, then it is two play four or five. It’s just a higher level, and you need to make sure you are eating right. You need to drink enough water, and getting enough sleep in super important, which I always didn’t do when I was playing travel.”

If playing hockey, and working out, wasn’t hard enough everyday. Barrett also has her academics to worry about. It could be extremely time consuming at times for any student-athlete. They need to figure out what system works for them when it comes to time management.

In the beginning the transition could be a little tough, but for Barrett she has a system down in place.

“For me I have like two classes a day,” stated Barrett. “I’ll go to class, then after class I make sure to get all my work done before we have practice, or any team events. Because, after practice, it’s pretty late. It’s really important to get all your work done before you go to practice. Just to make sure we are doing everything we are supposed to be doing as college athletes.”

This isn’t the only Barrett on the Potsdam hockey team. Sara’s sister, Hannah, is a junior goaltender on the team. This is a journey the two have taken together since they both put on the skates for the first time.

Whether is was travel hockey, college hockey or pond hockey, the sisters have been together. While some may see it has burden, Barrett loves that fact she can play hockey, and go to college, with her sister.

“I love it. It’s probably the best thing ever,” stated Barrett. “We have always played together, so when we were able to come to school together, and play together, it’s just awesome. When we were in high school, I think our freshman year, we said we didn’t want to go to the same school. We wanted to be away from each other. Then, finally, the same school reached out to us. We said I guess we are going to do this. It wasn’t expected. But, now that we are here together, now I wouldn’t know what to do without her.”

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