A Look Back At The Season

LI HockeyLYNDON- After a long hard fought season and an outcome to the championship that they weren't expecting by losing to Woodstock high school, Coach Chris Meunier spoke out about the season after having some time to reflect.

 

In the beginning of the season LI was not the favorite to make the championship.

"As a team, we started off as unknowns and underdogs. LI was a team that did not finish highly ranked in the 2016-2017 season" Said LI Men's Hockey Head Coach Chris Meunier.

Before the season even started Coach Meunier was fine with being the underdog, it was motivation for him and his team.

"I like being the underdogs. I was a new coach working with players that I knew very little about. The hand-off from last season's coachJim Davis was excellent and from day one I thought Lyndon would surprise a few people this season."

Lyndon did exactly that by making it all the way to the championship game. The Vikings made it to the final game by having goals set at their first practice of the season.

"I went around the room candidly asking every player what their goals for the season were. There were three common themes; improve as a player, be a better team, and win."

"I set two personal goals, one I told the team and the other I kept to myself. The goal I told them was that I wanted to help them become better players and to have fun." Meunier continued.

Meunier wanted to keep his personal goal inside because he didn't want it to distract his players; it also brought back some old memories.

"The one I did not tell them was that I wanted to get them to Gutterson. I played at Gutterson for 3-4 years in the 80's as a Division One player."

The community played a huge role in LI's championship run this season. Numerous coaches, parents, and faculty support their Vikings.

"The players came together as a team and the community came together too. It was pretty amazing to see FCA packed with the standing room only, six deep for the semi-finals." Meunier went on to say.

After his first season with the team, Meunier has learned from mistakes and would like to make changes for upcoming seasons.

"There are some lessons learned as there should be with any season. I'd change up the order of some of our practice drills, I'd put the offense in a little earlier and I'd add more conditioning."

"But I think the team could have been in better shape physically, hopefully the guys returning will get into some off-ice training before the season next year."

A good team always needs a leader and this season Meunier said senior Krystof Vanek along with some other players stepped up and took charge.

"Krystof Vanek stepped up as a leard, Joel Utbult came on strong as a leader and key player late in the season scoring key goals when we needed them.

"Steve Ferraro and Martin Rudolf played execellent the second half of the season as well." Said Meunier

Every coach has a tactic to making their team successful. Meunier kept it nice and simple for his guys this past season. He was also very stern with his players.

"I'm old school, I tell players straight on what I expect and where they need to improve."

"Once I felt they heard it enough times and aren't adjusting, I bench players. The ones that don't get it also get some extra time with me during practices too and eventually we come to terms."

Coach Meunier was asked to describe his team and season in one word and that word was "Persistant."