Inside the Den: Rookies, vets adjust to long regular season schedule

National Sports

The Bismarck Bobcats have played 35 of their schedule 60 regular season games. For many of the guys on the team, going through such a long year is something new.

For the first time in many Bobcats players’ careers, they are transitioning from playing a 25-game high school slate to a 60-game junior hockey schedule.

“This season is tougher because it’s everyday,” Alex Pollock said. “Five days a week. You just have to find a routine that works for you.”

Veterans players like Captain Tanner Vescio have been through this process before and remember how difficult the transition can feel.

“My first year it was a big change,” Vescio said. “It was a lot harder. Your body takes a lot more.”

Alex Pollock is a rookie, but he enjoyed a slight advantage preparing for this grueling schedule.

“I came here once my high school year was over last year,” Pollock said. “I finished out the year with the Bobcats.”

Alex says he played eight or 10 games, but during his time with the team he made mental notes on what to expect for this year.

“Just kind of wear and tear on you body,” Pollock said. “You just have to stay with it. Eat right, drink right, get lots of sleep and just keep up with it and you’ll be fine.”

Tanner also said taking care of your body is important, but mentioned another key factor.

“Going from high school to college and living without your parents is something you have to learn to do,” Vescio said.

Tanner also wants his teammates not to get discouraged because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s been a little bit harder,” Vescio said, “but after the first year, it gets to be a little bit easier.”

This weekend, the Bobcats are at home for games 36 and 37 against the last place Brookings Blizzard.

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