The Cousineau Diaries

Last week Broncos Illustrated sat down with Dave Cousineau to get his second installment of the Cousineau Diaries. Dave talked about the Notre Dame and Maine series, about his roommate Andrew Townsend, and about the student section at Lawson Arena. Dave was looking forward to seeing the student section filled up again this past weekend during the UNO vs. WMU series.

It's pretty safe to say that the Notre Dame weekend we were pretty disappointed. We played terrible, we lacked intensity, we lacked work ethic, we lacked a lot of things and I think that was reflective of the sweep. Here at home, we're down 7-2 after two periods in front of a sold out building, it left a lot of us feeling embarrassed. I've never been a part of a game like that here at home and it's something we never want to repeat.

Probably had one of the hardest week of practice that we've had in recent memory anyway, the week after the Notre Dame series. We were doing a lot of one-on-one battles, a lot of corner work, a lot of in front of the net battles and a lot of along the wall battles. It was just basically a lot of physicality, a lot of battling. That was kind of the key word for that week.

That week, there was probably more bumps and bruises in that week leading up to Maine, than we had leading up to Notre Dame and that's probably why we lost two games. But, we were pretty prepared for Maine. It was kind of a rough road trip out there. We were up at around 3:45 in the morning on Friday morning to get up for our flight. We flew through Cincinnati and then into Maine, had a practice up there, just kind of a light skate. We got a lot of junk out of the legs from the flight. We go into Maine on Saturday night, we worked hard, they score a couple of power play goals and we just can't get anything going offensively and basically that's why the beat us 4-0. As a team, we thought we worked hard, but we talked after the game. A lot of the guys stepped up and kind of challenged each other and challenged sort of the entire team as to what's going on right now with us. It was the third game we lost in a row and you don't want something like that drag out too long. We wanted to talk it out and figure what exactly is going and what exactly what we're doing as a team. It's kind of a lot like what football is going through right now that we're struggling a little bit and we want to overcome it. It's still early in our season, so it's something we can kind of nip in the bud right now and helps us become better and move on from that. We had a long talk, just the players we had a closed-door meeting and then the coaches had a few concerns that we grinded out after the game.

I think we responded pretty well on Sunday night. You can say we are satisfied with how we played but we're not satisfied with the outcome. We made some small steps forward, but still there are still some things that we've got to work through. We had a one-goal lead twice in the late minutes of that game that we couldn't hold and we ended up getting the 4-4 tie. But, we're pretty satisfied, we're not quite happy with the tie against a team like Maine because I think it would have been good to us to prove that we could beat a top ten program in their own rink. They had a pretty good atmosphere up there, its something that I will remember for ever. It was wild there. Their student section was one of the most obnoxious one's I have scene in a while. It's probably like what other teams have to face here and a lot like kind of what Michigan has in Ann Arbor. But, it was a neat experience. I'm glad I got a chance to go there once in my career. Because they are kind of a team that even growing up in Canada, it's kind of one of the teams you've heard of a lot and they seem to always be up there nationally.

So that was that week, so we are still kind of continuing this week in preparation for this weekend too. We are doing a lot of battle drills again, a lot of one-on-ones, one-on-one in the corners, one-on-one in front of the nets just trying to become better. We feel as players, along with the coaching staff, that's still one of the things we've got to work on. Winning those small battles, winning the battles all around the ice because right now we are struggling and we are losing a lot of them and its causing goals in our net. I think we're pretty confident going into this weekend, we are at home, we usually we're a pretty good team here at home. You take that Notre Dame game out of there and I think that's kind of our wake up call. We don't like to see students leaving halfway through our games. Which they are the reason that half of the guys get up for this game is seeing all of those students going crazy and to see them leaving in the middle of that Notre Dame game, it hurt a lot of the guys. Hopefully it should motivate us for this weekend because it's something we never want to do to them ever again.

Breakaway belt, Coach Garrow won the breakaway belt up in Maine. I think he scored about 4 goals in a row to win it. The weekend before that Mantua actually won it. Every once in a while they will give it to the goalies. If we're not scoring to well they'll just give it to one of the goalies to make them feel good I guess.

The road trip as a whole up in Maine was a pretty good experience. It's like any other road trip that you're flying. It can be long days, a lot of stopovers. There's not much to do when you're on the road. You sit in a hotel for four days, so I'm pretty sick of Andrew Townsend right now actually having to room with him (laughing). I had him ironing my clothes so he was kind of like having a mom there at least to live with. I don't think he likes living with me, I'm not as neat as he is. He's kind of a neat freak, you wouldn't be able to tell by the way he dresses, but he likes to keep his room neat and tidy so I think I drove him crazy over the weekend.

With school, I've never seen so many guys doing homework on a road trip before. It's kind of that time of year right now with midterms and there's a lot of papers. So guy's had laptops on the plane trying to get papers done because we did miss Friday and Monday of classes. It's tough, your not only worrying about the weekend trying to get your wins in, but your trying to get your school done and sometimes it can be tough. But we're through that now and hopefully get to play at home this week. So, hopefully we will see those students that come right back to see us get a win, hopefully to many of them don't bail on us.

I haven't seen any tapes yet. We actually haven't gone over our tapes from the weekend yet. I think the coaches will probably get that done, we will review them tomorrow night and then we will probably get some game film on UNO later this week. See some of their tendencies, they have a great goaltender in net in Dan Ellis, one of the leagues best goalies. He's always played tough against us, it just means you got to take that many more shots, you've got to be willing to go to the net, sacrifice the body and just get traffic in front of him all around him and try to beat him. I think we've played against good goalies before and we know how to beat them. Hopefully we get a lot of shots, hopefully our power play will be clicking on Sunday night against Maine, we had a couple of power play goals and that's a positive because that's something that's been struggling a bit for us. We scored one probably about two minutes into the game on the power play and that kind of got us going. We had another one a little later, Lattery got, so I think if we can carry that into this weekend, try to get one or two power play goals a game and try to hold them to nothing on the PK.

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