When it comes to grooming young players and bringing teenagers together from disparate backgrounds and regions of the country, the biggest challenge can be to have them all relate to one experience. In order to perform well, a team must buy into one common philosophy, one common mindset, in order to have one common goal. Which tends to be, to put it bluntly, winning.
One of the reasons Loomis Chaffee got off to a lightning-fast 6-0 start to the season (they are now 7-0-2 after the Avon Old Farms Christmas Classic) can be sited as the bonding experience the team had over the Thanksgiving weekend while together visiting Germany and Austria.
Part hockey trip, part history trip and part team-building exercise, the trip saw the teenagers -- some of whom had never been to Europe before -- visit the Alps, watch a German Elite League game and shop at a famous Christmas market.