The Christmas break is typically a month long but it'll be two months when OUA athletes return to play in early February, "It's almost like having a second off-season" said University of Windsor men's hockey coach Kevin Hamlin.
The Lancers finished the first semester on a four-game winning streak following a 3-2 win at Waterloo. Windsor is 7-2 and sit atop the OUA Far West Division.
Hamlin believes every team in the conference will be a different team because a lot of players left University hockey for various reasons. The Lancers lost forward Ryan Shaw, who travelled to Belgium to start his pro career. Forward Coy Prevost is playing in the SPHL for the Evansville Thunderbolts. Goalie Noah Giesbrecht went to Ferris State and defenceman Chas Riddy suits up for the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL.
The USport national championship tournament has been pushed to begin March 17th which may allow the Lancers to make up some of the seven games postponed during the provincial shutdown.
Hamlin wasn't sure if there would be a second half to the season when the province shutdown in early January, "The OUA committed to playing out the rest of the season we couldn't be happier for the guys".
Following 26 days of shutdown due to Omicron the Lancers will return to the ice Monday, January 31st looking to pick up where they left off. Hamlin says, "There's no manual for this. Nobody is going to tell you exactly what to do because nobody's been through this. We understand we have an opportunity".
Hear more in the video below.