United in Silence

Around 9:30 in the morning a phone call is made to more than ten or so rooms.

“Good Morning! This is your wake-up call.”


That is what everyone hears. For the average person a wake-up call is a way to start their day. For the Maine Black Bears, the wake-up call for them came a long time ago. About four or five months ago, all before some automated voice wished them a “good morning.”

Some say every morning a person wakes up is a good morning. Those same people also say that everyone has something to be thankful for when they do wake up. In this case, the thing to be thankful for is not repeating last season — a season that witnessed promise when it came to making the playoffs, a season that saw a team gain confidence over a matter of weeks only to lose it.

This season, that has changed. If anything, confidence has grown. That is what makes this Saturday morning a good morning. It is more than just being alive and waking up. It is about all that and realizing their purpose the first time they see their roommate or the first time they hear assistant coach Kate Blair’s voice.

She is the first-year assistant for the Black Bears. She not only lived it, but she played the same game as the women she coaches. Blair speaks to them about setting goals all while doing team-building exercises hours before the game.

A few hours later, all those goals start to take shape. The goals were about united as a team and winning a game. It was something one could sense on the 40-minute bus ride to the Walter Brown Arena. For a group that is usually loud and vivacious, it was the quietest they have been during the road trip.

United in body. United in mind. United in silence.

As they get off the bus and walk into the arena everything starts to become clear.

More than an hour before Cheryl White plays what could be the last road series in her career, she sits in the front row looking at an arena she knows she will be visiting for the last time.

In the first few minutes of the game, it appeared as if things were going to go well for White in her last road trip. Instead, Allyse Wilcox had other plans as the netminder led her team to a 2-1 victory.

After the game, the mentality was similar to the mood before the game.

United in silence.

A silence that had so much of an impact that it made a simple ride across the Charles River seems like a trek across Lake Ponchartrain.

As for being united in mind, they could not be. Some minds appeared to be on the game that was just played. Other minds were focusing on how to get better for the following day.

The first voice that broke the silence was Blair’s telling the team was they were going to eat.

It was a single voice that started their day. It was a single voice that ended the silence.

If there was one the Maine Black Bears learned on Saturday it was this. Silence is more than deafening, it can also kill.

In this case, it may have killed something they have lived all season for — a chance at the playoffs.