Boston University forward Robert Mastrosimone spoke with the Daily Free Press’s Joe Porhoryles regarding the ways in which the coronavirus has impacted his on and off-ice preparations for this year’s NCAA hockey season:
Entering his sophomore year in what will be a very different 2020-21 season, Mastrosimone has already felt drastic changes compared to his freshman season.
The team first took the ice together on Sept. 7 and practices have continued since then. Normally, the whole team would be on the ice at the same time. But given the group restrictions brought on by the pandemic, changes had to be made.
“It’s not even the full team [on the ice]. It’s two groups split in half,” Mastrosimone said. “It’s not a lot of contact and six feet apart, and all those mandates.”
The limited contact will make getting back to game speed difficult, Mastrosimone said, but he said he made sure to address that facet of the game over the extended offseason. Listed at 5-feet-10-inches and 170 pounds, Mastrosimone gets into board battles with bigger players on a game-by-game basis, so adding muscle to his frame was a top priority.
With few gyms and ice rinks open on Long Island this summer, Mastrosimone said he had to get creative when it came to training. Having just a small ice sheet to work with may have been a blessing in disguise, as it forced him to work with the puck in tight spaces.
“I think it really helped me work on my small area, corner game, which is going to be really good for me,” Mastrosimone said, “just battling in the corners and getting out of tight spaces and fighting them guys.”