Editor's note: Rookie goaltender J.R. Prestifilippo is compiling a diary on his first pro training camp with the Augusta Lynx. The 23-year-old was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1996, but did not sign, instead embarking on a successful career at Harvard University. With veteran Judd Lambert opening the season with Providence of the American Hockey League, Prestifilippo and fellow rookie Reg Bourcier are sharing the goaltending duties in Augusta. The New Jersey native will be sharing his thoughts each day with staff writer Rob Mueller.
The day off Monday was great. I slept until around 10:30, 11, then just rolled out of bed, grabbed a nice lunch, relaxed a bit, then headed out to Goshen Plantation with some of the guys for nine holes of golf. That was a lot of fun. It was a little chilly; not like I'm used to from back home, but I guess for down here it was a little cool.
After golf, we came back to the apartments and showered, then we went over to the booster club dinner Monday night at the VFW hall. Man, that was an eye-opening experience. Going into this, I wasn't fully aware of the kind of support the team is given by the boosters. It was fantastic. There were lots of people there, we had a great meal, and it was a chance for coach to introduce the team, and he also got up and talked a little bit about the team and the season. They also gave all the players a nice welcoming basket, with all sorts of useful stuff in it.
All the players were put at different tables with different people, and I was fortunate enough to sit and have dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Dubai. I got to know them well and they were very, very nice. They said they would open up their home to me and my parents when they're in town, and said they wanted to have them over to meet them, and that made you feel real welcome. It's nice to know there are a lot of people like the Dubais. It's going to make playing here a lot of fun.
Tuesday morning, it was back to work, and practice was pretty much the same as it's been, except that we spent a little more time on special teams. The lines, now, are also in colors -- in hockey, linemates wear the same color jerseys, so one line was wearing white, one is in red and one is in teal, with the defensemen in black. Now it's time for guys to start working with each other, and hopefully we'll continue progressing this week so we can peak for our first two games Friday and Saturday.
We also said goodbye to some of the players who were in training camp but did not make the team. I ran into a couple of them, and you could tell they were disappointed because they put in a lot of time and work to try to make the club. I'm sure those guys will be OK. They'll land on their feet somewhere and find a place to play.
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