Monday, October 7, 2013

So Close I Could Taste It - Old Man Learns Hockey - Game #1

Last night I laced 'em up and played my first real hockey game. Through the blessing of random determination I started the game at right wing, with my friend Sheq on left and newly minted captain Stephanie at center. We were poised, excited, and raring to go.

We were behind 1-0 after 24 seconds.

To be fair, it was a soft goal from a bad angle, but the end of the 1st period found us down 3-0. Still, all three goals came fairly early and it looked like we were gaining some momentum.

We were not gaining momentum. The 2nd period got ugly as they punched in another 6 or so, and although things got a little more balanced in the 3rd they tacked on a couple there as well. Official final score was 11-0, but it might have been 13-0 or 14-0. Given we're a bunch of players ranging from maybe good to downright awful and had never played a second together before, it's to be expected. Too many people were greedy on their shifts and stayed out wayyyyyyyyyyy too long, more often than not resulting in goals for the other team. Our goalie apologized for his poor play but he was under siege the entire time.

And me? I was . . . fair to poor, I think. Out of position a little too much, a bad pass or two, not covering guys I should have. I had energy and hustle to forecheck but lack of ability, but that'll get better. I did manage to chip a puck past a guy and then race - yes, race, as fast as my little legs would take me - to the attacking zone and make an accurate pass over the defenseman's stick from my backhand to my center, but it hopped over his stick as he tried to corral it. I was hoping for my first assist. Instead I had to haul ass back to get on D. The game moves so quickly, and those who can skate well have an absolutely huge advantage over those who can't (me). I loved it, though, and being able to play with my best friend and his brother (who, to be fair, is also my friend in his own right) is something very cool. My right knee is cranky, my left thumb knuckle is swollen, and my right forearm has me feeling like Matt Harvey. In other words, I feel awesome and can't wait for next week.

So who cares if we lost to the team that was in last place last season? Next week we've got . . . the team that played before us and won 12-1. Uhm . . . did I mention our jerseys are a pretty baby blue?

Writing: 612 words. I ignored my barking knee and dove in. I'll finish this SOB if it doesn't kill me first.

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