Monday, November 18, 2013

Inevitable - The Old Man and the Ice - Game 5

The angels wept, fanfare was sounded, and the very pillars of the Earth trembled at such a momentous achievement.

The Ice House raiders scored a goal. Jesus may have wept as well, I'm not really sure. But there was definitely much rejoicing.

The mood in our locker room pre-game was upbeat and jovial. I think the practice helped bring us together a little and now instead of dressing in relative silence there was joking around, sharing some scouting (which isn't too in-depth. I went to the other teams stat page and reported back that #5 had 9 goals and we'd better watch out for him), and putting together a pool for the first goal scored by us. I kept one of the other Chris' as my left wing and had my friend Jeff, liberated from defense, as my right wing. Sheq and I also had our families there to root us on, so we had some added incentive to not suck.Things looked good as our first line managed to keep it a scoreless game against a well-disciplined team, but the second line couldn't do the same on their next two shifts. Then we got caught running around a little and they punched in one against my line. The second line got beat again and our older goalie soon after took one off his knee and came out. Our super goalie came in cold and not stretched  out, and got beat by a shot he felt he should have stopped while my line was out there. We stumbled into the break down 5-0. Blerg.

I'm not really sure what happened next. Either we started to play better or the other team took it a little easy on us, switching to dump-ins as opposed to skating into our zone lugging the puck. Maybe a little column A, a little column B. In any case, the ice no longer seemed tilted toward our goal. I would go so far to say that we carried the play in the 2nd period, even after Tom beat their goalie with a wrist shot and the other team stopped being so laid back. We went nuts when that happened, of course. It was so cathartic that the rink echoed with our yells. I apologized at the next faceoff by saying, "We'd act like we'd scored a goal before if we'd actually scored a goal before."  We had shots on goal, scrambles around the net, and Alex (the goalie) bailed us out numerous times. The 2nd period ended with the score 5-1. Not only did we score, we shut them out. A miracle.

We stayed just as chippy and feisty in the 3rd. While cruising the other team's crease I annoyed on of their defensemen enough that he tried to stuff me into his net. They managed to punch in two more, one on our first line when they stayed out way too long and another against line #2. We had one of the coaches playing casual defense for us and along with some advice he had a good deal of praise.

As for me, I just tried to play my usual low-on-talent-but-high-on-effort type of game. Loved having Jeff as a winger, and he got off a nice wrister on a 3 on 2 break. I made the dubious decision to hit the ice to block a shot from a player in the slot, and he lost the puck trying to get around me. I heard my teammates banging their sticks and yelling from the other end of the ice, but I don't know if it was for my stupidity effort or if Alex made a save. My skating is still weak, I didn't get the puck out one time that I should have, I had a swing and miss again, but . . .but I went, IIRC, six and three on faceoffs. If I can win 2/3s of those that would be a good thing indeed. There are so many aspects of my game that need improving but that's why we play, right? Our scoring drought is over - our win drought is next.

Writing: used Saturday and Sunday for editing, but got 518 done this morning. I'm one chapter away from the climatic scene. The end is in sight. Maybe.

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