Monday, April 28, 2014

Walking Wounded

Right now my right knee is bruised and swollen, there's a spot just below my ribcage that I can't even touch, and the lacebite on my left foot makes me wince with every step I take.

Dammit, I LOVE playing hockey.

Seriously. I had an absolutely blast in our game last night. It was the big 'grudge match,' so to speak, except that I still like most of the guys on the team. We had two new subs show up, a pair of brothers that have been friends with Jeff forever, and they were fantastic. As a team we shook off 14-1 and 8-0 losses and made a tam that was 2-0 work for a 6-3 win. They had a 5-1 lead but we chipped away, getting it to 5-3 before ringing one off the post and having another instance where a rebound just sat in the crease for a good three seconds. So, so close.

In the second period, when we were defending the goal closest to the other team's bench, I heard Tom yelling for his players to dump the puck deep on me. Clearly this was a strategy, as I was perceived as a weakness. How did that work out for them? Well, let's see. For the game I could be cheap and say I was even, but it's technically accurate to give myself a -1. I was on for the first goal of the game, when I managed to keep one of their really good skaters to the outside like I'm supposed to, but he kept going around the net and beat Charlie with a wraparound. The second goal occurred as I had just stepped out on the ice after serving a roughing minor - deserved - and technically I gotta take the rap for that. I was credited with an assist - my first point - on our second goal, which maybe involved me making a 10 foot pass to one of the Lifriere brothers before he skated through the other entire team for a goal. So, -1. I had a slew of blocks, as my injuries indicate, and I just had a great time. Jeff and Ken did well as well, although Jeff is no doubt beating himself up for getting his pocket picked for a goal - it happens to all of us. Especially me. After the game our former goalie Alex - who had a great game and was probably the difference, not that Charlie played badly - said he thought we outplayed his team. I wouldn't go that far, but I'd say it was an evenly matched game with a few of the bounces going their way. Our forwards are starting to get comfortable with one another and we had sustained pressure in their zones numerous times.  All in all it was very encouraging and I hope we can keep improving, although we have another good team waiting for us next week. We need our practice to get some forechecking schemes set, working on faceoffs, etc. And I need to not catch slapshots with my ribs.

Ah, who am I kidding? I love blocking pucks and diving to break up plays. No talent, all heart. Although that might be bruised as well.

Writing: edit edit edit. 10 chapters down, 1 eliminated, about 32 to go.

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