Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Hockey Game

I had my first hockey game, and man was it fun. I didn’t have much time to warm up or even get to know my teammates because we had just returned from Montreal and a birthday party, and I had to take the kids over to UF, so I was late. I hadn’t skated since spring, so I really wanted to have some time before the game to warm up and get my footing, but no such luck. I had a few minutes to get dressed, get on the ice, skate for about a minute, and then the game started.

I’m playing C-league, so I figured my team would be a bunch of old guys or people who, like me, had never really played hockey, but this was not the case. First off, the guys seemed huge. When I walked in the locker room, I thought I was playing in the NHL, these guys were big. Also, some of them could clearly play in the B-league, they were good players, but it appears that all the teams have at least one or two superstars who could, if they wanted to, carry the team.

They were organizing the players and I ended up on offense, mainly because your best players play on defense, on the points. The same goes for youth hockey, you need to be a great skater to play on the blueline because not only are you supporting the attack, but you have to stop the other team when they head toward your goal.

I ended up at center, and had to take face-offs and lead the offensive attack. I’m not sure how I ended up there, but nobody seemed to want it. They wanted to either play defense or wing. Fine with me, I said I would play anywhere, because personally, I wasn’t even sure what all the different positions did. In fact, when I volunteered to be center, I had to ask the guy next to me what I was supposed to do. He said I was the one who had to go after the puck in the offensive zone. Otherwise, the game plan was pretty straightforward, get the puck in their net, and prevent them from doing the same.

I will say this, it was so much fun. Sure, I didn’t know what I was going, and my skating was rusty, to say the least, but it felt good to be on the ice once again. The game got a little physical at times, with people jostling and bumping me, especially since I tried to position myself near the net. I figured physical play was part of the game and didn’t take anything personally. I even knocked a player over going for the puck, even though it was a woman. I sure showed her. My feeling is that I’m never intentionally trying to knock people over, but in standing my ground to get the puck, some bodies might fall. It’s the law of physic, when bodies collide, one will more than likely fall. I fell a couple of times, myself.

In the end, we won the game, 6 to 1. My friend on the other team complained that we had a few guys that were too good for this level, and I agree to a point. They also had a couple of guys who were really good, and the good players on our team generally played back and didn’t score every goal. They did, however, manage to neutralize the opponents best players, so maybe it all works out in the end.

One final note, I did manage to score a goal, or at least get credit for one. I was positioned in front of the net and someone shot the puck. There was a loose puck in front, and I was in the mix, swinging my stick wildly. I don’t think I hit the puck, but it somehow ended up in the goal, so I got credit. I also had a fairly decent shot on goal that I sort of one-timed off a pass, but it was right into the goalie’s pad, so it didn’t go in. It was fun trying, however,

Now that we have our first game behind us, I can focus on other things in my life, like my next hockey game. I also would love to get my skating legs back and hopefully get some practice handling and shooting the puck, but that could be asking for too much.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Brix5 for the pic.

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