Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Big Hockey Weekend

Then again, every weekend is a big hockey weekend, right?

Hockey may be coming to an end, but it’s not quite over. This past weekend the state tournament started, which is basically a big playoff that determines the state champions. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, because the hockey powers seem discourage this obsession with winning and being a superstar, and then they organize this big tournament that pits all the teams against each other to see who is the best and who will be champion.  
If that’s not enough, they employ a ranking system where teams benefit from driving up the score, because one criteria for advancing is how many goals you score and how few you allow. In an ideal situation, you would score one goal each period and hold the other team to none, but it’s not easy discouraging kids from scoring goals.

Either way, A did not have games this weekend, much to her dismay, but N had his first round. His division is pretty big, they had to trim 17-18 teams down to 8, so they held “playdowns” in four separate locations. We were in Manchester, and his team did well. They won all three games, N scored goals in all three, and I think they came out on top. They even defeated a team that has beaten them all season long, so it was a big weekend.

They played on Saturday and Sunday, so a lot of people got hotel rooms and stayed overnight. Normally we’d jump at the chance, but it would have meant several hundred dollars in expenses, and the ride was only about 1.5 hours long. Not great, but not horrible. It helped that the games were later in the morning.

A was not as enthused about sitting through hours of her brother’s hockey games, so we arranged for her to hang with ES for the day. K&PS were nice enough to host her for the entire day, which worked out nicely because they haven’t seen each other in awhile, and they are always trying to connect. Me, R and N piled into the car and headed to Manchester. Despite the distance, it’s a nice drive, and Manchester is a nice town. The games were fun, R took lots of pics, and then she went to a meeting with a colleague who actually lives in Manchester.

We had 5 hours between games, so GG arranged for us to hang out in a conference room nearby, where they ordered pizza, drinks, and snacks, and they had this big-screen TV where the kids watched the Olympics. I brought my computer and got some work done, and then the kids eventually went outside and had a massive snowball fight.

At some point R returned from her meeting and she, N, and I went into town to check out the local bookstore and just move around. It was also nice to get away from the TV, which really turns your brain to mush. I can’t believe the garbage they put on, or rather, that we watch. A funny thing was that because we separated from the group, we were unaware that we were supposed to get back early, or I guess I forgot, because when we returned, everyone was on the ice and ready to go. We scrambled to get dressed and played the second game, which was the biggie against our rival. We won, and N had a beautiful goal, again.

It was an awesome day of hockey, but the weekend wasn’t over. As I mentioned, several families were spending the night in town, but we opted to drive home to save money. It was snowing on the ride home, and we had to drive through mountains, past Bromley and Stratton, so the driving was slow. We went to ES to pick up A, then home to bed. We had to wake up the next day for another day of hockey, but that’s a story for another time.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Matthew Paulson for the pic. 

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