On Monday of this week (St. Patrick's Day, as a matter of fact), Al and I went down to Logitech Ice in San Jose to see our new team for next season play in their final game of this one. (Well, it turned out to be their final game.) It was a playoff against the Cougars, a team that Hoche, GG's captain, told me GG had a long history with. Apparently four of their playoff meetings have been decided by an overtime goal and/or a shootout.star gategamedownload
We arrived toward the end of the first period and spent the first few minutes figuring out which players we knew. We then tried to picture ourselves playing with the team, and imagine how well we'd fit in. I remarked to Al that while the individual skills of the GG players were about the same as what we were used to at Ice Oasis, their team play was better. They passed more (and *looked* more before passing), and they really seemed to have a game plan. I found the prospect of playing as a team really exciting; I actually value that more than winning, though playing as a team often *means* winning.
The score was tied 2-2 when we arrived; I believe the Cougars scored the next goal, but it was quickly answered when Lisa Kvarda, my old Spitfire teammate, grabbed a loose puck in front of the net and flipped a backhander past the goalie. She and her twin sister Karen really do shoot well, and with confidence. I'll be happy to skate with them again—I'm hoping some of their confidence will rub off on me.
I really thought Gang Green played a better game than the Cougars, but the score remained tied into the third period. This rattled the GG gameplan, I thought; in the last two minutes of the third period, there was lots of clearing-the-puck-right-to-the-other-team instead of agressive skating. Both teams seemed to be playing not to lose rather than to win. The five minutes of overtime was similar, though GG stepped up the pressure and had several very good chances on net. Unfortunately, nothing went in, so at the end of the overtime they moved on to a shootout. Even more unfortunately, it was no contest, with the Cougars' two shooters scoring and the Cougars' goalie making two saves.
After the game we chatted with some of the players we knew, and I got to meet Hoche, whom I'd only talked to via e-mail. I also assured Inga that there would be many Gang Green-related entries to come in this journal. :)
I can't wait for the new season to start!!
I am so NERVOUS and EXCITED about the prospect of playing in my first hockey game in a month tonight.
Al and I practiced with our new team for the first time on Friday night (which was cool, since our old team at Ice Oasis didn't practice at all). We met up at Hockey Workout, a scary place in a scary neighborhood, at 10pm to do drills on the tiny sheet of ice that they have. I fell down on one of the horshoe drills (rather dramatically, I thought), but other than that I don't think I embarrassed myself *too* much. The good news is that I had two significant epiphanies during the hour we had the ice.