Green Jersey

I've been feeling rather solitary and introspective for a few days (which isn't exactly the optimum state of mind for blogging), but since Inga missed our Gang Green game on Sunday for a tournament with the Polars, I figure I owe her a post. :) The title of this particular entry refers to the new green jersey I wore in this game—my first with HYLAN-CHO on the back—but that's the last you'll hear of it...

We played the Crease Monkeys in our second pre-season game. My overall impression was that they were a weaker team than the Y Guys, even though the Y Guys have a couple players who are brand-spanking new. I found myself missing opportunities left and right because I kept thinking that when they grabbed the puck they'd actually take off with it. I spent my energy trying to follow the play when I should have been trying to hijack it—their puck-handling skills being shaky at best.

The one time I tried to make the Justin move, the player I skated through either grabbed my stick, or else it got tangled up some other way, and I yanked it free as I tried to determine what happened to the puck. I heard the ref yell, "HEY!", and somehow knew he wasn't yelling at the other guy for holding me up. Sure enough, as the puck came sailing back into our end and one of our D stopped it, I was called for high-sticking. Now, my stick wasn't high—rather, the other guy's face was low—but since the blade did scrape his face cage, I dutifully skated to the box.

I thought about pleading my case to the scorekeeper, but she seemed an unsympathetic sort (she's the one who yelled at us all to get on the ice whether it was dry or not, since we were already TWO MINUTES LATE in starting the game), and in any case, she never even looked my way. Instead, I troubled Hoche for some water and settled in to serve my three minutes of running time.

Shortly after finishing the water, and about halfway through the penalty, I saw the tide turn dramatically in our favor as Jim scored a short-handed goal. Woo hoo! Do I get a plus for that? (I'm kidding, Karen!) Al has asserted that he and I are not likely to be big goal-scorers for this team, since we tend to be fairly defensive-minded for forwards. Backchecking and forechecking are my specialties, not scoring. However, penalties aren't exactly familiar territory for me, either (this is only my second in two and a half years of hockey), so I suppose it's possible that I could score a few goals, too. At the very least, I hope the shorthander scored during my penalty is not the closest I will ever get to contributing to a goal on this team...

In other game news, I played on a line with Baldwin (one of the four people named Chris on our team; all are referred to by their last names except for Christin, who has the longest and hardest-to-pronounce last name) this week. I gather that he usually plays Left Wing, but he was kind enough to move to Right to make way for me. I think I have a bit more speed than he does, but his puck-handling skills blow mine away. He's also really good at stealing the puck away from opponents in a completely unJustin way (which just proves that there's more than one way to do it, and that there's hope for me yet). It also means that there's more for me to do, since while he's fighting for the puck, I can get in position for a pass or get ready to chase if he dumps it in.

We didn't have enough players for three full lines, which means that we weren't guaranteed the same Center every time we were out together. We got to try out both Andan (who was playing Center for the first time, as a sub) and Hoche (who usually plays with Baldwin and would likely have Centered our line had we had the full complement of players). I had one nice moment with Hoche when I was able to produce a centering pass from a broken-up play; I was under pressure and didn't have time to look for him or his stick, so I just tossed the puck backhand to where I thought he'd be, and he was. He one-timed it, also with a backhander; the goalie stopped it, but it was still nice to be part of a scoring chance.

And OH MY GOD I just saw the Mighty Ducks set up the perfect Triangle and score the game-winning. series-winning goal against the Red Wings. Yaaaaaay Ducks!!!

Anyway, back in E bracket... I still feel like I can contribute more to the team (which is a good thing, having your better games in front of you rather than behind), but there are a couple things to be proud of in this one: First, I wasn't nervous at all. I was totally relaxed, in fact. Second, I skated hard enough to be totally soaked with sweat after the game (and I believe I can go even harder). There were a few goofy moments, too—trying to step over one of Andan's shots and blocking it with my ankle anyway, standing up straight and very nearly calling time out so I could laugh my ass off when an opponent attacked my legs and skates like a freaking egg beater in an attempt to dig the puck out from between my feet, pulling a muscle from my hip down to my knee and up to my shoulder when an opponent smooshed me into the boards—but nothing too egregious. Bring on the Red Army!

Posted by Lori in Gang Green ~ Summer 2003 | April 16, 2003·10:30 PM