Gang Green Summer 2003 Wrapup

The Summer 2003 season ended for Gang Green on Monday, August 25 with a 4-0 loss to the Blades. Believe it or not, I came closest to scoring a goal, I think: I was trying to pass to Baldwin (who was in front of the net) from the corner, but I hit the goalie's pad. The puck then richocheted off the goalie's ankle and nearly crossed the goal line, but ended up stopping when it hit his skate blade, just short. That wasn't the moment I was most proud of, though. The moment of pride came less than a minute before that, at the faceoff in our opponent's zone. The Blades' best (and bossiest) player came over to inform the defender facing off against me that "THAT'S YOUR GUY [me] —TIE HIM UP AND MAKE SURE HE DOESN'T GO ANYWHERE". The defender sort of nodded, but either he didn't want to listen to his teammate, or he didn't know what to do with the information, because by the time the puck dropped and he turned to lift my stick, I was gone. I'd started gliding backwards ever-so-slowly as soon as we set for the faceoff, which made me the bossy guy's problem (he was at right wing). He knew he was supposed to go to the point, but he couldn't because the defender who was supposed to cover me lost me and hadn't picked me back up again. The bossy guy, perhaps because his attention was divided beteween me and the point, or because he's a better shooter than he is a defender, didn't do a very good job of covering me, and that's how I got free to make the pass that turned into a shot. So hooray for being sneaky!

I must give credit to Fuz for the idea; it was in a previous game (one in which he was playing Center to my Left Wing) that he had counseled me (in a whisper, not the tell-the-whole-world, including-your-opponent shout of the bossy guy) to crash the net as soon as the puck dropped. I remember thinking the first time he told me this, "how can I crash the net when there's a defender between me and it?" But by the second time he gave me this instruction, I had come up with a plan: I'd glide backwards as everyone was setting, and when the puck dropped, I'd have a clear path to step toward the net. Given that most defenders reflexively step forward when the puck drops, that would leave a passing lane from Fuz to me, and I could try for a redirection. This almost worked once, except that I got a little *too* close to the net, and the shot from Center went behind me rather than in front. In any case, it's a technique I plan to use as much as possible—and it's totally compatible with what I once observed made Mario Lemieux so good down low: he was always gliding around, never standing still. I never saw a man stay so open for so long in my life.

So anyway, back to Gang Green. Since it was our last game of the season, I brought my camera so we could get a team photo. We had the referee take two on-ice photos (one was in focus, but we obviously weren't ready yet—everyone is looking in different directions, and almost everyone has his or her mouth open—and the other wasn't in focus at all), and we had Gene, our #1 fan, take two off-ice photos. Gene's were better by far, so here's the better of those two. Click to enlarge, or roll over the names to see who's who:

Gang Green, Summer 2003

Back row: Karen, Hoche, Jim, Me, Kevin, Phil, Christin, Kerry, Fuz, Lisa
Middle row: Felicia
Front row: Al, Lou, Inga, Baldwin
Not pictured: Wilson

Posted by Lori in Gang Green ~ Summer 2003 | September 6, 2003·05:27 PM