So it turns out that Michele and I are the only players from the San Jose Spitfire team that we formed back in 2001 to make it to the tournament this year, and Michele's the only one from San Jose. :) The rest of the team is made up of some players from Victoria Island (who also play on a team called the Spitfires, coincidentally), three girls from Seattle, and two locals.
The locals couldn't make it tonight, so we took the ice against the Lunachix with only 9 skaters. Since only two of us played D, and no one else seemed excited about dropping back, I said I would be the third D. (What a welcome back to hockey, eh?)
I think I really just wanted to be a forward, because I played more like a defensive forward than an actual defenseman. It didn't seem to hurt us that badly, though; at the end of the first period, the score was either 1-1 or 1-0 us—I can't remember.
One of the centers remarked at the break that the D should stop pinching in because with only 9 skaters, no one had the energy to get back. She also told us that the boards were really springy, and to use that to our advantage. Um, OK.
So the next period, we three D took that "stay back" advice to heart and never even approached the offensive blueline. Meanwhile, the forwards also seemed to think that *they* had to stay back, too, with the following results: (1) I ended up covering my own teammates about a third of the time, (2) we almost never skated out of our own zone, and (3) the score ran up to 5-1 them.
During that second period, I had two moments when I wanted to stop playing and call it a night. The first was when the winger I was covering managed to score a goal despite the fact that I was stick-checking the heck out of her. The second was more of a series of moments; I'd forgotten that I needed to wear bandaids on my heels, and I was sporting two enormous blisters that hurt more and more with each stride. I couldn't wait to get my skates off.
Anyway, I mentioned to my teammates at the second period break that not enough D was no longer our problem: we now had too many people playing D, and not enough playing O. The other team had noticed that we were popping the puck out instead of breaking it out, and had stopped bothering to leave anyone back. All 5 of their skaters were always inside the redline.
Although we didn't score any more goals in the third period (and they scored one more on us), we played much better. There were more breakouts, less pinching and collapsing. I made at least two stupid line changes, one of which resulted in that final goal against, I think, but in those last few minutes all I could think about was how quickly I could get my skates off.
I was surprised at the MVP presentation at the end of the game that the other team didn't choose Rocky (our goalie); maybe it was the 6-1 score that made them think she didn't deserve it, but if they'd been paying attention, they'd have noticed that she was making some amazing saves. It'd probably have been 12-1 or more if we'd had someone less fearless (and more easily flustered) in net. Instead, Donna (who scored our only goal) got the CN$5 Starbucks card. (Which wasn't an entirely illogical choice, mind you; Donna's a strong skater and a natural goal-scorer, so it's not surprising they identified her as their biggest challenge—and thus our best asset.)
Posted by Lori in Vancouver Tournament 2005 | May 28, 2005·02:35 AM