December 20, 2006
Instructional Video

OK, finally, some more video from Monday night's scrimmage. Here's a play I'm particularly proud of, followed by a great example of how *not* to pass, followed by some more fruitful forechecking. I'll break it down after the clip.

I'm #19, with the red, yellow, and black-striped socks;
Beaner is in the plain white jersey with the taped #1 on her back;
and Meghan's wearing Steph's #73 home jersey

On the plus side, check me out intercepting that dump-in and then actually continuing to skate with the puck! Meghan also had a great shot on goal, and I had what seemed to the average bystander like a sweet backhand pass to Beaner. Let's take a closer look at that, however:

blind pass
me passing blindly, as usual

Beaner saves the day
Beaner saving the day by hustling to the puck

And now a slowed-down clip of what happened next: namely, Beaner putting on a clinic on the proper way to deke and backhand-pass.

Notice how she looks up to see where Meghan is right before the deke, and then looks again as she's passing? That's what I should be doing. (By the way, this is the nice shot of Meghan's that I was referring to. Way to go, Meghan!) It'd also be nice to be able to deke as well (and, heck, to SKATE as well) as Beaner, but I think that might take a few more years of practice... or some power skating clinics. She's been playing hockey since she was 9, in case you were curious; I have no idea how old she is now, but I'd guess she's been playing for at least 10 years.

One more thing I wanted to break down, because it's something I'm proud of, even though it might look stupid at first glance.

skating towards the boards
See how I'm skating to the boards to prevent my opponent from clearing the puck?
(Never mind that I probably should have been skating to GET the puck instead.)

the battle
And see how my opponent grabs the puck and quickly changes direction,
just as I'm setting up for the intercept up the boards?

And see how she seems to have faked me out completely?

around the boards
But ah, wait just a second! As my opponent is forced to clear
the puck around the boards in the opposite direction...

Meghan getting the puck
suddenly that almost-intercept along the boards doesn't seem so stupid after all.
Let's hear it for forechecking!

Posted by Lori at 12:06 PM

December 18, 2006
Don't Blink Or You'll Miss It

Apparently it's a tradition with the Philadelphia Freeze that the last practice of the year (i.e., the last one in December) is an intersquad scrimmage rather than an actual practice. We had our scrimmage tonight, and the C team will have theirs tomorrow (not sure if I'll go to that one or not; depends on family obligations). We had a few players from both the B and C squads come out to ours, and enough of our girls turned out that together we had two teams of about 11 each.

Shelly played about two shifts at wing and then went to change; her hip is still really sore from where she fell on it at the Warminster game. I was bummed not to have her on the ice... until I realized: SHE KNEW HOW TO WORK THE CAMERA. When she came out of the locker room I handed it to her, and she proceeded to get several (several!) really great clips of all of us. She even managed not to shake the camera while shooting, which is something I can't seem to do because I'm always panting so hard after coming off my own shift. :)

Here's the first video I encoded; it's of me scoring a goal, and I swear it looks like we arranged ahead of time for Shelly to get just enough context + the goal and then stop. I didn't edit it at all.

I'm #19, with the red, yellow, and black-striped socks.

Oh, and yes, I was deliberately skating that slowly; I was trying to be sneaky. I'll upload more video tomorrow, including some that shows me skating a bit faster (though not fast enough to steal the puck from Billy).

Posted by Lori at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

December 13, 2006
Unreliable Narrator

In case you have any illusions that I am a reliable source of play-by-play action for the hockey games in which I am playing, let me disabuse you of that notion... at least when I can't see with my own eyes what's going on. I've noticed before that I often make assumptions about where someone was and what s/he was doing if I didn't actually see them. (I do this when I'm playing, too, often to my detriment: I assume someone's going to be where I expect him or her to be, and I don't look up before passing to that spot. It works sometimes, as when I played with Dan Taborga on Hoffman and Justin on Coastside; they made it a habit to be open in exactly the right spot 90% of the time. Most other times, however, I end up passing to nowhere—or worse, to the other team. Note to self: LOOK UP BEFORE PASSING, YOU IDIOT!)

Anyway, my point is that how I assume things happened is not always how they actually happened, and the video clip below (thanks, Shelly!) is a clear demonstration of that. But first, some background: In Saturday's game against the Lady Hawks at Warminster, Shelly (C) and I (LW) had already each scored a goal (I'll explain the details of mine later), but Meghan (RW) had not. We were determined to get Meghan a goal, so our last three shifts on the ice were all about passing to Meghan and getting her a good angle to shoot.

With 30 seconds to go in the game and the first line on the ice, Tracey happened to be passing by the bench on her way into the offensive zone, so Billy called her off and sent me out. In other words, I was on the ice without my usual linemates—but I was still in "get Meghan a goal" mode. This explains why, as we skated into the zone and Carol (C) got tangled up along the right-side boards, I skated over to dig out the puck and shouted "Carol, go to the net!" If I'd just been playing normally, I would have gone either to the high slot or crashed the net.

So I got control of the puck and passed it to one of my teammates and then turned toward the net myself. Unfortunately (because I now had my back to the boards), the puck was intercepted and came back down along the boards. Fortunately, the girl who was down by the goal line was really DOWN by the goal line, and I was able to pop the puck up the boards to the D. The D (I thought it was Steph, but I can see now in the video it was Angie, the RW; Steph had gone to the high slot) chipped the puck back in, I got it, I passed to Carol in front of the net, and she scored. Or at least, that's what I thought happened, because the last thing I said to Carol was "go to the net!", and that's where she was when she scored.

Here's what actually happened:

NOTE: I switched to Flash Video, so hopefully more of you can see this.
Mouse over the still frame to see the video controls.

OK, so you can see that I had it *mostly* right... except that when I was getting the chip-in from Angie, Carol was right behind me. Also, what I thought was a pass to Carol was really a shot on goal (which explains why Shelly, who was shooting the video, thought it was me who had scored). The goalie knocked my pass-that-ended-up-being-a-shot away with her stick, and Carol had enough time to skate from me to the net and easily poked the rebound through the five-hole. Not quite as pretty as I'd imagined it, but still a goal. Oh, and I think that's Billy saying something like, "Ooooo! Now where's she going?" when I turned my back on the boards. (And I can see how he *would* say that, because it was kind of a stupid move.)

There's no video of my goal, sadly, but it was a fun one. I can't remember how it was that the puck ended up behind the goal line in our offensive zone; my memory of the play starts with Meghan forechecking hard on the right side, while I came into the zone on the left. I saw an opponent skating toward the right side behind the goal to get the puck, and I had a feeling that with Meghan there, she'd wing it back around the boards toward me, so I skated in hard and went behind the net, too. Sure enough, my opponent passed the puck right to me without looking up first. (Totally something I would do, btw.) Shelly was the third girl in, and she went straight for the net. So did Meghan, as soon as the other girl passed to me. So I passed the puck out in front of the net, where there was a scuffle and a swinging of sticks; I'm not sure if the puck bounced off Meghan or if she or Shelly got a shot off, but the puck definitely hit the goalie.

Meanwhile, I turned and skated back around the net to the left side, I suppose with the thought that I'd do more good in front of the net than behind it. Just as I came around the post, the puck squirted out to my side. I thought to myself, "oh no, it can't possibly be that easy." And in games past, it wouldn't have been: I'd have panicked and missed the puck entirely. This time, however, I carefully put the back of my stick to the puck and flipped it into the net. Just as I heard the puck clunk the back post, one of the D realized I was over there and came over to cover me, knocking me to my knees in the process. It didn't matter though: The puck was in.

More went on in the game than just my goal and my semi-assist, of course; I think the final score was 5-0, with Claire scoring two goals (Shelly, Carol, and I had the other three, as mentioned above). Here's a clip of Angie, Tracey, and Claire getting several more scoring chances, and Claire getting knocked down for her trouble:

As in the previous clip, you'll see a whole mess of teal jerseys all on one side of the ice.
Not *quite* how it's supposed to work.

Posted by Lori at 12:59 PM | Comments (3)