Things that stick in my mind about the game we played against the Delware Phoenix down in Newark (that's New ArK, not the more famous Newerk) a couple weeks ago:

~ The rink was Olympic-sized, the facility was large and bright, and the skate shop (which was really more about UD souvenirs and clothing than hockey equipment) had the hockey jock I needed (mine had a humongous hole in region of my right ass cheek).

~ The ice totally sucked. Rutted, pitted, and wet. Yuck.

~ My sister came. Yes, MY SISTER CAME TO SEE ME PLAY HOCKEY. This is big news, because she's never seen me play before, and I so wanted to share my love of hockey with her.

~ I was called for obstruction about 15 seconds into the game because I lifted an opponent's stick and then didn't have enough arm strength to shake her off and go for the puck myself. Holding an opponent's stick up without making a play for the puck is now a huge no-no under the new USA Hockey rules. Yet another reason to start lifting weights while reading e-mail.

penalty!me in the box
me skating toward, and taking a seat in, the penalty box

~ Mine was the first penalty of the game, of course, but it was not the last—there were three or four more in the first period, and then they finally just let us play. By the time an opponent roughly my size tried to stand me up as I went for the puck behind the net in the third period—resulting in not one but three separate, intentional collisions between us as I tried to, and finally did, work my way through—the refs weren't whistling anything. And thank god, because that kind of contact was exhilhirating. I'm no fan of checking, but occasional full body contact (as opposed to, say, elbows) makes the game more fun.

~ We were sort of sluggish in the first period. It seems to be a pattern for us as a team as well as us (Meghan, Shelly, and me) as a line. I've found that I kind of prefer being on the second line because it gives me a minute to get my head in the game. If we start as the first line, I can almost guarantee it'll be a throwaway shift. (This is probably true of my first shift no matter what line I'm on, but it seems more pronounced when we're the first line.) The penalties probably had something to do with the slow start, as well as the larger ice, but I also suspect that as a team we just like to size our opponents up for a little while before we decide how we're going to take them apart.

~ During that slow start, we were scored upon—possibly (does anyone remember for sure?) by the girl from whom Angie steals the puck in the latter half of the following video (which also features NIELLE making a save):

~ In the second period, we got our act together. I think it might even have been our first shift out in the second where Shelly won the faceoff over to me, I poked the puck past my check and dove after it, and all three of us skated into the offensive zone together with me carrying. I passed to Meghan, who passed to Shelly, who took a shot and scored. WooT! The whole play took like 10-20 seconds. We went back to the faceoff circle... and then did it again. This time Shelly won the faceoff over to me, I passed back to Shelly, and Shelly passed to Meghan, who took a shot and scored. Double WooT! [Update: Apparently this is another case of faulty memory on my part. See Shelly's comment below re: the fact that she won the faceoff to Alison, who passed up to me BOTH TIMES. I honestly don't remember that, but then, as you can see, there isn't much I do remember from this game.]

~ The boards were really high... or rather, the bench was really low. Either way, it was tough getting on and off the ice without breaking an ankle. (You can kinda see what I mean in the photo of me in the penalty box, above—everyone's helmets are at about the same level as the top of the boards.)

~ We spent a lot of time on the bench talking and laughing, which is usual for our team in general and my line in particular. This demonstrates both that I love this team and why I love this team. Honestly, I had no idea playing women's hockey could be so much fun.

my linemates
Meghan and Shelly on the bench

~ We won the game.

Some things I don't remember:

~ What the score was.

~ Who else scored besides Meghan and Shelly (I'm pretty sure someone did).

~ What happened in the second period, aside from the two goals scored by my linemates. The only evidence I have of anything happening at all is this video, which shows Steph being everywhere at once:

I'm pretty sure Steph (73) was playing D in this game.

~ What happened in the third period, aside from the body contact mentioned above.

When I came off the ice I checked in with my sister to see if she was OK (i.e., warm enough) and whether she enjoyed the game, and she mentioned (a) that she was not at all warm, (b) that she wasn't sure what was going on most of the time, but that we all seemed about the same speed and ability—except for "the one with the white socks and the different jersey" [Ruthann], who seemed faster, and (c) that the first Phoenix player off the ice remarked to her cheering squad, "man, those guys were good!"

Posted by Lori in Freeze ~ Fall/Winter 2006 | February 14, 2007·09:38 PM


Lori, I love reading your hockey blogs. Regarding your obstruction penalty in the first period....Get rid of the pink tape on your stick, if you haven't already (I noticed it in the video from the 2/8 blog). This is my sixth season playing and 1st season reffing, and oddly colored tape on the blade of a stick, or bright colors on the gloves for that matter, are like a shining beacon of light to a ref. It makes it terribly obvious during times when you would rather be a little sneaky with the stick!

Keep writing! I love it!

Posted by: Amy at February 15, 2007 11:42 AM

Thanks, Amy! The story of the pink stick tape: One of my teammates on my old co-ed team NEVER passed to me, even though I was open, had my stick down on the ice, and called for the pass. I asked him about it, and he said he couldn't see me. I figured some neon bright stick tape might get his attention, and I went looking for yellow/orange. Pink was all I could find. It's not really necessary anymore -- my Freeze teammates pass to me without hesitation -- so I could go back to teal or black. My toddler will be disappointed, tho -- it's how he picks out mommy on the ice! ;)

Posted by: Lori at February 15, 2007 11:58 AM

I'm 96.4% sure we won 3-1. It's the first year we beat them BOTH games! ...and BOY was I ever hungover for that game... sheesh. Remember it snowed afterwards too? Shelly, her boyfriend Chris, and I had driven down together and Shelly made me vow over a post-game slice of pizza to never be hungover for another one of our games again. So far, so good!

Posted by: ghetto at February 15, 2007 10:46 PM

oh, and i think it was either donna or tiffany who scored the 3rd goal. not sure, but i am leaning towards donna because she was joking afterwards that the only other goal she got of the season was in our first game, which happened to be against DE at home. So, then she was joking that she can only score against them this season. HA!

Posted by: ghetto at February 15, 2007 10:51 PM

I suspect you're right that it was Donna. Tiff scored in the game against the Flames (which I haven't written about yet).

Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2007 8:39 AM

hey, so... the two goals that our line had.. you have it wrong! I won the face off, but I passed to ALISON both times. she hung onto it (since the other team wasn't attacking at all) and then passed it up.

and yeah, nielle is right about the score being 3-1.

Posted by: shelly at February 17, 2007 6:22 PM

Al does a terrific job of waiting to pass. She looks up and makes good passes and that is what we should all strive to do. It's so hard to learn and takes a conscience effort to do it, but as we can all see, the team benefited from it immediately. She has gotten SO GOOD this season! ...though i still say she's not right handed.

Posted by: ghetto at February 21, 2007 11:06 PM