25 May 2007

Hopeful in Vancouver

We're in Vancouver now for my 6th Vancouver Tournament. Whether I'll actually be able to skate or not is still a mystery; I haven't been on the ice since I sprained my ankle, and the past couple days have brought more tweaks and pain than the speedy healing I was hoping for, so we'll see. I just finished taping my ankle for the second time today (the first time was a practice run to get the hang of it and test how tight the tape should be) according to these instructions, and I've put the flexible brace on over my sock. If the combination of tape, sock, and brace (and either a velcro strap or some hockey tape around my skate) don't do it, nothing will.

Posted by Lori at 07:24 PM | Comments (2) | Link to This Entry

27 May 2007

Game On

Well, we've played three games so far, and by the time I get to write about them I'll probably have them all confused in my head. I'm traveling with Al and the Beaner this time, which means that instead of writing and uploading photos between games, I'm doing my best to carry some of the parenting load. Luckily I took some video (and Ann, our bench coach, got some of the third game, too), so I'll have that to jog my memory.

The big news in the meantime is: I can skate! The ankle taping + tight skate lacing + skate taping + shinpad taping is supporting my ankle well enough that I can turn, stop, and skate (almost) as usual. I'm a little less agile because of the extra stiffness all that tape adds, but I'm not playing badly at all. Woo!

Posted by Lori at 01:22 AM | Link to This Entry

28 May 2007

One Second

I'm pretty sure this clip was a total accident, but I like it because it shows me skating relatively fast. It's only one second long, so watch closely! (And I assure you that I maintained that speed for longer than one second.)

Posted by Lori at 12:35 AM | Comments (1) | Link to This Entry

31 May 2007

Game 1: Weekend Fling

It actually took me a while to remember the name of this team; they had a logo that looked like something off an 18-wheeler's mudflap—only with horns and a tail—so several of my teammates started calling them the Red Devils. Anyway, I showed up at the rink about an hour early, ankle taped but still unsure of whether I'd be able to skate. I ran into Marie in front of the locker room assignment board, trying to remember what our team's name was. I said hi and explained the ankle situation; she looked a bit alarmed and said, "if it hurts at all, I wouldn't skate on it. I did that, re-injured it, and was out for 6 months." Somehow I managed to remain mildly optimistic after getting this news, even though my ankle *did* hurt (I'd say it was about a three).

I got into my hockey gear, being sure to lace my skates as tightly as possible, to wrap stick tape around the left one, and to tape my shinpads (which I wear over my skate tongues) tightly at the bottom. Once I did that, the pain disappeared—it was the best splinting system I'd come across since the injury!

When I stepped out on the ice, I found that I didn't have as much mobility because of all the layers of tape (especially the one at skin level, which went up to the bottom of my calf), but I could still turn and stop fairly well—and more importantly, without pain. At the end of the warmup, I could feel my ankle, but I'd say the pain level was between 0 and 1 (I was still smiling).

The actual game is pretty much a blur of thinking about my ankle, going tentatively into the corners, and getting our asses kicked by an opponent that was clearly a level above us. I don't think it's particularly obvious in this video (which I shot during one of the two or three times we were actually in their end), but as Lolly put it, none of them had any trouble skating, none of them were confused about positioning (two hallmarks of the Rec level), and she recognized a few skaters from B-level leagues.

Yes, that's me saying "oh, crap" at the end
(from the bench, where I was shooting this rather shaky video)
On the ice for us are YaYa (37, C), Michele (50, LW), Joann (6, RW), Clarice (7, LD), and Spammer (10, RD).

I played Left Wing on a line with Lolly at Center and Deanna at Right; I believe the second line was Joan (LW), Marie (C), and Nat (RW); and the third was Michele (LW), YaYa (C), and Joann (RW). I know Michele played Left Wing, because I got confused the first time she tried to change for me (she usually plays Right :). Mucky and Ima formed one of the D pairs; Clarice (who usually plays goalie, I think) and Spammer were the other; and Rocky played goal. It should be obvious that Mucky, Ima, Yaya, and Spammer aren't their real names, but at this point I hadn't memorized their real names, so I just went by their name bars.

YaYa Mucky Ima Pornstar Spammer
YaYa Mucky Ima Pornstar Spammer, Originally uploaded by yaya37ap

I don't think it was as clear to the Flingers that they were in the wrong division as it was to us; I think they just thought we were one of the weaker teams in the bracket. (We were actually about average). I heard a couple of them whine *I* want to score a goal now! when a player who'd already scored did so again. As someone who's played on a team that routinely beat other teams by multi-goal margins, I can't really fault the Fling for sending three skaters hard after a loose puck when they were up 6-0—I probably would have done the same thing, as being first to the puck is a super-high priority. (Now that I think of it, though, the two or three times we were up by *that* big a margin, we specifically *didn't* try to be first to the puck. Instead we let our opponents get it, and then tried to pressure them just enough to make it interesting. Our goal at that point was to build their confidence without being sloppy ourselves or giving up the game.)

The good news was that the Fling weren't dirty at all. I got shoved once or twice in front of the net (and once *not* in front of the net), but it wasn't like the shover did any damage. The mood on the ice was pretty good, probably because the Fling were having such a great time scoring on us, and because so many of us were just happy to skate. As Joan put it, "hey, I'M PLAYING HOCKEY!" Who could ask for more?

As for my ankle, at the end of the first period the pain was about a 1; at the end of the second it was about a 3; and at the end of the third period it was about a 4. I was seriously looking forward to taking my skates off (and *not* looking forward to the walk back to the locker room). I took the tape off when I got back to the hotel, showered, and then iced the ankle while I slept. I tweaked it a couple times during the night trying to flip over, but getting through the first game gave me confidence that I could at least the first period of the second.

Oh yeah, and the final score of this first game was 7-0. Sorry we couldn't score any goals for you, Rocky!

YaYa! smash (deanna): right wing on my line
rocky after the first game

Posted by Lori at 11:39 PM | Link to This Entry

04 June 2007

Game 2: Cross Chix

Yes, we played the Cross Chix AGAIN this year. But really, that's not the thing I remember most about this game; in fact, there was hardly anything familiar about playing this Cross Chix squad except for the close score. What I remember most was that this game was ALL ABOUT THE BEAVA. (It's probably what I should have titled this post.) I had noticed that a couple of the girls from Victoria had brought a stuffed beaver with them to the first game and mentioned that it would be our mascot, but as I was busy worrying about my ankle and trying to learn everyone's names, I hadn't paid much attention.

For the first game on Saturday, however, the beaver (I keep wanting to type a capital B on that word for some reason) got a new outfit and a new attitude. That morning Ima had made a trip to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and gotten a Canucks jersey, hockey pants, helmet, skates, and shades for She-Be, whom I thought of as a girl but whom everyone else referred to as "him". Either way, She-Be was stylin', and s/he became the center of attention.

ima dressing the beava

She-Be was the dividing marker between offense and defense on the bench, s/he was the focus of our period-starting cheers ("ONE! MORE! BEAVA!!!"), s/he was a source of inspiration, and s/he was the catalyst for lots of dirty jokes (such as yelling to the ref, "would you like to stroke our beaver?"). At one point Anne put him up on the padded pole at the edge of the glass and shouted to Rocky to look up (I think it was to rally her resolve not to let any goals in). YaYa shouted "BEAVER ON A POLE!"...and that's when I stuck my face cage in my hands.

she-be on the benchshe-be on a pole
Photos by YaYa

As to what happend on the ice, as opposed to in the locker room, on the bench, and on a pole, I'm discovering just how inadequate my notes are. What was I thinking, not taking note of who scored and how? What I did make note of was that we played better than on Friday night, and against a team that was more our level. We scored first (anybody remember WHO scored?)YaYa scored the first goal, and at the end of the first period it was 1-0. That's when Lolly gave us this inter-period pep talk. I'm glad I recorded it; it's pretty representative of her personality as a player-who-also-coaches. She's really good at pointing out both what we're doing well, and what we need to work on, while keeping the tone really positive.

Lolly giving us the lowdown.

I think the next thing of significance to happen in this game was me getting out of position in the defensive zone and leaving my point open to score. If I remember correctly, I got sucked in watching the scrabbling in front of the net and let my point get away from me; I noticed the gap at about the same time the puck came out to her. I can't remember if she shot it in herself or passed to someone in front who did, but I remember thumping my chest with my glove as soon as the puck went in and saying, "that one's on me." Duh.

I could be wrong about this, seeing as how I don't have any notes about who scored, but my impression is that Lolly scored a goal in the second period to put us up again, 2-1. The Chix then came back to tie, I believe in the third period. And... yadda yadda yadda (because I have no video or notes on anything until the final minute or so), next thing you know, my line is going out for what will probably be the last shift of the game. I line up along the boards at the far faceoff dot in our zone, and then Marie comes to Center and says something to the ref. (Oh, right, I forgot to mention: We switched up the lines a bit; Lolly moved back to D, I think, Marie became my Center, and Clarice moved up to Center the second line with Joan and Nat.) She said it without much urgency and with a fairly blank expression, so he asked her to repeat herself. "Time out?" she said, and shrugged. I started to wonder whether she was addressing the question to the ref or to me, but in any case the ref blew the whistle, and we skated back to the bench.

We discussed the option of putting a power line on the ice, and all votes were for it (I assume those not voting were at least neutral). I just shrugged and said "sure". Normally I'm not in favor of power lines, but the game *was* tied, and in this case I felt like we had at least 4 or 5 girls we could put out there who could skate well *and* score, so I didn't mind giving up my last shift. I'd had plenty of ice time, and aside from that first goal against, I felt I'd played well enough that I had nothing to prove. We put Mucky, Ima, YaYa, Lolly, and Spammer out there (which, now that I think of it, means that we had four defensemen and one forward).

As everyone lined up at the faceoff circle, it occurred to me that a video of our power line out there might be cool! I managed to grab the camera as the puck dropped and turn it on about two seconds later. Sadly, one second after that, the Chix scored on us. I was busy fidding with the camera and thus have no idea what went wrong to make the goal possible; I was mostly shocked that the second the camera went on, the puck went in.

Needless to say, this wasn't the outcome we were hoping for—nor was it, in my opinion, indicative of how well we played. But! 3-2 is better than 6-0, eh?

Posted by Lori at 12:25 AM | Comments (2) | Link to This Entry

07 June 2007

Game 3 Preview

Once again I'm working late and not going to get to continue my Vancouver Tournament updates, but I'm starting to fear that YaYa will pass out from anticipation if I don't post something. Luckily, the something I have to post is a video starring none other than... YaYa! It's from Game 3, so you'll also get a preview of our opponents, whose name I can't for the life of me remember. I'll have to find the schedule before I write the actual game summary.

YaYa (37) passing to Spammer (10), who drop-passes to... nobody.
Also: Lolly (33) breaking out, Joan (8) falling down, and Nat (9) circling around.

Posted by Lori at 11:42 PM | Comments (1) | Link to This Entry

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