It's such a different experience this year. The whole hockey-playing-thing. I've actually had moments where I had to talk myself off the couch and into the car to get to practice. Maybe because some of it is coming easier?
The tournament was unbelievably fantastic!! Coach kept us in the same lines the whole weekend so we were working really well together by the final game. Our game times were not too early, not too late. I hung out at the rink a lot taking in some upper level games and getting to know some of our players better. And, I played some of my best hockey ever!
Our first game, Friday night, was great, we started the weekend with a win! And a pretty strong performance by everyone. We were pretty stoked! And our coach was pleased too.
The Saturday morning game was against a team with some more experienced players on it. Coach told us to go out, play our game and not worry about it. They won, but we made them fight for it. Coach was very impressed we held them off as well as we did. She had kind of set us up not to be disappointed, but to just do our best, and we did and we were all very pleased.
Game three on Sunday morning was .... well, we were prepared to take a beating. The team was from the University of Idaho, so they had youth and experience on us. (And, just to be clear, they should NOT have been playing in the novice division!) My defense partner had watched their game the day before and coached the D pretty well telling us to keep it away from the net, get them in the corner, ice the puck and to protect our goalie. U of I took 55 shots on the goalie the night before so we knew we had our work cut out for us. (I would say average shots on goal are around 25-30 per game.)
My D partner and I ended up sitting together at supper Saturday night, so we had time to come up with a plan for our defense, and it worked. Speaking of Saturday night, know what happens when you get a bunch of crazy lesbian hockey players, a few crazy straight hockey players and a lot of beer, wine and Fireball together? ... LOTS!!! What a party! There were a few people looking for puke buckets the next morning!
But I digress... back to Sunday morning; Coach warned us about the U of I team, to just play our best game, play what we know and not let them throw us. She admitted they are not a novice team, they creamed the other two teams they had played (4-0 and 6-0) and yes, they had taken many, many shots on goal so get it out of our defensive zone as often as possible!!! She coached us really well from the bench, we all kept out heads in the game and we performed so well against these guys! So! Well! We had nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. They took only 38 shots on our goal (way to go defense!) but they did get a couple in (sonsabitches!) They took the game, but they didn't take the game away from us -- ya know?
As far as all the games go, I understood what I was supposed to do this time around, the lingo made sense, my job was clear and I did it to the best of my ability. My Honey even commented that my game was much improved. I might have taken a girl out too! Hell yeah, I did! And she was tall ... Really tall. I might also have gotten a taste of some pushing and shoving and that might be the next thing I start to work on, how to use my body to get some work done. So we lost our last game, but we did it really well. Turned out our advanced team played the other U of I team, guess what? At least THREE of their "novice" players were also on the advanced team. So we were cheering "GO BANSHEES! YOU CAN BEAT THIS NOVICE TEAM" from the stands. Shame on us, right? Hardly.
Anyway, no playoffs, but a hella good time and some great hockey playing by all involved. Looking forward to getting back on the ice next Sunday night.
Oh, and happy gobble-gobble day. We're headed to the Island. It should be .... windy and rainy. Total relax time by the fire!