Monday, March 18, 2013

One Win Away

By Nick

I know I haven't written much lately, but that's not been because there hasn't been much going on.

On the dad front, he's getting to the end of this brutal run of chemo. And none too soon. In addition to kicking his butt, he's got a new grandson (my new nephew) to meet and his granddaughters would like to visit with him out here in NY as well.

I did get to Minnesota to go to a Wild game with him, and that was a special weekend for me. I'll write about that at some point.

On the hockey front, we had been sort of fighting our way through a .500 season, but then we went on a 5-game winning streak that put us firmly in contention in the upper division. The playoff format was unique: we got placed in a 4-team division. Then we played a 3-game round robin within the division to determine semi-final seeding. We won our three games and were seeded #1 in our division. Then we played a one-game semi-final, which we won, and now we're in a best-of-three championship series. Game one was last week - and we won. Game two is tonight. Game three, should it be necessary, is next Monday. Obviously, we hope it doesn't get to that point.

I'm not what you'd call a "scorer" when I play out. There are a few of us on the team who understand that our lot in life is to give the scorers on the team a breather and do our best not to get scored on while we're out there. It's a nice, symbiotic relationship. In game one we had 8 forwards, and I got chosen to skate with the scoring line. That's very much like asking me to translate for the Brazilian ambassador at the UN. But there I was, fumbling around out there and trying not to get in anyone's way. Until later in the 3rd period when the game was tied, that is. The puck was in the corner and I found myself pretty alone in the slot, called for the puck, got a great pass, and somehow put it over the goalie's glove for the eventual game-winner. It's getting a little tiring having to carry the team all the time like this.

So, we go tonight hoping to repeat as champs.

I'm up to $964 for the season. The team has promised to chip in some $ as well.

Looking forward to a fun one tonight!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting Caught Up

by Nick

We've played four more games since my last post. We finished out the third rotation through the schedule, had the holiday break and then started the fourth rotation last week.

We climbed back up to, and now over, .500 which is nice.

I was in goal last week, and we beat Bronk 7-2. They didn't have their full team, which helped us. I also got the rare (for me) goalie assist! I'll kick in an extra bonus to the funds raised for that.

Anyway it was a fun game, and I think it makes us 8-6-1-1 now, holding in third place in the division - but it's very tight top-to-bottom.

We play Sullivan this week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Game 12

by Nick

We got back in the win column last night with a win over team Sullivan. This is the team that we played the first game after we got promoted to the upper division last season. They hadn't lost in a year and a half to that point and we beat them 4-0. So needless to say they've gotten up for games against us since then.

I was in goal again, and I really felt the benefits of playing consistently. Just stronger, more comfortable going down and moving around, angles solid, positioning and square to the puck without thinking about it...good stuff.

That said, I let in four goals. But we did get the win.

There was some more nastiness, but really it was with just one guy on their team.

We seem to be getting into it with every team in the division...maybe it's us!

Anyway, it was nice to get a win.

Game 11

by Nick


We started the 3rd rotation through the schedule, which means we played Bronk. We've developed a nasty little rivalry with this team, other than the fact that we can't beat them. We were short-benched again, but were right there until the end when they got an empty netter to seal the deal.

I was in goal for the second straight week and played better, but just needed one more save. One goal in particular bugs me (too deep in the net). Their third (and, ultimately, game-winning) goal was frustrating. It was a shot from the point (by their best player) that was spinning end-over-end and dipped on me. It hit the bottom of my glove and went in.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Purple For A Purpose

By Nick

Yes, I did wear some purple yesterday. No, it wasn't to support the Vikings.

by NiNY

By the way, I've decided that I am going to donate the money I pledge/raise to

They seem to be the most visible and active pancreatic cancer awareness, research supporting and fundraising organization I can find.

So, check them out, and if they make you feel inspired, please consider a pledge like mine, or a direct donation.

I'll send the next five people who make a pledge like mine a purple pancreatic cancer wristband.


Game 10

by Nick

Tough game. We lost 6-4, with an empty net goal against. I was in goal, and had at least one goal where I made a mistake that led directly to the goal.

The guys played well in front of me, but we only had 3 defensemen, and they just got gassed - what can you do?

Anyway, I'm back in the cage the next two Mondays in a row, so hopefully I can get into a groove.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Game 9

by Nick

Second game this season against our arch rivals Walker. We won, I think the final score was 6-2. I say I think because I didn't see the final 6 minutes of the game. My line (the checking line last night - we had a full bench, three lines of forwards, and so I get relegated to my proper station which is playing in a checking role) had been having a very good shift, actually cycling the puck deep in Walker's zone, even creating what might be called a couple chances if one is inclined to use a loose definition of the word "chance". So I was in the slot and our defenseman had the puck on the right corner, I was getting in position to screen the goalie and I got hit on the back of the head, then the next thing I knew I was lying on the ice.

After piecing it together, we think their defenseman hit me in the back of my head, then I went down and hit my face mask on the ice. I don't have a Pierre-Marc Bouchard, but I do have a headache (still). No big deal. The guy got a penalty, their captain came into our room after the game to apologize. It was just too bad because we were playing our best shift of the game.

Anyway, we won, it was a fun game, and now I think we're 2-0 against Walker this season - which makes you wonder why we still consider them a rival. Maybe it's because they do stupid shit like hitting guys in the back of the head?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gms 7 & 8

by Nick

We've now suffered a couple losses in a row.

Game six we iced 8 skaters (normal attrition and two guys suspended from the Bronk game) and we were actually winning 4-2 in the 3rd before our legs died. The other team, as luck would have it, had about 20 guys on the bench.

Game seven I was back in goal, and we just didn't have it. Unlucky goals, clearing attempts that took a bad bounce and ended up with a 3-on-0 coming back at me, guys picking corners they had no business picking...ugly.

We've been struggling to get a full bench to games. We picked up EJ, who has played for us before, and he's a great player. That will help.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gm 6

by Nick

I was out of town for game 5, which we won, so $25 more dollars in the kitty!

Game six I was back in net, and we started the second time through the rotation (6-team division) which meant we played Bronk again. They always seem to bring out our claws - and we theirs. Really it's just one guy on their team who plays defense.

On this night he was sticking his knee out as a means of playing defense, which understandably upset some of our players. Finally Brett had enough and, instead of jumping around his knee trying to save his own knees, Brett just went through the guy. This guy always does this to us - gets us all worked up. This was late in the third and we were losing - so good strategy by the guy, taking our best player off the ice. The guy, Brett and Merkley were booted. We actually tied it up, then went up one, but then they tied it. We ended up with a 7-7 tie.

So, to review, I WAS IN GOAL. 7 goals against is never the sign of a good night. I was thrilled not to get hung with a loss - even though I deserved it. At the end of the first period I had 2 saves.....and three goals against. I ended up with 18 saves for the entire game. Not my best effort.

I just can't go a few weeks in between appearances in net without a serious drop off in my game - such as it is to start with.