We hit the Wednesday stick time in Vacaville again. Good skate, even though more than 1/3 of the ice was taken over by a junior team and the two coaches working with a couple of little guys were using the center 1/3 with us, so there wasn’t as much room as we’d like.
Spent some time working on the wrist shot, even though my stick is too stiff to flex. Starting to feel the wrist flick, but the weight shift still puts me on my ass. Small steps. Crossovers are coming along. I fell regularly but managed to pull off a few smooth ones without looking at my feet. I’m still pretty exhausted at the end of an hour of stick time, but not nearly as tired as I was the first few we did.
Since Sunday was Easter, class was moved to Saturday morning. 8:30 am. Quite a few people didn’t make it, which made for a bit more personal coaching time. A lot less skating and a lot more time with pucks this week. After a few skating runs, we broke into groups for drills.
We started with Spencer and wrist shots. Hearing and seeing it all again from someone different was great; I picked up a couple things that I didn’t get when Jeff explained it last week. While we were working individually, Spencer again explained the weight shift to me, it made sense and my wrist shot improved. Marginal improvement, but I’ll take it!
Next we did passing with Brian, both stationary and skating while passing through cones. We’re all getting a little better at it.
Our last station was shooting with Jeff – slap shot this week. My inability to flex my stick is limiting my shooting, but the basic mechanics made sense especially after doing the wrist shot again. Progress!
The last fifteen minutes were the best part of the morning. Scrimmage time. Here’s how it goes – I skate, I see the puck, I fall down, I get up, I skate, I almost touch the puck, I run into someone, I fall down, I get up, I skate toward the goal, someone runs into me, I fall down, I get up, I skate to the bench, I guzzle water. Repeat. Too much fun!
Stopped by the pro shop after class to look at sticks. While playing with them, I figured out that an intermediate stick will work for me. They are longer than junior sticks but not as stiff as senior sticks. Was all ready to buy from them but the only intermediate stick they had in my price range was a lefty.
While taking the gear out of the bag to air once we got home, I discovered two split seams in my pants. They are only six weeks old and I haven’t been THAT hard on them! Although Keith is talented with a sewing machine, I didn’t like the idea of having patches on my nearly new pants, especially when it was a workmanship issue.
We’d already discussed making a drive to Oakland to look at sticks. The pants issue made that decision. Tuesday evening we headed off to Hockey Xsport . They were great about the pants exchange; covered under warranty and they had the same pants in stock. They didn’t have the same size, but that worked out fine after I tried on a smaller pair and liked the fit far better.
There sure are a lot of stick choices out there… and most of them are kind of expensive. Finally found the intermediate Bauer sticks and settled on a one piece composite One 20 (67 flex, PM9 pattern, 5 lie). $50. And that’s a bottom of the line composite stick.
We also picked up a street hockey ball so we can practice passing at home.
Finished the trip with a visit to a friend to pick up tickets for the first game of Round 2 of the playoffs, which start tomorrow night. Sharks vs Detroit. I’d be way more excited about the game if I got to go, but I know better than to expect to go to playoff games. I may hit the Thursday stick time without him though; paybacks and all that. 😉
Taking the new toy out on the ice this afternoon for stick time. It’s all taped up and ready to go. Gosh I love hockey.