It was a great week in hockey.
We made it to the 6:15 am stick time on Thursday. I really love the early morning ice and am beginning to love the early morning workout. Not to mention the relative lack of people who show up at that ungodly hour.
Crossovers are coming along nicely. Right turns are still tough, but to the left I was riding the edge on each foot for a bit before putting the other one down. Discovered that when I’m following someone around the circle I’m much smoother than when I’m alone around the circle. Assuming that focusing on something other than what my feet are doing is behind that. Sure felt good!
We ended the session with some sprints. Working up to ending our sticktimes with suicides, but for now red line to goal line was about enough.
The crappy weather on Saturday didn’t deter us from making the trek to Oakland to visit Hockey Xsport. He needed a new helmet and we both wanted some new socks and practice jerseys. I picked up a light blue jersey and matching socks, a couple rolls of tape and a mouthguard. He got a new Mission helmet with cage (on sale for $44), dark blue jersey and matching socks, more tape and a mouthguard. It’s always fun to wander around there drooling.
Sunday morning found me at the rink at 8:15, three dozen snickerdoodles in hand, ready to help out with Pandora’s 3 on 3 Iron Man tournament. The teams were playing for “all the cookies” – the prize turned out to be pretty cool. A grey jar with a screw on cup on top; one of the women hand painted the Pandora logo on the jar and we filled it with about 8 dozen cookies topped with more in the cup. It looked awesome!
I helped a bit with registration, then slowly got the bbq area set up with Linda and Christy. Watched a bit of the tournament; if what I saw is any indicator, the 3 on 3 league is going to be so much fun!
Had to leave before the bbq and raffle because my son was passing through and offered to buy me lunch.
Had a bit of downtime in the afternoon while Keith was out working/jumping at the dropzone. A light dinner when he got home and back to the rink I went.
Arriving before 7pm is the hot tip for the most room in the locker room. We were dressed and out of there before it started to get crowded. Did some stretching and sat on the bench while the Zamboni did it’s thing. Noticed that the ice appeared a lot more rutted than it looked when I saw it at 8:15 am, before the 3 on 3.
It was only Jeff working with us as Brian and Eric were in San Jose with the Capital Thunder. They made the finals of the statewide tournament. After warming up, he put us through the now standard skating drills – push and glide, scooters, swizzles, stops – and added a couple runs backwards. Finished off the skating drills with the snake – starting in one corner, around each circle, around the center circle, around the two other circles, ending in a corner. A big line of people snaking around the rink. Lots of carnage along the way as people work on crossovers. That’s one of my favorite skating drills.
We had three goalies on the ice with us. Found out later over beers that one of them, Keith, took the class a couple years ago and just bought goalie gear so he’ll be joining us to learn his new position. One of the others was the teenager that was with us for our last class.
While we were waiting for what would be next, Jillian showed up on the bench and called me over. I’d won some stuff in the raffle! A really nice Blackhawks sweatshirt (it’s nice enough that I’ll wear it even though I’m not a Chicago fan), an NHL tshirt and a commemerative puck. Not a bad haul for a $5 investment.
Jeff broke us up into two groups, one at each end, and had us do some drills involving runs at the net. First we came up from the corners, one carryin the puck, cut across inside the blue line, drop pass, 2 on goalie run at the net. After a few runs at that, Jeff had us add a defenseman.
Wow, did I suck. Managed to pick up and drop the pass, but did a horrible job at defense. Gonna blame it on being tired…
We got to spend the last fifteen minutes scrimmaging, 6 on 6 (plus goalies). I played three shifts, all defense. Got to the corner ust in time to pick up and clear the puck when Bitsy got there a half second before me but overskated it.
And I took out Natasha. She had the puck, so I flat out tripped her. Dang near got a skate blade in the face mask for my trouble, too. We checked that we were both okay and then we both apologized. Never knew hockey could be such a great way to meet people, did ya? 😉
We’re going to have to be the first ones off the ice from now on. Either that or I’ll just go use the womens dressing room. There was no space to get undressed; Keith ended up using the middle of the floor and I was having to be very careful to not cut someone’s gear bag with my skate blades.
The beers were cold and the conversations were interesting later on though. Watched some of a bronze league game on rink 1 as I drank – there are a couple women from Pandora (including Jillian) on one of the teams that was playing.
Going to the 6:15 sticktime tomorrow morning, then it’s going to be a long week without ice time – no class on Sunday due to Easter. We do get to go to the last Sharks game of the year on Saturday night. We were hoping that it would be a game that wasn’t important so we could just enjoy it, but no. The Sharks have to do everything the hard way this season. They have to win their last two games to be sure of a playoff slot. And if they lose, the Kings get that slot. And of course both games are against the Kings. It should be an amazing game regardless of how it comes out on the scoreboard; I’m sure hoping that it’s LA’s skaters who will be playing golf next week and not the Sharks!
Oh, and that I’m the one who wins Dan Boyle’s jersey off his back. 😉