There is something kinda special about sharing an entire sheet of ice with only your significant other for an entire hour. Especially when the cost is $20 instead of hundreds of dollars. It was another stick time all to ourselves this morning.
We made a plan for the skate last night, wrote it down this morning and then left it sitting on the table when we left for the rink. But because we had discussed it twice, we remembered to spend some time working on almost everything on the list. Except the snake drill. We didn’t do the snake drill, which is strange because that’s one that I have come to enjoy.
We did spend time working on our stops, both right and left foot leading. The left foot leading stop is there, the right foot is there without speed and with premeditation. If I don’t think about leading with the right foot and then prepare for it with a short mental pep talk, I default to the left.
Which is fine for the moment. Technically you don’t want to lose sight of the puck or the play when stopping but hey, I’m still a tripod. Even if I do see the puck, I’m likely to miss it anyway.
Next up was transitions. I went down on the first one I tried. Used the excuse that I didn’t sleep well last night (I didn’t, but it was still an excuse) and worked on stopping with the puck (some to the right even) while he went forwards and backwards and forwards and backwards.
Took all four of our pucks down to the other end and did full ice 2 on 0’s. Some were better than others. Tried to skate even with and pass just ahead of him, which worked well. We did some backhand runs as well. If I don’t have the puck as I’m coming to the net, I’ve been trying to stop just outside the crease with my blade on the ice, ready to deflect. As a wannabe defenseman, it’s tough to think about angling the blade to knock the puck in instead of out!
Another huge positive to having the whole ice to ourselves is being able to skate the whole rink and go really fast – no moving pylons to slow down for. I’m coming to love the feeling of gaining speed through crossover lane changes all the way down the ice and then quickly dumping that speed in a hard (left foot) stop. As Richard Bach wrote in Jonathan Livingston Seagull, “perfect speed is being there”. I need to remember to use crossovers in the scrimmages – they will get me there much faster.
While he went off to work on transitions and skating some more, I spent some time bashing pucks towards the net from the point. Or the edge of the faceoff circle. More like the edge of the faceoff circle. My form truly sucks and I can’t elevate the puck at all, but I can get the puck in the general vicinity of the net with what I’m going to call a slap shot.
Like I said, my form truly sucks! (pic from last week)
The sticktime runs from 6:30 to 8:30, but we are always off the ice by 7:30 so Keith can make it to work close to on time. Today there was someone getting dressed as we came into the locker room. This makes one other skater that we’ve seen in about 6 sticktimes. It’s getting too busy! 😉
The guy who takes our money (I need to get his name next week) told us about their adult learn to play class. It’s a drop in thing, Tuesday evenings. We’re tempted. We’d like to get another skate in every week, and we think it is good to learn from a number of different people – this instructor may drop gems that Jeff and Brian don’t know or he may be able to explain to me how to lift the damn puck when I’m shooting.
According to a paper on the locker room door, there is also an adult hockey camp next weekend – 2 pm to 8 pm, including 3 hours of ice time and a chalk talk. Also very tempting, but $75 each, while not excessive for the amount of time and coaching, would stretch the budget a bit further than we can stretch it right now.
Off now to “fold” the hockey laundry and contemplate how I got this new bruise on my elbow…