Fireworks. And Stuff.

The ice had to go on without us this morning as yesterday was the Fourth of July. The dropzone sponsors a demonstration skydive into the city’s 4th celebration each year. The twenty or so available slots for this skydive are highly desired by local jumpers, as it is a fairly easy demo jump with a high “glory” quotient. Keith gets the rock star slot each year – he lands last towing a large American flag.

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After the jumpers pack up, we all hang out in our special reserved area, drinking and socializing while waiting for the big booms. The park is only a mile or so from the house, so we usually walk home after the fireworks to avoid traffic and possible DUI’s. Arriving home tired and a bit tipsy at 11 pm, we knew there was no way we’d make it to stick time today.

Met up with Jillian on Tuesday and had a great time chatting and picking her hockey brain. Got more details on the upcoming women’s hockey tournament in Vacaville, and now I’m even more excited (and nervous!). Our team name is Pandora’s Wrath. I’ll be playing defense on the bronze team, probably paired with the strongest defensewoman on the team. We play one game Friday evening and two games on Saturday, with the possibility of championship game(s) on Sunday if we do well. Which Jillian thinks we will.

There’s a saying in skydiving that I think will be bouncing around my head as I get on the ice for that first game on Friday. Please God don’t let me f&%k up. First.

She also gave me some tips on changing out as a defenseman. The biggie is to communication with your D partner. Something I hadn’t thought of before is switching out sides so the next skater to change is on the same side as the benches. Another key is waiting until the puck is deep in the offensive zone prior to changing, which is a bit longer than Jeff suggested in our drill last Sunday. He had us starting to change as the puck was being dumped, and we got caught short once in scrimmage because of it.

My former roommate and her husband are in town (they live in southern Washington now but have family in the area). They’re learning to ice skate and have their own hockey skates. Which they brought along. So we get to hit a public skate in Vacaville with them on Saturday. Besides being good to hang out with them, I’m hoping getting some skating in without the gear (and my third leg – ie my stick) will be good for me.

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One response to “Fireworks. And Stuff.

  1. Careful now, I could get you into trouble and me as well, lol. Jeff is right. When the puck is dumped you change, but did he mention that keeping an eye on it as you start your way to the bench, watching to make sure it does get down there. Alot of players don’t do that and the opposing team can kill your one D person on a 2 on 1 or a 3 on 1, with a perfectly timed stretch pass, if they intercept that dump, leaving your goalie hanging out to dry! I would rather have one D player change at a time. Changing both on the dump can be done at lower levels, but not a good habit to get into. Once the fresh legs get on the ice, you can move over closer to the bench to facilitate your change on the fly, when the dump or possession and attack in the opposing teams zone happens. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to keep your shifts under 1 min to no less than 30 seconds. If you are not out of breath when you change, you are not skating hard enough. But it doesn’t mean you stay out on the ice till you are tired, either.
    The dump is made on the offensive side of the redline by the person who has the puck and they are more than likely going to change as well, or become part of the dump and chase play. I don’t mind playing dump and chase, but your forward has to be aware and they have to be skating as hard as they can, before that puck gets dumped, so they can beat the opposing team to the puck as it comes around the boards on the other side. Key to dump and chase is quickness and attacking the offensive zone with third man high, as the F1 gets to the puck, gets control of it and finds the open F2 person either in high slot, or back to the D, who should at the blueline by then or the weak side F3 on the far side. The F1 can opt to pass or carry it around the back of net allowing your team to get into position and open up the ice. I can’t stress enough to keep moving, keep skating, never ever stand still unless there is a stop in play or you are done your game and sitting on the bench. **getting down off of soapbox now**

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