We had nothing going on other than hockey class on Sunday. Did a bit of necessary shopping – yay for new walking shoes – and broke out the bins of camping gear in preparation for possible car camping/day hiking next weekend. It’s been two years since we’ve been out on the trail (last year’s injuries took out backpacking season) and almost a year since we’ve car camped; we’d almost forgotten what we have. It was nice to find that we don’t need to replace much; even still have fuel for both stoves. Put new batteries in my headlamp and the wind meter and we’re good to go for car camping. An REI trip is in the future to upgrade some of his backpacking stuff – by upgrade, I mean lighter and built during this century 😉 – and get us a new backpacking tent.
Got myself registered with USA Hockey so I can play in the women’s tournament in August. $44, which sounded like a lot for very little until I read that it includes excess medical coverage that will work as a primary with a $3500 deductible. I still owe for the ER visit for the broken leg last year; knowing that getting hurt at a USA Hockey sanctioned event won’t bankrupt us is worth every penny.
Also put cash in the gear bag to give to Jillian to cover my tournament cost. Minimum three games for $80 is very reasonable; I expected it to cost much more considering all the work that must go into putting it on.
Since it was Canada Day, we thought about buying a twelve pack of Kokanee to take to the rink, but they have a strict no outside alcohol rule (liquor license rules). Thought about suggesting that they stock a Canadian beer in the snack bar. I mean, geez, it is hockey after all, even if we didn’t have some Canadians in the area I think it it would be appropriate to offer Canadian beer. 😉
Got to the rink a bit too early. Even spending a few minutes chatting with some other early arrivals and having to unlock one of the locker rooms, we were still outside ready to go while the high school age teams on the ice were having a shootout. Several goals were scored, which resulted in several very awesome goal celebrations – one kid didn’t get his celebration right the first time, so he did it again! Too funny.
After warming up, Jeff put us through what are now our standard skating drills – snake around the circles two times, end to end working right stops, back working left stops and then back and forth doing transitions. I was really happy with my skating – the right stops were there! Transitions weren’t pretty but they were efffective – each one I do helps to rebuild the confidence in my ability that I seem to have lost.
Next up was 2 on 0 runs end to end. These are fun, and it seems that everybody’s passing skills are improving. Got to do a couple of those with Keith, and those were my best – we have a pretty good idea now how fast the other will be skating and our passes are much better as a result.
Broke up into two groups and worked some team drills. Jeff and Brian are making us think and play positions now and they keep the drills active – no standing around allowed if you aren’t waiting. I focused on playing defense on both drills, although I did do two each as a forward to mix it up a bit.
And then it was time to go over the boards. I missed this last week and I was a bit nervous about it, so I “let” everyone else go first. Jeff had us sitting on the bench the right way – forwards at the neutral zone end, defense at the blue line end – and we practiced changing out by position. I shouldn’t have been so nervous. It’s kinda fun. As a defensemen, I only have to go over them from the bench to the ice, not the other way around – good thing for me, that’s the direction that the forwards were complaining about being hard.
Scrimmage time finally arrived. This time we would be changing lines on the fly and climbing over the boards to make the changes faster. The class has pretty much gelled into a white team and a dark team for scrimmages, and several of the people in white have been skating together at sticktimes. This seems to have translated into some pretty good plays – people are stopping to look before passing, thinking about being offsides and thinking about breaking out as a team. It’s almost like real hockey.
Watched Keith make some nice defensive plays on his first shift, and we got to play as a defensive pair for a little while. We even managed to collide with each other on that shift – doh! I managed a few nice plays too. Made a point of not being in a rush to get rid of the puck in the defensive zone and positioning myself to where I thought the puck was most likely to go when we are on the attack. Defensively I managed to push two big guys off the puck by just kind of skating with them – skating very, very close. Really proud of that!
Between beers, chatting and watching bronze league games, it was almost 11 pm when we left. Got home, spread the gear out and crashed. It was a good day.
This morning we woke up to an explosion of sporting equipment instead of a living room.
Guess what I get to do today?
I just walked past the pile of hockey clothes waiting to go in the washing machine. Oh. Emm. Gee. From now on, laundry first. Blog second.