Mass Mayhem!

This weekend, Amy and I headed up to Conway, NH for the David Dore Invitational women’s hockey tournament with Mass Mayhem. Libby put the team together – it was the three of us, our friend and former coach Steph as the goalie, Dawn from the Pumas, and six women from the Quincy Fighting Squirrels team. Libby was nice enough to ask the Squirrels if we could borrow 4 jerseys so we’d all match (at my request). Because really? Who wouldn’t want to wear a Fighting Squirrels jersey?

The tournament was billed as a B/C tournament, although I’d have to say it was more of a B-/C- tournament. Lib, Amy, Dawn, and I are all C players and the Squirrels are all B players. Our team ended up as one of the two top teams at the B level, quite handily.

We played our first two games on Saturday. Game 1 saw us taking on the Tuckerman Breakaways. The game was fast and challenging; we ended up with a hard-fought 2-0 victory. I have to say, I learned a LOT about how to be an enforcer in front of the net (although I didn’t get to put it into action.) Nancy and Joanne both kept Steph from getting too banged up and I’ve got a few new tricks up my sleeve for our Storm games. In game 2, we played with Winni Ice Cats. We won again, 5-0. The game wasn’t as fast or as challenging as the first one, but OMG the team was the most polite team I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing against. Smiles, good natured compliments, and questions of “are you okay?” were flying all over the place during that game.

Sunday brought game 3 against the Wolfeboro She-Wolves. Another game, another win, this time 8-2. We didn’t realize that a 6-goal differential would bring on running time or we’d have tried to get there a lot faster in the game since we knew we’d be playing again with just one game of rest in between. Ah well.

So after those three wins, we ended up in the championship game against the Good Stellas. They’d played one of the first games on Sunday, which meant they rested for at least 5 hours before playing us. We got all of 60 minutes… Eeek! And we went out there and played the only other team in the tournament that was really good. We ended up losing that game 2-4; it was a bummer to lose but the game was clean, well-called, and fun so I’m not complaining too much. Poor Squirrels had to undress after the game, hop in their cars, drive to Marlboro, and play another game on Sunday night! (They won.) Libby, Amy, Dawn, Steph, and I all took our sweet time in getting home. I was sound asleep by 9:30 pm and didn’t get up till 7:30 this morning, and could easily have slept another 3 hours.

The organ recital:

  • I took a slapshot to the inside of my right knee and have a lovely bruise that keeps getting darker and more tender.
  • A winger from the She-Wolves collided with me (and I with her) in the third period of game 3. Thank god for helmets and mouthguards. (Apparently the ref commented to Steph that he didn’t expect either of us to get up after the hit, but solid protective gear will do wonders! Still, I had a few moments of seeing stars…) The same thing happened in the final game, only I saw it coming and the other girl didn’t so I was able to avoid the direct hit. She went down hard and took a few moments to get up, but seemed okay. Hope she feels okay today.
  • My angry toe is angry and I will end up losing the nail. Again. Sigh.

Funny memories from the weekend:

  • The toaster handle that kept breaking.
  • “That’s what SHE said!”
  • Toilet paper in places it ought not be.
  • Betsy passing.
  • Nancy taking care of that mean center on the faceoff. Don’t mess with Steph, folks, or Nancy will dump you on your ass.
  • Betsy falling.
  • Jean yapping at the defender who didn’t think Jean should stand in front of her goalie, with photographic evidence of the “discussion.”
  • Melissa Craig scores! Melissa White scores! #88 scores! #28 scores! Someone (not Melissa Ellis) got a penalty!

I’m sure there are more, but I’m starting to fade once again so I’ll leave you with this lovely little photo of me and Amy after game 3.

Megan + Amy after game 3

Two Confidence Boosters

Hockey practice last night was really good. We worked on lots of things – power turns with the puck, shooting after doing a big power-turn weave and bob thing, bringing the puck into the zone with a partner and shooting early so your partner could get the rebound, and about 15 minutes of 3-on-3.

My power turns are getting better, although there’s still a ton of room for improvement. Like Amy, my turns on one side are stronger and on the other side are incredibly uneven. My shooting is okay when I actually think about my form – otherwise I have these dinky little bloopers that all goalies can stop easily (i.e. almost every shot I made last night). My passing is definitely improving. And my puck possession, while still among the weaker of folks on the team, is improving. Niki turned to me at one point last night and summed up what I was thinking: “I’m so much more comfortable wtih all this now than I was at the beginning of the season!” With miles to go before we achieve perfection…

But there were two moments last night that gave me real boosts in confidence.

The first was when we were playing 3-on-3. My team went up against the team with one of the coaches on it – the coach who’s about 6’4″, has a wingspan that goes from here to Montana, and who skates incredibly fast. We played several rounds against them, with a break in-between for the other 2 teams to play. After our last round, he skated over to me and told me I’d done a really good job. While he didn’t point out anything in particular that I’d done well, just the act of noticing and commenting was a real confidence-booster.

The second moment came as we were almost ready to get off the ice. A few of us had been shooting on Renee, and as usual she was stopping pretty much everything. I don’t think I’d put one past her all night long (even when I sat on her during one drill – this is what happens when you ask defenders to act as wings and screen the goalie – we lose our sense of space, get in the crease, and sit on people… anyway!) In fact, I know that I’d put at least 10 shots into her pads, and at least 10 more into her belly. My shooting form just wasn’t on last night. But at the very end of practice, I remembered something that someone told me a couple of years ago: “Don’t look at where the goalie is, look at where the net is and then shoot at the net.” So I came in to the high slot, saw open net above Renee’s left shoulder, and ripped one up there. It’s nice to know that even when I’m having a hard time with something (like shooting), just doing it right once makes all the difference.

Then all went to the locker room and KP made me, Amy, and Libby die laughing with some unintentional humor. That’s always the best kind! Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

Storm v. Ice Sharks

We played the Ice Sharks tonight. They beat us last time we played 1-0, so it’s entirely reasonable to think that we could have won. Except that we didn’t. The final score was 1-3 in their favor. Our one was a beautiful shot 3 seconds into a power play in the third – Laura took the faceoff through our offensive circle, took a shot, and Sejal picked up the rebound and put it in. Totally gorgeous!

The three they got – well, I’m not proud of the fact that I was on the ice for two of them. And the third goal was the worst. I thought our goalie had it and told her “you’ve got it! you’ve got it!” As it turns out, the black disk I thought I was looking at in her pads wasn’t the puck, but was part of her pads. I know they’re new pads and all, but I wonder if she’d let me paint them some wacky color so I don’t ever make that mistake again… (just kidding, Renee!)

Those two goals notwithstanding, there were a couple of INCREDIBLY LONG shifts Kristine and I played in our defensive zone where the Ice Sharks didn’t score. Thank the FSM for that. At the end of the first, I think we did close to a 3-minute shift. Never in a game have I seriously considered throwing up; tonight was different.

Two things that jump out about tonight that I need to work on:

  • better talking with both Kristine and my centers in our defensive zone (which WILL come in time, and is getting better each game, but still needs work)
  • figuring out how to throw the puck OUT of the zone when we’re closing in on one of those horrid mega-defensive-shifts

KP, thanks for having a day so Libby could make us cupcakes. NOT a birthday, mind you, but just a day.

Okay, off to bed!

Hockey OD

  • Sunday – game (storm)
  • Tuesday – practice (storm)
  • Wednesday morning – practice (wellesley)
  • Wednesday night – scrimmage
  • Friday morning – practice (wellesley)
  • Friday night – game (not-storm)
  • Sunday – game (storm)
  • Tuesday – practice (storm)

My gear smells.

Storm v. Phantoms (11/2) Photos

Our dear friend Tammy came to visit a couple of weekends ago. She came to one of our games (against the Phantoms) and broke out her fancy-shmancy camera. Snap snap snap, zoom focus repeat. Here are some of my favorites:

Storm vs. Phantoms C

Me in the corner, KP up high

Storm vs. Phantoms C

Amy backchecking, a Phantom player hot on her heels

Storm vs. Phantoms C

Amy corrals the puck after her backcheck

Storm vs. Phantoms C

The team between periods

Catch the rest of the set over at Flickr.