Storm Women’s Hockey Team

Team photo (most, but not all, of us), from a tournament back in September (we didn’t win, alas.)

Storm Women's Hockey Team

Front row, L to R: Libby, Myriam, Renee, Sandy, Julia
Back row: Judy, Scott, Nancy, Brian, Laura, Amy, Niki, Kristine, Megan, Sejal, Tim, Stacey
Not pictured (because they didn’t play in this tournament): Karen, KP, Tiffany

And with that, we’re off to practice. How fabulous is it that we have practices that are NOT at 9:50 at night the day after our games? So fabulous!

Storm vs. Nighthawks Blue, Chaos

Nighthawks Blue

Saturday night we played the Nighthawks Blue (I think… they have a lot of teams that we play, from B to Red to Blue to … I’m not sure. I think last night was Blue). I played defense with Kristine again, which was fun. Of course, with a couple of penalties, I think Kristine, Nancy, Julia, and I all ended up playing at least 2 shifts with each of the others. We ended up winning 4-2. I think the Megan/Amy listening to of Johnny Cash and the Laura/Niki listening to of George Michael before the games may have triggered something, because….

Chaos

We played Chaos tonight and we won again! Both Amy and I and Laura/Niki listened to our songs again on the way to the rink. This game was a little tighter, with us winning 1-0 on a goal by Amy. Last night’s game was a LOT tighter than this one tonight – it felt like we were running around in our defensive zone a lot more than last night. Fortunately, both nights Renee was hot and stopped all sorts of amazing shots.

After our game tonight, we went to the 99 for about 40 minutes to grab a little food before coming back to watch Black Ice play the Bulldogs. They had a really good game – apparently their best one of the year so far – and ended up with a victory. So nice to see them win! We went back to the 99 for another 40 minutes so a couple of them could grab food and then headed back to watch Steph and the Renegades play the Needham Huskies. It wasn’t pretty…. (I think it was a crossover game, with the Needham team on the higher end skill-wise of that crossover).

We MISSED seeing Chanda today, which makes me sad. (You hear that, Chanda? We’re both sad – and so is Steph, and Lynn and Tracey Lee both wanted to see you and say hi too…) We did get to see Amy’s sister and her family for little Cam’s 4th birthday, and we also got to see LJF who’s in town for the weekend. She and her cousin came out to our place after meeting us at the children’s museum – we only had about 30 minutes out here but LJF really wanted to see the dogs. Maggie gave her and her cousin (who she met when we lived down in Philly) the body wiggle and happy squeak. That’s the highest praise that dog gives anyone, and it made LJF smile a lot. Yay!

Okay, off to bed. I’m wiped and work comes early in the morning.  Zzzzzz…..

Storm vs. Phantoms C

The Storm played the Phantoms C last night, our first game in two weeks. Our skates weren’t the only things that were a little rusty… sheesh! Apparently all of us who play defense forgot the oh-so-important weak side post player. We got scored on three times that way, all in about 5 minutes. D’oh! We managed to get one goal back after that, but lost the game 1-3.

Rather than playing with Julia last night, Coach Tim paired me up with Kristine. We haven’t played together in a while but managed pretty well nonetheless. In the second period, the puck came up the ice at me in our offensive zone and it seems that my hand-eye coordination (or perhaps that’s stick-eye coordination) was more than a little off, because the puck sailed right between my feet. Thankfully Kristine saw this happen and totally saved my ass AND a fast-break with her quick corraling of the puck!

Our good friend Tammy was here this weekend and took photos at the game using her incredible new camera. She told me, “I just put on the sports setting and starting taking pictures.” I cannot WAIT to see them and will link you to some of them when she puts them up.

Storm v. Shamrocks

Today we played the Shamrocks, a team with a few incredible players and a pretty darn good goalie. Walking into the rink I was a bit nervous, since I’ve played with and against some of the folks on that team over the last couple of summers. The “with” part has always been fun, because hey, awesome players! The “against” part has always been a challenge, since hey, awesome players (skating past me very quickly with the puck….)

So we got out there and despite a few scary moments (Amy AND Julia both ended up with nasty bruises on their right knees, and I took an Amy C. slapshot off the pointy bony inside part of my right ankle OUCH OUCH OUCH), we played really great. The first goal was one of those digging ones, where we just kept at it until the goalie was 100% out of position, and then we put it in. The second goal … I honestly have no clue what happened except that it went in (was making a line change as that happened). The final goal was Sejal’s return to the land’o’mojo! She said before the game that she wanted to shoot with confidence, and holy moly did she ever! Freaking roofed the puck over the goalie’s left shoulder! What a thing of beauty….

We won 3-0. Renee’s goaltending was excellent this evening. She made many skillful stops, and one totally flukey one (yeah, the puck bounced off the inside of her left skate and back out into the crease where KP picked it up and put it out of the zone). Phew for having skates in the right position!

The team’s 2-4 on the regular season, and 1-2 in tournament play. I believe we can do better than .333 over the rest of the fall, to say nothing of the spring. Bring it on! The Storm is ready.

On moving up a level in hockey

In a few short words: it’s been an adjustment. I’m trying not to get down on myself because I know that I’ve only been doing this for a short time (playing hockey for ~3 years, playing hockey at the C level for ~2 months) but dear god it is kicking my ass.

One of my season’s goals is to have a decent +/- and so far it’s not going very well. It doesn’t help that as a team we’re not scoring much. But still, the minus part of that equation isn’t looking very good right now. Bless Julia, who has ended up being my defensive partner for most of our games thus far. She’s patient, decisive, and supportive. After one particularly tough goal last night we both came off the bench and I sat down pretty hard. She turned to me and told me that I was not allowed to get demoralized because I was having a really good game, no matter what the score said. I really appreciated that right then – it helped me get back onto the ice for the next several shifts and skate hard.

Some things I need to spend time working on this fall:

  • skating backward a lot faster
  • figuring out the transition from backward to forward when someone on the other team is coming at me fast, so that I don’t end up chasing but end up skating with/pushing them out
  • puck possession during the transition out of the zone
  • positioning when I’m in front of Renee so I don’t screen her
  • holding the blue line (which also involves things like quick lateral moves and solid puck-catching skills)

Our team is really great – we are finally at 13 skaters with the additions of KP (who Amy, Libby, and I played with on Raising Kane this summer, and who just happens to have a super-awesome other sporting identity as an incredible street hockey player) and Karen (who recently relocated to Boston from the NYC area). So that gives us: Renee in net, Kristine and Nancy as one defensive pairing, me and Julia as the other pair, Sejal, Laura, and Kristen at center, Libby, Amy, Niki, Tiffany, Stacey, and Karen as forwards (although Amy and Tiff have both played center a few times). Plus we’ve got our three coaches of Tim, Scott, and Brian. Like I said, shaping up. Now if we can just get a few good scoring games under our belts, and a couple of wins…

Off to practice in an hour… and to work on skating and puck possession.