Monday, January 26, 2009

"I'm a badass"

Man, what a fun night of hockey.

But let's start with about 7 p.m. when I went to pick up some dinner for me and Mr. C, and I guess the time alone in the car gave my mind some space to wander and BOOM, in a matter of seconds, I'm shaking like a leaf and nearly in tears, I'm so anxious about the game.

Fortunately, they take so friggin' long to bring my food to me at the Whataburger drive-thru, that I have time to process and try and talk myself down and send a text to Scott TFCG saying, "Nerves. Bad. Ugh."

I get home and Mr. C gives me a hug and I settle down and eat a little food and try to wrap my head around the idea that I'm supposed to be having FUN rather than a FREAKOUT. I read more from Ben Lovejoy's hilarious blog (though I gotta say, he seems like kind of a prick, but he's a funny one and I don't have to live with him so whatever) and the laughter settled me down a bit.

Anyway, we get to the rink and the teams before us finished early (who does that?) so they got on the ice early to warm up, but we got there a bit late, so my warm-up consisted of one lap around my end of the ice. I decided this was going to be good mentally because I do get a little psyched out by warm-up shots, but I just hoped not to pull a groin or something.

Lo and behold, I did turn away the first shot on goal, though it was a rather weak attempt and I didn't do what I SHOULD have done to stop it, but hey, a save is a save. I'll take it. I did let in the second shot though. :)

It was a hard fought game and my defense was spectacular, except for when they decided to change up in the middle of a rush by the red team. Like, I'm watching a line of 4 red team players streaking toward me while my two defensemen are heading to the bench. I bit early and they poked it in behind me. MF. But whatever. For every goal I let in, they blocked 5 shots that could have been dangerous and were straight up rock stars. I love them all. One even took a puck in the nuts. Yeah, my team is THAT F**KIN' AWESOME.

And in a weekend where I've had to eat crow twice and give credit where it's due, Stinky was my #2 star of the game for his defensive play as a forward. He was breaking plays up at the blue line and just kicking butt. I think I said, "Thank you, Stinky!" at least 3 times (to myself, of course). So, he's off my shit list. (My defense got #1, of course. And Drew was #3 for the GWG.)

Anyway, I started falling apart a little in the third, feeling a little woozy, so I let a couple more in that I really would like to get back. Goddamn new chick has a freaking broken hand and she still scored twice on me. I gotta solve her. At least I finally stopped one of her shots (and she later said she was dying for hat trick... ha! Denied!) I had to holler at Dave S. to "Stay on her" once because he was giving her space since she's new, but I'm sorry, I don't care how new you are... with a shot like that and two goals already, you're getting full defensive pressure. One of these days I'm gonna poke check her dekeing ass into next Thursday. Or maybe I'll just tackle her like TIMMMMAAAAAAY!!!!

My best save of the night was one where things got scrambly around the net and I just dropped, hoping I could deal with the situation better from my knees, but I don't see the puck anywhere and then Luther blows the whistle, Coach Dan asks him, "Did we stop it?" "Yes." I pick up a knee and there it is. :) Luther's gathering the puck up and telling me it was a nice save and I said, "I'm a badass!" He laughed. But it was good. I was really happy that one didn't go in.

Coach Stalin got the first goal of the night (I think it was the first... it was very early anyway) and it was a sick shot. With the all star games going on, I've been watching shooters and trying to see what shots seem more difficult for the pros and it's clear that a quick release is Goalie Death. Well, Coach Stalin just fired that puck five hole like a bullet. Really nice goal for her *sniff* last novice league game. :( I'm so SO sad about that.

Anyway, Luther was cool and helped me out with some of the goals I let in by telling me what I was doing to show so much net or what I should have been doing to stop the puck. That was amazingly helpful, even though I didn't want a ton of instruction, it was simple stuff that was easy to implement. I also felt like my movement in the crease was a ton better and more fluid and confident. The work in practice last week helped (so thanks, Scotty!), as did my mid-week skate.

So, it was my best game so far, for sure, and really was the kind of game I was expecting of myself at this point, where I was focused and not thinking much, but still using the things I've learned so far and seeing an improvement and feeling as comfortable and confident as one could expect thus far. And I think my earlier panic was knowing the expectations I had and also knowing how hard I'd be on myself if I didn't meet them. So, thank goodness I don't have to spend the week feeling like a schlub for not doing my best.

And I got a little "nasty goalie" action when Mikey was a little too aggressive to my doorstep, so I gave him a thump in the back of the leg with my stick. :) Nothing too hard. He didn't even flinch, but that's okay. I made my point and it got me in the game a little more.

Honest to god, I just love playing goal. I love watching the other team try to solve me. Not that it's hard to do right now, but watching them passing and strategizing... it's cool shit to see and I get the best view. Even when they burn me, I love the process. I just feel blessed to get to do this every week and have such nice people helping me fulfill this dream.


Nick in New York  January 26, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

awesome...sounds like it's coming for's a great, if bumpy, ride.

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