Monday, March 15, 2010

Suck it, slump!

Nothing fills me with a sense of well-being and contentedness like a good game in goal. You know that feeling when you're a little buzzed but not quite drunk where you want to tell everyone you love them and all is right with the world? That's pretty much what I'm feeling right now.

It's a calm, tempered pleasure though, because I certainly did make mistakes tonight. Four of them to be exact, but apparently 4 is exactly the number of goals against I can remember, so I can actually talk through them now:

  1.  Didn't come until about 5 mins into the 2nd period and NOT, for a change, because I wasn't seeing shots in the first. I saw a ton of shots. Probably the most I've ever seen in novice. And it came from the son of one of the regular novice guys who plays junior A in Canada. He basically deked my entire team out of their jocks and came in 1-on-0 at me. I should have gone for the poke check but instead just tried to stay with him and he poked it right around my toe as I was down and sliding. Wish I had video of that one so I could have another look at it and replay it in my head.
  2. Second was a chumpy goal that I absolutely should have had. I didn't battle enough to get over on the correct angle and Joe put it in short side on me. Dumb, lazy goal. *shame*
  3. Third one came in the 3rd period and was a really nice pass in tight and I JUST missed getting a toe on it sliding over. I didn't read the play fast enough to get over in time. Don't feel terrible about that one. Great play.
  4. Junior A boy again, broke away and, god bless her, my defenseman was BUSTING her ass to catch him and did manage to hassle him some, but he was still able to just rip one at me. To be honest, I should have had it, but I was dazzled by my defenseman's effort and wasn't ready for the shot. Got caught watching. A real pisser, too, because we were just a couple of minutes from a win. That goal tied it up and we ended 4-4. He's good, but I was on angle and it was just a mental lapse.
Now for the good stuff:
Hot shot broke away again after that goal and ripped another one at me. BLOCKER SAVE bitches. :) Ohhh, it felt good to get him, but he had no one to pass to, so I knew he had no choice but to shoot, so I just got set on the right angle (one that I often have trouble with) and nailed it. Definitely the save of the game for me, but was the only one with any particular drama. Most of them were low and right into me. A few cool saves around the posts, though.

Also, my defense was fantastic. I left some really juicy rebounds out there but they let me see everything and were ready to pounce on any loose pucks. They were amazing and gave me a ton of confidence. I was definitely 100% <3 <3 <3 for them all game. And one had never even played D before but she was a natural! Great vision.

Feel good about my mental game and employed a little trick another goalie suggested that I feel helped me tonight. What he does is get some riff of a song in his head and uses that as sort of a noise-canceling device. What he said to me was basically, "You can't stop the noise in you head, but you can choose the noise in your head."

I actually hadn't planned to employ that tonight but I ended up having a riff of a song stuck in my head and thought, "Okay, let's give that trick a try!" Also started the game with the mantra, "I can stop this." Positive thinking + one puck at a time. That lost out to the song riff though, which stuck all game. Any time I started thinking thoughts other than positive, constructive thoughts, I went to my song, sung quietly to myself, just let it fill my head and push the other stuff out.

I'd love to tell you what the song was, but I have no idea. Just something I heard either in the car or in the rink before we started. I tried searching but couldn't find it, so I'm thinking I have the lyrics wrong in my head. Haha! Oh well. Doesn't matter. It did the job.

Warm-ups were awful, which is interesting. I was letting everything in. But sometimes that means I'll end up having a really good game because it puts the fear in me a little. Also, before the game, while I sat in the car and listened to the Aeros lose in the shootout (again), I did one of my eye exercises to get them teaming and focused AND I tossed a tennis ball around for a little bit while I got dressed. Just little things that are easy to add in and I think make a difference.

Stupid move of the night was that I left my jock hanging on the wall in the garage. Luckily, I didn't have to stop any slappers with my pelvis. Not usually a big worry in novice league, but still, I definitely thought about it a few times during the game.

Anyway, fun stuff. Got me a ripping headache now, though. Stupid daylight savings time always makes me feel crummy for like a week. Gonna hit the hay and try to get some good sleep. Maybe get that hour back those bastards took from me!


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