Monday, May 30, 2011

The Dream goes to Binghamton

Haven't really written much since The Dream came to be. I've been thinking a lot about that because... well... I write. About everything. But especially hockey, Brusty, and things that generally rock my world. Which The Dream is entirely about.

But I think I finally figured it out yesterday. I write to "process" or to make you guys laugh or make myself laugh or to solidify something that I can't quite get a grasp on. Writing about something makes it tangible for me.

This is completely different though. It really is The Dream. And dreams are ephemeral. I don't have words for it because there aren't words. It's real, it's like vapor. If I try to bottle it or give it shape, it loses its essence.

So, with that, I'm just letting the dream "be" in terms of writing about it.

In terms of living it, however, I've got that sucker by the throat. I've got it so by the throat that I'm writing this post on the plane with the Aeros headed for Binghamton.

Yep, 25 honey badgers at the back of the plane, determined to hoist the cup. Coaches, doctors, trainers, staff. And me. How the fuck does that happen?

Nevermind how. It just does, at least this time. So my principle concern is making the most of it. I don't know that I'll ever have another chance like this.

(I wrote the above bit on the plane and suddenly the wifi cut out, so I'm finishing now that I'm at the hotel, which smells like boiled cabbage and makes it clear why the team sprung for a charter...)

That said, the view out my window is fantastic. I'll tweet a picture tomorrow when the sun isn't in the perfect spot to glare it all up. Follow me on Twitter for constant-to-the-point-of-annoying updates of everything going on here in Bingotown. At least everything that won't get me in trouble to say.

It's supposed to be "humid" here tomorrow. I can't wait to see what they call humid, but there is a LOT of water in this area. Rivers everywhere, so I'm kinda buying that humid could actually mean pretty humid.


Okay, one last comment on the dream: I would love to know the odds of these teams playing each other in the finals. And I don't just mean the straight odds of any eastern team playing any western team.

I mean the odds of the random team that picks up MY goalie playing MY team in the finals. And throw in some further unpredictability because if Mike Brodeur and Pascal Leclaire hadn't spent all season going to the doctor, he would have been playing for Elmira.

Granted, the Leclaire injury was pretty much 100% predictable, but still... Oddsmakers, mathematicians, have your way with this one.

I'm gonna guess that it's lottery-winning sorts of odds.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finding my Zen and tonight's drop-in

Babies, I am crazy Zenned up for game 7. Totally at peace with how it goes either way, since it dawned on me that Brusty's coming to Houston in a month anyway. And I'll see a helluva lot more of him then. It just would be SUPER fun to have Joy and the rest of the Bingo crew I've gotten to know this season down here in our fair city.

Not to make it sound like I don't care if the Aeros get to the cup finals, but The Dream is Bingo v. Houston. It's a personal thing. The Calder Cup is an Aeros fan thing. We all want that, naturally, but it's not personal. Bingo is personal. And I guess maybe that gets more to the point of why I've been a basketcase about this series.

Anyway, tomorrow is just going to be me soaking it all in, since it could be the last home game and I don't want to look up with 1 minute left and have spent the whole game in Totally Insane Mode and not appreciated and reflected on the season at all.

Or the Aeros could just crush Hamilton's skulls early and I could do all that appreciatin' next round. Your choice, boys.


Played drop-in tonight. I feel like I've regressed a year and a half in that group. Back when I first started, I would suck at the beginning and then as I got more comfortable, I'd start to stop most everything.

Same thing tonight. About 45 minutes in, I finally started stopping the puck reliably. Until then, I think every other shot went in the net.

Never mind that it was a festival of breakaways up until then, too. Not much fun.

I was going to break down and do clinic before, too, since this is my only night on the ice this week. But I got tied up with stuff at home and couldn't get to Sugar Land in time. So as penance for missing clinic, I made myself work on backside pushes when the game was over.

Thanks to Scott, I finally realized that the part I wasn't doing right was having my skate perpendicular to the direction I'm pushing. It's a very unnatural angle for my foot to be in, so I have to think really hard about that push foot when I do it. It's very slow and I don't go very far, but that little tip made all the difference in doing it at all without just spinning in circles.

I also spin less when I push mostly with the toe of my skate blade, but that's another thing I have to be really deliberate about, so it's going to be a long time before that move is game-ready and natural.

Still working on getting up on my dumb leg quickly. Somewhat sharp pain in my knee when I do it but it's getting easier all the time.

Camp Brusty is just about a month away, so I'm getting excited about that. Can't WAIT to get on the ice with my goalie. I'm soooo temperamental (emphasis on the mental) with anybody coaching me.... it will be funny to see if and how quickly I want to tell him to fuck off. It will take a lot, I suspect. You can't stay mad at this face:



What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Camp Brusty. Ha. Awesome.

History will be made Tuesday night, gang. How exciting is that?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Exhaling. Resetting.

Sorry gang. I've been holding my breath for 3 days, hoping my next post here would be celebrating The Dream coming true.

But my ridiculously high expectations were dashed Wednesday night in dramatic fashion and I've since had to exhale and reset.

It's taken me until today to be honestly, completely happy for Bingo, which seems crazy and probably is, given my strong affinity for so many people on and associated with that team. But for 24 hours or so there, reminders of Bingo sweeping had an implied "and the Aeros didn't" attached. Bah. Shut up.

But regardless of what happens, I really can't lose. I can only win less. Either way, I have a dog in the fight and I'd love to see Binghamton shove it up Hamilton's collective derrieres if it comes to that. Especially Ryan White's. Greasy prick.

If you didn't catch my tweet of it yesterday, here's Bingo's room after their game Wednesday. Even media don't get these kinds of peeks too often, as there's usually a cooling off period after the game before reporters are allowed in.

Oh, hockey boys. Just ignore me yelling, "TAKE IT OFF!" when I watch that. Just instinct. Can't help it. Also ignore the singles I'm shoving at the screen when they show Cody "Hotter than Koivu" Bass. Rawr.


Not a great week of goaltending for me, which is par for the course lately, but I offered up to the Hockey Gods my own hopes for success in the women's 3 on 3 tourney Tuesday night in exchange for the Aeros and Bingo wins. I'm fine with that trade, naturally.

I was playing across the ice from a girl who's been playing since she was a kid. Pure stand-up goalie. And really good, too. Those stand-up tendies sure make it look easy.... until one goes right between their skates. She whipped me, though, and seemed to hardly even move while doing it, so I guess I can't talk.

Ah well, it was fun and a killer workout to play 3 on 3 for an hour straight. I was flat out by the end of the last game.

Only clinic and drop-in next week, so I guess I'll do both. I sucked at drop-in this week even without doing clinic, soooo I might as well do clinic, right? Meh.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Peaks and Valleys

The Hockey Gods are a funny bunch.

Monday night, I spent half of goalie clinic fighting back tears of frustration about my game. After clinic, I couldn't even talk to Scott TFCG or I'd cry in front of everyone. I had to go right to the bathroom, which thankfully was empty, and sob for a few minutes.

I managed to gather myself long enough to put my gear together and get to the car, but once there, the waterworks started again and didn't stop until well after I was home 30 minutes later.

Needless to say, I was not enjoying the process. I was feeling like a huge disappointment who couldn't stop a beach ball. The feeling had been simmering for a few weeks and something snapped Monday night on the "broken arrow" drill (a tough one that I'm really bad at) and I was just broken.

Afterwards, as I'm crying to Mr. C, he said, "So doesn't this usually mean you'll be great in your next game?"

Oh, my clairvoyant husband....

Okay, maybe I wasn't great in the women's league championship last night. My team sure was and kept me from getting shelled. But I had some stops I'm proud of and that reinforced that I may not do a lot of things right or well as a goalie, but I can stop some pucks when I need to.

The game ended up 3-2. My two goals, one was a shot from the right circle that I bobbled right into my own net. You'd think it was a hot potato the way I just couldn't get it to settle in my glove. Mexican Jumping Puck. I swear I need StickUm in my glove. Nobody has ever had more pop outs than me.

The second was a completely unabated breakaway by their best player and I bit on her fake. Should have poke checked her, but I was indecisive about it and once you're indecisive, it's all over.


There was another breakaway later in the 3rd when we were up by 1 and for me it was just about trying to hold the fort. I trusted my team enough that I knew I could take some risks and they'd be there to clean up the mess.

And I was right. I pulled a big time Brusty on this breakaway and shocked the hell out of the skater as the puck hit my pad and went flying into the end boards.

It rebounded out from the end boards back up above the goal line and I thought, "Aw fuck, that bit me in the ass." But while the skater was trying to get her bearings and gather the puck, I manged to dive back in the nick of time and get my stick in front of her shot into the empty net.

I literally could not believe I just made that series of saves. Without question my best desperation save ever. After that, it was a blur of skates and tangled gear and screaming at my team to "GIT IT!!!!" because I'd lost sight of it finally.

And git it they did. My last memory of that rush was my defenseman getting control and skating it toward the blue line. It was a vision of loveliness that I'll never forget. I so didn't want that puck in the net after all that work.

Then we got a penalty with just a minute or so left. But my girls busted their asses to keep the puck in the other team's zone so they couldn't pull the goalie for an extra man.

I refused to look behind me at the clock because I didn't want to feel like I could let up. But once my team started cheering, I knew it was just seconds away. What a sweet sound that buzzer was.

And what a sweet turnaround from an awful night Monday. I could even feel some of the work we've done in clinic coming to bear in my game.

So there ya go. I'll try to post a pic of me, a sheet or two to the wind, molesting our trophy. I think I was the only one who cared a whole lot about it, but it meant a lot to me.

It meant a lot to have a team that believed in me and liked me being in net for them. That goes an awful long way toward me being able to work up the competitive juices that don't come all that naturally to me.

I'm very sad the season is over. For my first "real team" experience, I think I was spoiled rotten by these gals. But I've made some friends here and really feel like I've gotten more to the heart of women's hockey. And it's a very good place. I'm lucky to feel so welcome and at home there.

Oh yeah, and the Aeros fucking won game 7, bitches!!!! Git 'er done for ONE MORE ROUND, and maybe Bingo comes to Texas for the Calder Cup! #myheadexplodes


Friday, May 6, 2011

A little update on a quiet blog

Been ages since I wrote here, as I've been having a tough time in goalieland and just got sick of hearing myself whine about it.

Also, the Aeros are at home all week, and we're house hunting (close to making an offer, I think) which is unbelievably all-consuming. I haven't even had time to get a pedicure! <---- If I read that from someone else, I'd be like, "Ugh, you're a brat." But seriously, a woman with glossy toenails can accomplish anything. #truefacts

I'll have more next week since I have clinic and the women's league championship on Monday and Tuesday, and I've got a post I started and I think it's going to work out and be decent. We'll see. It's a letter to skaters with some things I wish they understood about goalies. I'm thinking I should add drawings in case the writing sucks, so I dunno when I'll have time for that.

Cheers to the dream staying alive. Go Aeros, Go B-Sens!



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