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.

However!

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

5 comments:

klemmer  May 11, 2011 at 7:31 PM  

I was 53 when I won my first championship-you never forget it!

Congrats!

Kramer  May 16, 2011 at 8:57 AM  

Great Job in your women's league!!! Very proud of you! Keep Mr. C's comments in mind when ever you get frustrated, most of the game is mental.

Ms. Conduct  May 16, 2011 at 9:12 AM  

Thanks, Scotty! And yeah, don't I know it on the game being mental! Have a real tough time pulling myself out of the spiral of doom. Doesn't happen often but man did it hit hard last week. Tried several times to reset myself out there and be positive and shake off the frustration. Logically, I KNOW it's making me better in the long run but that frustration gets going and it just snowballs on me.

maalivahti  May 17, 2011 at 5:27 AM  

Argh I know that roller coaster well. It sounds like maybe it just needed to get to a certain point, and boil over, and then you had a fresh slate.

I'm SO GLAD to hear about your great experience with your womens' team. I know you were a wee bit jealous when I talked about my team and I'm happy you found something like that too.

And oh yeah, that you WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! :D

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