Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So, I'm not gonna lie. I've been in the dumps about my game lately. Like, as way down in the dumps as I've ever been. I've dreaded coming to the rink. I've had to lie to myself that hockey is fun. I was to the point of wondering what's next for me and how much could I get for selling my pads.

Of course, every time I think about that, I eventually get to, "Well, you still have to get exercise, so you'll have to ... Zumba or some shit. And that will make you want to throw yourself in front of a bus. So you might as well man up and keep playing hockey even though you suck."

But occasionally the hockey gods throw a girl a bone and let my body do what I want it to do on the ice. And that results in a good game. Tonight, the good game, combined with good games all around by my teammates, who are rock stars, resulted in my second ever shutout.

I love that word: shutout. Shutout. Shutoutshutoutshutoutshutoutttttttttttt..... 

You don't even know (unless you've struggled in net for months on end like I have lately) how much I needed that. I'll stop well short of saying I got my mojo back, but at the very least, it gives me a little hope that maybe I'm okay out there. Maybe I'm not a complete joke like I've been feeling I am. Occasionally, I can git 'er done, even with my meager capabilities.

Also, a "I don't really mean it, but yeah, I kinda do" middle finger at the score keeper for being extremely stingy with the shot count at both ends, but perhaps he was too busy tallying penalty minutes to see all the pucks I kept out of the net?

Because, yeah buddy, did the minutes ever rack up tonight, culminating in some nastiness that's going to leave a bad taste in a lot of mouths for a long time.

I should explain, for the boys, that women's league isn't like your league. You know how your wife brings up "that thing" you fucked up 10 years ago, when you've LONG since moved on? Yeah, that happens in women's league, too.

Bitches Hold Grudges.

Yeah, I know I'm painting in wide brush strokes here but I see it again and again. Something that happened  between two women players 7 years ago still affects how players deal with each other today. That's just how it is.

Hell, I do it, too. I've been harassing one guy I played with all of twice for over-celebrating after scoring on me nearly a year and a half ago. I'll never forget it.

That said, generally women's league is chummy and full of laughter and opposing teammates hugging it out after mild indiscretions.

But tonight, things got a little beyond mild indiscretion. It was far and away the most drama I've ever seen in this league, so I'm guaranteeing that it will linger in the history of the league way longer than it should.

So, we have this gal, M, who is VERY good. Teenager, but tall, strong, and did I mention, VERY good.

She pisses off the other teams with her skill, and even though she tones it way down for women's league, occasionally she takes off, dances through the entire opposing team, and puts one on the net and nobody in this league really has an answer for her. So, more often than not, it goes in. Some people find that to be unsporting in this league.

But I've been shown up enough to know that EVERY team is okay with it if the girl is on THEIR team. So I call bullshit on that. There's a 3 goal limit per person for a reason. Bring it on.

Anyway, we're early in the third period and M and some opposing girl got a little tangled up (why anybody would tangle with M is pretty amazing to me... credit to the girl for her stones).

I guess opposing girl didn't like what went down and (this is the point where I notice the two of them to the right of my net) mouthed off in M's face, somewhat aggressively.

And M cross-checked her right in the grill. 


Did I mention M is a strong motherfucker? Yeah. Pushed the chin of her cage into her throat, which of course, had people thinking M cross checked her in the throat. She didn't. She clearly hit cage from my perspective.

She went down in a heap and the ref (who, if I'm understanding this correctly, is the girl's husband) threw M out of the game and gave us a 5 min major.

I gotta admit a few things:

  1. I suck at injury stuff. Medical trauma makes me light headed and sick. And to see somebody quite injured right next to my net? Yeah, I had to go for a skate at center ice. The other goalie and I had a chat while they attended to the girl, and considered throwing down the gloves just for fun, since we were already at center ice together and now our teams had a "beef."
  2. I was rattled when the puck was ready to drop again. The longer I went in the game with no goals against, the more I kept having to shut out the "shutout" mental talk and just say, "STOP THE NEXT PUCK" over and over. Well, that kicked into overdrive when play resumed because I was still feeling out of sorts both due to the ill will that had just instantly bloomed during our friendly game. Also, because I felt like this team was PISSED and would throw sportsmanship out the window and just come at me like angry honeybadgers. 
But my girls, who had really gelled so nicely all game, seemed even more fierce and just played their ladyballs off, kept chances to the outside (I can't begin to express how important this is), and helped me keep the shutout until the buzzer. (I was extra proud of Caren for playing D very nicely, and probably for the first time, during the penalty kill!)

And there it was: BZZZZZZ. One of my defensemen turned around and darted over to me and hugged me and I'm all "YEAH! WOOO!" because, like, that's how I felt. :) YEAH!!! WOOOO!!!!

I fucking love being the winning goalie. It's been way too long since I had a piece of that pie. It is still delicious.

So, I guess I won't take up knitting or skydiving or whatever just yet.

Meanwhile, M is suspended next week, which sucks, but I actually think it's the right thing. As much as M isn't a dirty player, you just can't be cross checking other girls in the face. (Though she explained that it was more of a response to feeling threatened by the girl, who she felt was coming at her.)

In the end, I'm reminded of why I'm glad I'm the goalie. There's a certain distance as the tendy. You exist on the fringes of whatever shit happens between skaters most of the time, so I tend to watch this stuff and whatever shitstorm of fallout comes with it, with detached amusement.

All I know is I need to try and stop the next puck.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Houses & the Hockey

I feel like I should post something, but I don't have a lot to say over here lately. I've been playing, but poorly, and it's not much fun lately. Monday games have been a bit of a chore. Women's league, we're 0-5, and it's not like we have a bad team, so... maybe it's the goalie?

I dunno. I'm just in the dumps and not enjoying the game much and, even worse, not caring very much. I feel like I've lost my edge, mentally. I feel disconnected from the games I'm playing, almost like an observer more than a participant. Maybe it's a self-defense thing since I've been letting in so many goals. That's not really ME out there, is it?

Whatever the case, things are just off -- WAY off -- and as much as it's not fun to play right now, it's even less fun to dwell about it here.

Maybe I'm just missing some inspiration, and hopefully the hockey season will get that back for me and get me excited watching real goalies do their thing again. Maybe I miss my muse. Who am I kidding? I definitely do. But nothing I can do about that.

Fortunately, life isn't all work, suck at hockey, and sleep. We closed on the new house last Monday and it's been nonstop doing things around the house to spiff it up. A stream of estimates on windows, paint, electrical, moving. Updating the awful gold fixtures with sleek nickel ones. And a lot more.

I'm really in my element and having a lot of fun with the work. In fact, I call it play, so I guess it's not work at all. Thankfully, I am having fun and success at something, even if it's not hockey.

So, that's the state of the union, and since this isn't a house remodeling blog, that's why it's quiet and will probably stay that way for a bit longer.

Off-ice hockey stuff is spiking a bit this week, as Wednesday night, I'm doing a "hockey tutoring" session at the Leaf (naturally) with @AGirlintheSouth, author of Tales from the Juice Box, an Astros blog.

She's a baseball girl, but she wants to learn about hockey, which is pretty cool and I'm happy to help however I can. Especially if there's beer and the Jays are on.

Then on Thursday, I'll be back at the Leaf for free cheesecake. Oh, and to meet the new Aeros coaching staff and president. But mainly for free cheesecake. I'll have to replace a lot of gold door hinges to work that off, but it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, Major is sitting here next to me, farting up a storm and I can't take it any more, so I'm out. Sticks on the ice, my darlings.

Speaking of muses...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2 down, 1 to go

Ahhh, feeling like myself again in nets. Meaning, the more frequently I play, the more I'm on a roller coaster. Monday night, I was happy with my game. It was one of those "drive home with the windows down and music blasting" kinda nights.

Didn't do anything spectacular, but I just felt like I got some saves I wouldn't have normally and my confidence was good and I was seeing the puck well. I haven't felt good about that ice time in a long while.

But tonight at women's league... yuck. We lost again. 3-0. The bright side is that I got to see Kelly get her first ever shutout. I told her it's WAY too early in her career as a goalie to be getting a shutout, but she earned it. She doesn't remotely look like she's only been playing a few months.

Strong skater and good positioning. She's a natural. Which is kinda irksome for me. :) Damn rookie making it look so easy... ;) Seriously though, she's cool, she battled for it, and I'm happy for her.

I didn't feel too bad about the goals against and really, unless I was going to get a shutout, too, we still would have lost. But I do like my team a lot. They work hard and stick up for each other when things get a little unsportsmanlike out there, as it tends to sometimes.

Oooo, speaking of which... Not-Brusty rescued my night by being awesome at just the right moment. Not-Brusty, if you recall, is the goalie who has Brusty's old pads and therefore inspires a little panty-soup-by-proxy. Helps that he's quite good at stopping pucks.

Well, tonight, as I was leaving after a little beer and pizza, I stopped behind his net to watch the B league boys play a bit. So he gets a shot from near the bottom of the circle and bobbles it a little on the ice trying to cover it. The shooter comes up and starts whacking at his glove, trying to free the puck. And I'm thinking, "OOOO BITCH IS ABOUT TO GIT IT."

And indeed, Not-Brusty JUMPS up and starts shoving the guy, all pissed off, and his d-man joins as the ref starts to break it up.

I'm glad he didn't turn around and see the GIANT grin on my face watching that. It was probably a little creepy. But that was hot and he's now been elevated from Not-Brusty to Brusty Jr. :) Didn't know what you were getting when you shelled out for those pads, eh? Haha.

I mean, really, it triggered some kind of primal response, right? Here's a tall guy, good goalie, wearing Brusty's pads, and then defending his crease? Oh my lord. THE BUTTON, YOU HAVE PRESSED IT.

So, that redeemed a disappointing night in goal (though women's league is always fun regardless because I like the gals so much) and I kinda got my hot goalie itch scratched, rec-style.

Tomorrow night, I'm on the ice with the Harpies. Just a little 3 in 3 since Mr.C is out of town. As stupid hot as Memorial City is, I kind of enjoy that they have tables around the end of the ice where random Mall People just hang around and eat their Mall Cookies or whatever and watch us play.

It lights a fire under me because I know they see my ponytail sticking out and I feel like I've gotta sorta represent women's hockey and play well against these big guys with hard shots. :) If I can get one more person to say, "Wow, a girl goalie? That's cool!" than to say, "Oh, that poor girl. She sucks." then I'm calling it:


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