It was a good year

I know I am posting this a little early, but I am in store for a big day and evening tomorrow.

I can’t believe another year has come and gone. A year filled with a lot of highlights in my life. Watching Ferris State take its first CCHA championship in late March. My hockey teams have been very competitive and I am meeting my goals so far. I was successful in getting another trophy which is my 5th since I started playing in goal. I consider the fact that I am still employed and liked by everyone to also be an accomplishment. It is amazing how you can fall out of that in a short amount of time. I have been working here for over five years and it has been a lot of fun and challenging to say the least. Those are just off the top of my head.

If I don’t check in until next year, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. Keep your stick on the ice and your head up. Enjoy the good times and roll with the bad ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

Congrats to FSU!

Taken from the CCHA webpage

Ferris State took the championship title at the Badger Hockey Showdown, beating Wisconsin 3-1. The Bulldogs became the first CCHA team to capture a regular season tournament title since Miami won the 2002 Lefty McFadden invitational. FSU took an early lead with a first period marker by senior defenseman Simon Mangos. Wisconsinโ€™s Andy Wozniewski responded on the power play, tying the game at one. Junior forward Carter Thomson scored the game-winning goal at 4:17 of the second period. Freshman forward Mark Bomersback netted the equalizer with just under two minutes remaining in the game.

One more week

I am sure I have put on some weight. I haven’t played a game of hockey since last week Monday. This week, no games. Next week Monday I start back up in the swing of things. Going two weeks without playing isn’t going to help me at all. Especially with playoffs on the 24th of January. I should have one team to work through the playoffs with unless they implode or something.

The holidays have been very good to me so far and the rest is probably good for me long term. Especially after playing 4-5 games a week.

What a holiday

It was a very Merry Christmas, that is for sure. It didn’t come without a price though….that price is travelling all over the state.

Wednesday, my wife and I woke up and headed off to my parents house just south of Lansing to pick up and drop off presents. Then a trip up to Flint to see my in laws and a Christmas party there. We were up until almost 11pm opening presents and eating. It was a lot of fun, but when we got back to her parents place, I just couldn’t sleep well. After a hard night of tossing and turning, we got in the car and headed to my parents place for Christmas dinner and presents. We got back at 8:00pm last night. I had enough time to unload the car, watch a little TV, and then go to bed so I could be at work this morning.

At least the worst of the travel is over. ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking forward to the break

I haven’t always loved the holiday break. This year, I am looking forward to it. I am playing entirely too much hockey lately, and my body isn’t able to keep up as well as it used to. Last night, I had a very intense game with the White Tigers…

12/22/03 – White Tigers vrs Golden Eagles
As I said, very intense. However, a lack of skill once again hurt the Tigers as we lost 3-2. The Eagles had the puck in our zone for a majority of the game and their passes were on the money an awful lot. When it came to finishing the play, that is where they had the problems. For all the passes across the slot, they only connected on one of them and that was a good goal.

1 – Defenseman missed a pass in the zone and a forward had a breakaway attempt. He deked 2 times before he roofed it on his backhand. Good goal.

2 – Pass into the slot to a wide open forward. The shot hit me glove and went upstairs in the net. Another good pass and good powerplay goal.

3 – The one goal I want back. I mentioned this in previous posts but I will mention it again. I have a tendency to go down into butterfly when the player is going wide around the net. When I went down this time, he shot the puck over my head and into the net. The Stick Heads captain, Dan, talked to me about this after I got scored on in Friday’s game. I dropped too fast that time too. He mentioned some players practice that all the time and it is important that I cover that post and stay up. Gotta work on that. Two goals in the last two games that has happened to me.

After playing around a little after that game, my body was ready for some much needed rest. I got almost 9 hours of sleep and woke up still drained today. My body aches and my back is very sore so I got a sub for the game tonight. I want to give my Smith-Diamond team the best chance to win and that chance is with a fresh goalie in net that isn’t injured.

Looking foward to the holidays that is for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

All I want for Christmas…

I guess all I wanted for Christmas is a win for the X-Men. This will be my third game with them and if I went 0-3 it would be a shame. This team deserves a win and a quality one at that.

Friday – 12/19/03 X-Men vrs Village Bike Shop
My last game against the beginner team of Village Bike Shop was a good one. A 6-0 shutout. This game wasn’t in doubt either as the X-Men took a 4 goal lead and held on to win 5-2. I do have to talk about the goals though. The second one was a screened shot around my defenseman. The first one however was very stoppable. My defenseman forced the forward around the side of the rink. At the lower part of the faceoff circle, I dropped into butterfly and he roofed it over me. I need to watch out for shots like that and stay up just a second longer. This isn’t the first time I have been beaten like that, but I am going to work on that.

This morning, I got notice back that the Stick Heads coming back together is pretty much etched in stone. This is something I really want to see happen, and it looks like my dream is coming true. Now, the key is to not let my team down. I haven’t in the last 6 sessions in playing on the Stick Heads. This next session will be no different. With me playing as much as 4-5 times a week right now, that can only help next session.

I thought about where I stand when it comes to goaltenders out at Rivertown Sports. Obviously, there are some that are above me, but I think I am right at the middle of the pack. Eventually, I don’t want to have a problem finding a team down the road. I want teams knocking down my door asking me to play for them. The only way that is going to happen is for me to keep playing and bettering myself.

The Stick Heads return?

I got an email yesterday from the goalie on the Fury team in Copper. Seems that he isn’t interested in playing Copper next session and the rink owner is going to make them all move up to Bronze anyway. He also mentioned that some players on the team have talked about getting the Stick Heads back together for another run. It seems that the Fury team that decimated my White Tigers team in Copper 12-2 on Monday is moving up to Bronze and taking all their players with them. This leaves room for the Stick Heads to come back into play. I am very excited about it needless to say. I contacted the captain of the Stick Heads last session and he was also very happy about the prospect of that happening.

Running down the people on my list that would be part of the Stick Heads.

Devo – Expressed interest
Matt S.
Matt Z. – If he can play
Jason – Sub or full time D depending on his schedule

I have other players on my short list, but these are the key ones we have played with in the past and won championships with. Can’t mess with the formula that has given you success.

I will think more about this later….got work and then a hockey game to play tonight.

From bad to ok to good

Since I was a slacker and didn’t write in my journal last night and then again this morning, I have to pack a lot into this update and hope I don’t forget anything.

First off, my games on Wednesday.

12/17/03 – Smith-Diamond Reality vrs So What
I played a very solid game in a 3-2 loss. The game was played almost entirely down in my zone and I faced a ton of shots. The three goals I let in were not bad goals which I was pleased about. However, the fact that they scored a goal with 30 seconds in the game to clinch the victory was a heartbreaker.

1 – Forward came in one on one with one of my defensemen. I was ready for the shot, but I lost sight of the puck and he put it far post and into the net. This was the one goal I really didn’t see how it went in, but my team said it went off my defenseman.

2 – Nice pass across the crease and a goal was scored from a wide open forward on the other side of the net.

3 – The heartbreaker goal. Forward moves around my defenseman and puts it just over my glove and into the net.

The more I think about it, the more I am fustrated. I want to accomplish so much with this team, but these games are just heartbreaking losses. The game last week was a 6-5 loss in OT and this one was 3-2 in regulation. There are 3 points that mean so much in a 16 team division. To my team’s defense though, these players had out outgunned at the start. My goaltending and their hard work kept the game close. However, the other team missed on a couple centering passes or across the crease passes to wide open forwards. They click on those, and this game gets out of hand fast.

After that game, I went to my second one of the night…

12/17/03 – Windmeuller Electric vrs R. Vandermallen
I know I butchered our opponents team spelling, but I am close enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, another solid game but just with a couple bad deflections and good plays I just couldn’t stop.

1 – Pass across the crease on a 2 on 1 chance and the other player got a nice goal.

2 – A shot from the point that pinballed off 2 skaters and to a wide open forward to the right of my position. I dove over to make the save and got a piece of the puck but the shot hit the roof of the net.

3 – Another strange goal like the first one in my previous game. Guy comes down one on one with my defensemen. The shot hit my defenseman’s skate and went wide side to the far post and in.

That game could have been 5-3 in their favor. There were a couple bounces I got in that game. One was a one timer that the guy missed after getting a perfect pass across the crease. Another guy hit the side of the post after trying a wraparound. Finally, a little luck goes my way…but I would rather have it in a playoff game. Overall I was satisfied with my performance in both games. Obviously, I wanted a win in both games, but sometimes you don’t get what you want.

Thursday, I subbed for Team X once again.

Thursday 12/18/03 – Team X vrs Village Bike Shop
Village Bike lost to Smith-Diamond, my primary team, 3-2 in OT earlier this season. I knew who to watch out for on this team and it paid off well. I made some key stops, but my defense and offense did all the work in a 6-0 shutout victory. Although I didn’t allow a single goal, it was the hard work of my team that made it possible. With that win, Team X is now sitting in a playoff spot with 4 games to go. I have 2 more games to sub for Team X and then playoffs if necessary.

It has been a good day…and now I am going to sleep. Another big day tomorrow with another late game.

Never give up

The weekend was pretty much uneventful…which is a good thing being as that my next couple weekends are going to be booked with work, family outings, and maybe even a hockey tournament in Madison Wisconsin. I picked up Call of Duty to play on my PC and man is it addicting. It is a WWII first person shooter and I spent a lot of time over the weekend and a little time yesterday playing it. So far, it is money well spent. My wife picked up Civilization: Conquests and that is really keeping her interest. She is more into the turn based simulation games than I am, but Civ3 is the best I have seen in that reguard.

Monday was the day I was looking forward to though. Not because of work or computer gaming, but playing hockey against my former team.

12/15/03 – White Tigers vrs Fury
I knew this game was going to get out of hand fast before it even begun. It wasn’t as if I was being totally negative about the situation just to be a dork either. On paper, this team has multiple Bronze level players. My team doesn’t have that kind of firepower. The closest we were in the game was a 1-1 score in the opening 10 minutes and it just went downhill from there to a 12-2 loss. They scored on a lot of odd man rushes and tip ins from the other side of the net. There were also some goals that hit me and went into the net. Through it all, I kept fighting. Never give up. Even when they had a 9 goal lead, I robbed a shooter on the doorstep and made a nice save off a one time shot.

Through all this, I was a little irritated at my ex-teams attitude. No offense, but when the score it out of reach, it seems to me one team wants to embarass the other team….which is what happened here. Here was my ex-team, acting cocky and seemingly wanting to make a point of devestating another team. My team wanted to just go out and have fun playing. Kinda hard when the opposing goalie is coming out half way to play the puck to his defensemen when the score is already out of reach. It didn’t suprise me when my team complained about the attitude of our opponents. It made me sick a little bit. At least I have the piece of mind to know that the championships I won with that team happened without those other advanced players. We didn’t walk through and destroy teams like that and I never acted like that during a game. It is disrespectful and does nothing positive. Don’t get me wrong, I want to win like everyone else. I have been fortunate to get on teams that have played well as a team. Yes, you need players that can play. However, I wouldn’t want to be on a stacked team that destroys everyone. Something that many teams want to do. That is the state of the game though….

Overall, I felt a played a solid game considering the circumstances. There were a couple goals that hit me and still went into the net or squeezed through my pads in some way. Those I were a little irritated with…..but I didn’t lose any sleep over it. The game is over. Concentrate on the next one which is on Wednesday.

Back on track

Thursday 12/11/03 – Team X vrs Midstate Security

Team X is definitely a team on a mission. After dropping their first two games of the season and losing their goalie, they have come back and won 4 in a row. The game tonight was a 6-1 victory and I must say Team X came out to win that game. The other team got very few scoring chances in the game. The one goal they did get was a shot that glanced off my left arm and in the top corner of the net. The way my luck was going, I figured something like that would happen. All a team needs to score in hockey is a quality shot. They had maybe one quality scoring chance before that one that went in.

After the way I struggled on Wednesday night, I was hoping I would get a little more of a workout. I succeeded in keeping my focus through that game which is a good thing. However, you don’t get much work on your technique if you don’t face many shots in a game. No big deal as I said. A win is a win and I will take it after losing my last 6 games in a row.

Now, next step is to prepare for a tough next week of hockey.

On Monday, my 2-4 White Tigers are going against the 6-0 Fury. This is going to be the toughest game the White Tigers are going to play all season. I don’t think the Fury are going to be out for my head or revenge, but you never know. You would think they would be respectful being as that I led that team to 3 prior championships and 6 winning sessions in the last year and a half. For being replaced….you would think they would be respectful at least.

Ok, this is probably the 6th journal entry I have complained about the situation between myself and the Fury. That issue still upsets me a little and will probably continue to do so for a while. I am going to try to refrain from talking about it for a while and just enjoy the weekend.

On Wednesday, I have two games. Hopefully, my ice hockey team will rebound and have a strong game and my Smith Diamond Reality team will come out strong against So What, a team that is just a couple positions ahead of us.

Then, on Thursday, I have Team X again in what will definetly be a playoff type game. Every game is going to be like that through the rest of the season for that team. Especially in a 16 team division where only 6 teams get playoff spots.

As for this weekend, my plans are still in flux. I have a story to write on the college rollerhockey tournament, pictures to post on my website of FSU and that tournament, and then I have a freelance photo project to complete. Part of me would like to sit around the house and complete these projects…but there might be a trip to the in-laws in the mix as well. I guess we shall see.

Keep your stick on the ice!