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I have this aching in the pit of my stomach right now. That dull kind of ache I typically get when I feel the desire to play. Yes, I am a little tired, but I am already eager to play my next hockey game. I am eager to play with Team X in the playoffs on Saturday next week. Lastly, I am eager to play a stronger game. I don’t feel my play was the result of the loss entirely tonight. I just know I can play better. I know I will get my chance to set things right. Everyone gets their chance. The key is when it comes. You have to grab onto it with both hands and hold on tight.

The Gaff

Thursday 1/15/04 – Team X vrs Extreme Graphics
Many goalies have had their gaff. I just tend to have a few more than others. Today I had one key gaff in a 5-4 loss. I just know I should have played better than I did. The gaff goal I gave up was the 4th goal in the game when a harmless dump-in turned bad. The puck went off the back of the board, hit me, and went into the net. That goal was the difference in the game. The goalie at the other end made a series of spectacular saves.

I feel like rambling on and on about this game. It is one of those games that drives me to play a better one next game.

Confidence

I had three games last night, one ice hockey and two rollerhockey. Both rollerhockey games I really didn’t help myself too much while the ice hockey game had a ominous beginning and a great end.

1/14/03 – Shutts Greenhouse vrs Groot Builders
Shutts came out on the losing end in a 5-2 loss. This was my second time playing for these guys and I have to say they are a classy bunch. That said, the bounces just didn’t go our way. I got burned on a couple deflections but I did make key stops throughout the game. The goal I was most upset about was the first goal I gave up. I came out to play the puck to try to avoid the breakaway. I just didn’t hit the puck hard enough and the guy collected it and put it in the net. Next time, I have to smack that puck harder toward the boards. Then I would have had time to make it back.

Smith-Diamond Reality vrs Grumpy Old Men
At least Smith-Diamond got on the board in a 7-2 loss. The game was very close until about five minutes into the second half when I gave up a bad goal from behind my net and the score was 4-2. I am making a promise to myself to relax a little bit out there. I really want Smith-Diamond to succeed, and when things haven’t gone right the last couple weeks, I haven’t done my team any favors by getting all bent out of shape at myself. Heck, I got so upset I threw my helmet and got a 2 minute penalty. I got upset at the refs last game and got one back then as well. Anyway, no more of that.

Windmeuller Electric vrs Froggers
After dropping those previous two games, I came into this one feeling rather good about myself. Our team was firing on all cylinders through the first part of the game.

1 – The Froggers first shot on net. It grazed the toe of my pad along the ice and hit the far post and went in.

2 – A shot that hit my defenseman and went out to another forward who shot the puck home. I was out of position for the second shot, but I didn’t expect that deflection.

After those first two goals, one of my forwards talked to me at the end of the first period. He was telling me to challenge the shooter. Come out a little further and play the shot. The two goals scored on me, I was almost on the goalline apparently. Taking that advice, I stepped out to play the shooter a lot more aggressivly and kept them off the board in the second period while we tied the game. We had a 4-2 lead at one point when the puck was dumped into our zone…

3 – There was a two on none chance developing, so I came out to play the puck. I hit it and it hit the forward chansing it. The forward then shot the puck toward the net and in the scramble just as I got back, the puck went in. I really couldn’t get back in the net as there were a pile of bodies in my way.

We ended up winning the game 5-3, but I made some good quality stops along the way. I feel much more confident about myself after that game.

The forward who took me aside and helped me after the first period also told me to not hesitate when I go out to play the puck. Either commit or don’t. Good words of wisdom, but it all comes down to confidence. Another thing he mentioned was my butterfly. I seem to rely too much on it. A project for future dropins would be to work on making saves with the stick without going down so much.

Ah, so many improvements to make….so little time.

Good workout

The White Tigers got a forfeit win this week from a non paying team. Fortunately, this was only the second one I have been involved in. Anyway, we got about an hour of rink time so I spent it working out with my team. How did I rate the workout? Decent. I let in a few long shots I should have had, but I also came up with a couple big stops. All the while I was trying to center myself with the shooter. I have to keep working on those angles though.

In other news, the roster for the Stick Heads is almost set. The decision earlier tonight was to either move up to Bronze, or stay in Copper and drop one member. I believe the decision will be to drop that member, much to his dismay I am sure. This means, I am in for Stick Heads, and out for the White Tigers. I feel a little upset about leaving the White Tigers. Here is a team that brought me onboard when the Stick Heads disbanded. Now, I am just thrilled to be back in the saddle again with them. The Tigers asked me to stay on and I didn’t know for sure where we would end up at the time. Now that I know, I will have to move along without them. The Tigers kept telling me they were finding new skaters, but their 3-7 record wasn’t the issue.

The issue was Dan coming back as the captain of the Stick Heads and the team requesting me to play on. I wouldn’t have to say Dan changed me as a goalie in some earthshattering form, but he did mold me into a better one. When I played with the Stick Heads initially, I was thrilled to be on that team. After a couple tight losses, Dan took me aside and pointed out what I should do in certain situations. I also changed my way of thinking. Before, I wanted to win, win, win. Now, I am happy just to play the game and I play better as a result.

Yes, I am still fustrated about the Fury (some of the ex-Stick Heads are playing on that team). However, the captain is back in charge and the team is coming back with very few changes. Can’t blame a different makeup of a team on the players themselves. They had a choice between a better goalie or myself….I was on the losing end. Now that that team is forced to disband, I am back in again….which could be considered good or bad. For now, I will accept it as new employment and another chance at a title.

Hard to get motivated today

I wouldn’t have to say that every Sunday feels like a lazy day, but today it does. I have 3 batches of Ferris State hockey pictures to work on, and I haven’t done any of them. I also have some college rollerhockey pictures to go through. What am I doing? Watching football and hockey all day actually. Through that, playing Call of Duty and Battlefield 1942. Yes, you can call me lazy today. I will be busy enough this coming week.

Both sides of shutouts

Ah, the good with the bad. You just have to roll with the punches. First game I played today I got a shutout, and the second game I played I got shutout. Team X is playing solid hockey. Smith Diamond Reality is struggling. After the first game, I felt confident. After the second, I was pleased to a certain extent. I should have stopped a couple of the shots coming my way, but really not much I could do to secure a win. Especially since Smith Diamond didn’t get a goal.

I really got to thinking about confidence. With Team X, I was brimming with confidence. I knew we were going to win. I made a couple key stops, but my confidence never waivered. It was the same way I felt with the Stick Heads. There was just a feeling of confidence we were going to win. Therefore, we would. Smith Diamond lost that confidence last season and hasn’t gotten it back so far this season. Same goes for the White Tigers. Through the first 3 games, we had it. Now, we are struggling.

I am convinced that staying positive is a key when it comes to goaltending or having long term success. My goal is to be more confident. I am going to go to great lengths to make this happen. We are not talking about believing I am going to stop the puck. I am talking about knowing I am going to do well before the game starts and knowing I did my best when the game is over. The time of beating myself up after a mistake is over. The key is consistency.

One bad period

01-08-03 – Windmeuller Electric vrs ADAC

The first period was my downfall. I let in a couple bad goals en route to a 5-2 loss. It really all came down to angles and me not playing them right tonight.

1 – Nothing I could do about this shot. I was centered with the puck, but it went off my defenseman and into the net.

2 – Sharp angle backhand shot that I got a piece of but still made its way behind me. I wasn’t centered with the puck as well as I should have been. I have to play the puck and not the shooter.

3 – Probably the worst goal of the night. Offenseman at the goal line looking to center the puck. When he centered it, I didn’t play the puck like I should have and instead left the post when it hit me. The puck went behind me. It may have been a bad bounce, but it was a bad judgement call I made.

4 – Shot that went off the wrist pad of my glove, went up in the air over me and landed in the back of the net.

After that 4 goal barrage in the first, I settled down and played a solid game.

5 – Nothing I could do on this goal. I played the puck all the way, but a wide open man on the other side of the crease got a pass and hammered the puck into the open net.

I stopped a nice breakaway attempt in the third period, but by then the game was a wash. Overall, not a good start, but good finish all things considered. With the game at its conclusion, now I need to work on my angles and not going down as fast.

Those things are better said than done. How does someone unlearn something he/she has learned? I am pretty tired now, but I will reflect more on this tomorrow.

Not really the start I wanted

Monday 01/05/04 – White Tigers vrs Dekline Builders

I played like I had two weeks off in a 11-2 loss. The game was very lopsided and it wasn’t my fault. Dekline Builders came out to play and my team didn’t. That is the simple fact of the matters. There were two goals I wanted back in the game. Both went five hole on me and one of them was pretty weak. Otherwise, I felt I played a good game all things considered. Oh well, next game comes on Wednesday. 🙂

After a small hiatus

The new year is here….and it has been two weeks since I played hockey or exercised for that matter. I haven’t weighed myself so I don’t know if I added extra pounds, but odds are I did. I woke up this morning and felt like I haven’t worked out in weeks. I am really looking forward to tonight needless to say. I am expecting a workout because my White Tigers are playing the fourth place team in the league. I hope it won’t be a trial by fire. Without having played in two weeks, I either expect to be fresh and sharp or sluggish and mistake prone.