Shelled

I got shelled last night and I feel it this morning.  That game last night took a lot out of me physically.  It isn’t everyday that my beginner team plays an intermediate team of that caliber.  I had a couple nice diving stops and moves across the crease.  Overall, I played a very good game.  Just wish teams like that wouldn’t be playing in a beginner division.  Course, everyone is looking for an edge.

A strongly played game

My 1-0-3 Windmeuller Electric team faced off against an undefeated Mullets team today in my Beginner ice hockey league.  After not playing ice hockey for a week and a half, I was geeked to play.  I played probably one of my best games in a 7-0 loss.  Yes, loss.  The other team was heads and shoulders above my team in terms of talent.  I would go as far to say this other team could be playing on intermediate as they had no weak skaters or shooters.

Every goal that they scored was a good one.  The last goal of the game was the only one I made a mistake on, and that was because I just lost my concentration at that point in the game.  Gotta remember that when the game is 5-0 and you make a big deal out of one goal with only 10 minutes left in the game, it isn’t worth it.  🙂

My committment to getting better at playing ice hockey starts next week when I log more ice time by playing either at lunch one time a week or playing drop in late at night.  I want to succeed and play better at ice hockey.  I am already doing decent this season, but there is MUCH room for improvement.

183

It is hard for me to come up with a topic of this entry.  Therefore, I am just going to type what is in my head right now and then let the chips fall where they may.

First, it was good to put the pads on yesterday and practice a little with my new Bulldogs squad.  We are going to have a competitive team next session.  The big question is, will we make playoffs?  4 of the 7 teams will make it in.  I have already set a goal for myself to be there at the end of the season.  Just getting in can be the hardest part sometimes, especially after last season.  I underachieved, that is for sure.  Our Bulldogs team was 3rd in goals for, and 6th in goals against out of 8 teams.  I can attribute some of those goals to a poor performance in net from me.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I am going to rebound with a much better performance.

This next thing I want to talk about is something I need to get off my chest.  I have always strived to be a better goalie.  I always wanted real competitive teams to come see me first when it came to a capable goalie.  This just isn’t the case.  It really comes down to not only how good you are, but how you get along with everyone in a general sense.  The reason why I bring this up is some of the people who I really want to get on a team with will never ask me to be their goalie.  This is just a little distressing to me, but it is an eye opener.  There is always a sense of relief you feel when you can see these things for what they are instead of decorating them up to be something they aren’t.

My skills in goal have went from good, to average, to bad last season.  I am not puting a cut off point for myself this season, but I am saying I want to see improvement out of myself this season.  Last season was disappointing for me, especially after I rode the last couple seasons with the confidence of knowing that I was the Copper league championship goalie.  However, with all the championships I win, a total of 8 right now, there comes a price.  That price is to be better than I was the previous session.

How long will it be before my body and reaction times won’t be as good as they used to be?  I am 32 right now and as much as I want to compete, will I be able to compete at the same level for the next 3 years?  6 years?  10 years?

I hear these things from a lot of people I play against.  I go down too fast.  I don’t cover the high shot.  I have a good butterfly style.  The list goes on and on.  The simple fact of the matter is that nothing ever stays the same, and you can’t make everyone happy.

In my practice last night, I made some key mistakes that resulted in goals for the other team.  I know the mistakes I made, but correcting them is going to be the hardest part.

Enjoying my downtime

With rollerhockey over with, I took a week vacation and went down to Dallas last week.  In that time, I did very little to nothing when it came to photography or goaltending.  I needed a chance to get away from things for a while.  I did a lot of computer gaming.  Rome: Total War was a new game I got hooked on.  I did a little paintball, grilling, and otherwise did very little to nothing.  It was a good break from the norm.

When I stepped off the plane in Michigan on Sunday, I was ready to start playing hockey again.  My first practice is on Wednesday, and I have ice hockey on Thursday.  It will be my first time playing in almost a week and a half and my body is fully healed and ready to play.

Last season was a disappointing one for me.  In the last 2 sessions prior to the last one, I had won 3 trophies and many playoff bound teams.  I got nothing this last time around, and that empty feeling revisited me.  When I get that feeling, it just means I need to work harder.

I have Ferris State hockey to cover this weekend in a home and home game series with Michigan.  On top of that, I may be covering some of the Griffins games in the next few weeks.

Another playoff day is over

It is something I look forward to every 3 months.  The chance to succeed in a playoff series.  However, this season didn’t work out as much as I wanted it to.

I struggled all season in Copper and Aluminum.  I came up with some decent games and did my part at times, but as I have said in the past, I was disappointed with the outcome.  No playoffs for either of my teams in these divisions.

My Bronze team was ousted in the first round by a score of 4-2.  I played average, which isn’t good enough to secure a win at that level.  The beginner team I skate out on, Vintage Painting, was beaten in the first round as well by a 4-1 score.  I didn’t get much ice time, mainly because I wanted to win and I am not the best on the team as a skater.

Overall, this season was a disappointing one.  Of course, anytime you don’t go all the way and win your last game, there is an empty feeling.  At least there is one for me.  This has been the first time in 6 months where I didn’t have a successful team in the playoffs.  That is a long time to be sitting on top and looking down at the other teams when it is all over.  Especially when your team wasn’t the best out there, and you stole a game or two in a single elimination playoff round.  I have a lot of good memories and I feel accomplished that I have acheived so much.

Now, for the next 2 weeks I am going to rest and then come back strong next session.  Gone is my Aluminum team and my Bronze team.  I will only be playing roller 2 times next session, and only goaltending one time a week for that matter.  I am going to fulfill my promise to my ice hockey team and play one additional time per week on ice.  That should help improve my ice game a bit.

Quick rundown of my schedule

Monday – Copper rollerhockey
Tuesday – Drop in ice hockey
Thursday – Skating out in beginner roller, ice hockey goaltending

I am glad I am going to get some time off to not only work on my skills in drop in, but to allow myself to recouperate.  I was playing every night of the week practically, and I think it was affecting my game.  I was losing my focus, and my body was aching from one day to the next.  As much as I want to play, I have to realize at age 32, the playing 5-6 times a week is over for me.

Another playoff day

In less than seven hours, I will be waking up getting ready for another day of hockey playoffs.  I am tired right now, but I have to get this stuff out of my head before I get some sleep.  Maybe there is part of me that is disappointed that Ferris State hockey has been struggling.  Maybe I am a little concerned with my ice hockey goaltending and my promise to play more ice hockey.  So many things to get out in the open.

The first thing I want to talk about is my ice hockey goaltending.  For the second week in a row, I tied my ice hockey game.  Also, for the second week in a row, I haven’t been making the routine saves.  I made some mistakes playing my angles.  Some easy shots are rebounding off me and the other team is making plays and scoring.  The opposing goalie at my last game played a superb game.  He made 2 key top corner saves.  Lets put it this way, if I was in net at the other end, those two shots would have been in the net.

I have made a promise to myself to play more ice hockey.  In order to do that, I am going to have to drop a couple rollerhockey leagues.  There is part of me that doesn’t want to let go personally.  I have had a lot of success at rollerhockey, but ice hockey is a new challenge.  I know I can be a better goalie and all I need is more practice.

The driving force behind me wanting to continue to play well at rollerhockey is the Bulldogs.  I want to succeed with this team, and I owe them a very strong season next season.

Ferris State hockey is struggling.  That isn’t the team’s fault though.  The refs are calling a ton of penalties and there is very little 5 on 5 play.  The jury is still out in my mind on how this is going to work.

As for playoffs tomorrow, I am going to play the best I can.  That is all I can ask of myself.  It is amazing how my attitude and thoughts on the playoffs have changed.  In the past, I was worried, up all night, concerned with my performance, and I wanted to win.  Today, I still want to win, but I know I am going to perform well.  Just no doubt in my mind.

Shooting Ferris State

Ferris State Bulldogs Derek MacIntyre
Ferris State Bulldogs Derek MacIntyre

I shot a batch of FSU pictures on Friday and Saturday, and the ones on Saturday came out a lot better. However, not as good as I wanted them to come out. You can tell I haven’t taken pictures in a while. The first batch was off when it came to the camera settings. The second ones looked better, but were a little blury. Now you know why I don’t do this for a living. 🙂

Here is the best picture I took over the weekend of Ferris State’s Derek MacIntyre.

Bulldogs end of season recap

After our last game, I got to thinking about this season overall with the Bulldogs.  It was our first in Copper, and while we won some good games, we also didn’t play up to expectations.  I was hoping we would at least get a playoff spot, but you don’t do that losing 6 games out of 10 in a season.  We finished with 57 goals for which will end up being about 3rd in the league out of 8 teams.  Our 57 goals against will rank 6th out of 8 teams, which was horrible.  That says defensively, we struggled this season.  I can say from my standpoint, I didn’t play very well this season overall.  Too many weak goals and my confidence waivering.  I have a good feeling about next session as to the new guys we are bringing on.  The bad thing is our defense isn’t improving next session.  I just don’t know what to expect to be honest with you.

One thing I have to say is that I expect a lot better things out of myself next session with the Bulldogs.  I owe them a lot better than they got this session and I don’t care how hard I have to work, I am going to improve.

Reflections

I got to thinking about the last session and everything that has happened in the last 2 plus months.  Man, what a ride.  I thought next week would bring me playing in 4 playoff series.  As it turns out, things did not turn out that way.  My Bulldogs team I feel I let down the most.  While we were at the tops in the division in goals for, we were near the bottom in goals against.  Part of that is my fault.  No getting around that.  I am still trying to figure out why things worked out like that.

Next week, I have two teams in the playoffs.  One is a long shot at best to win anything.  The other, my tin team that I skate out on, has a chance to go all the way.  That is all I need is a chance to make an impact.  A chance to win that 10th championship and a new milestone.

Overall, I am pleased with all my teams this session and the effort they gave.

Vintage Painting consists of a lot of great guys.  We were ousted in the first round of the playoffs last season.  This season, we are a stronger team.  I am still nervous about going undefeated so far this season.  We have faced challenges and a lot of close games.  I just hope that doesn’t come back to bite us in the future.

Village Bike Shop has been a pleasure to play for.  Even though we got off to a slow start and our scorers slumped at times through the regular season.  I had problems stopping the puck at times as well.  We are starting to challenge teams now and that is a good thing.

The Bulldogs, my new family away from the Stick Heads, has turned out to be my favorite team.  When I was down, these guys picked me up.  They support me and even though I am hard on myself, they are all supportive.  The deserve better, I tell you that much.  I played inconsistantly all season.  My last game is against the Stick Heads, and I am going to be as bold to say that I am going to play my heart out like it is the last game of the playoffs.  I want to be the team to eliminate them from the playoffs.  I want them to see what they gave up.

Lastly, Ground Zero in Bronze has done a great job.  We had hardly any regular players and no defensemen.  Yet, we have hung in there with the best teams in the intermediate/advanced division.  Our odds of going all the way are slim, but no matter what happens, I am proud of this team and everyone on it.