231

I am still stuck in a rut after last nights action.  My heart is still a little heavy.  Even when I try to look on the bright side of things, it is hard to do.  Two one goal losses in the finals will do that to you I guess.

I am now looking at all the things that I did last season and questioning them.  Did I play too much?  Were my championship dreams built on the fact that I wanted to have as many competitive teams as I could?  I think my hunger for a championship overshadowed my judement in some cases.  Maybe I am willing to sacrifice too much to acheive that goal.

Today so far, I am at a loss for words on how I feel.  A little depressed and disappointed would be the best I could say at this point.  I am also totally unmotivated to do anything right now.  I hope this changes cause feeling this way sucks pretty bad.

230

13 of 16 games were decided by 1 goal.  It would be fitting that all 3 of my losses of the day were by that amount. 

I played a decent game for my Vintage Painting team.  Skating out has always been a challenge for me, but I feel I made good strides this season.  My last 3 games I really didn’t do all that well.  Especially after assisting on a lot of goals through the season, I expected to do better things in the playoffs.  It just never worked out after we lost by a 2-1 score.

I was honored to actually pick up a team through a playoff run.  Who Cares was stuck without a goalie, and I helped them get to the finals.  I just wish I could have gotten them one last step in that playoff run.  It just didn’t happen as we lost 3-2.

Bulldogs played a good game in the first game and won 4-3 in OT, but lost in the finals 2-1.

I wouldn’t have to say I am upset.  More just disappointed.  You want a lot of good things to happen to you in the playoffs.  If your team comes ready to play, that makes the job simpler.  The fact of the matter is the other teams who beat us just wanted it more.  They played more sound defense.  Their goaltending wasn’t necessarially better than I played.  That is just the way it goes in a one game playoff.

After 5 games, I am exhausted.  I really need the sleep, but I am still a little down on myself.  As I know from reading past journal entries, it happens and I tend to get back to my old self again the next day.  I feel that I have learned that winning trophies from playoff series, while important to me, it isn’t the end of the world.  I have 8 championships to my name, and I remember them all.  Twenty years from now, I will probably remember them again, but I will more than likely remember how much fun I had playing.  I will remember all the players I played for and against.  I will remember the good times, because that is all you have left when it is all said and done.  If you aren’t having fun, then you shouldn’t be playing.

I will get another opportunity down the road.  It always comes down to that.

229

Man, what a busy evening.

In the past, it has been hard for me to sleep or think about anything other than the playoff games I have on Saturday.  It happens every Friday night before a hard fought playoff day.  Tomorrow is no exception.  My Bulldogs and Vintage Painting teams are both in, and tomorrow if I can put 5 solid games together, I have a possibility of winning two trophies.  I am not going to jinx myself and say what I think about my chances.  It really all goes out the door anyway tomorrow.  It all depends on who wants it more.

Must sleep well tonight.  Must be up for breakfast at 7:30 and that is less than 8 hours away.

228

I know I am getting to this late, but I just finished up all the work from the Rivertown Sports outing and hockey game. Man, it was a pain in the ass to set up, but everyone had fun doing it. I may do it again next session depending on the situation and who I have helping me out with it. The game was a great success when we won 10-4 against another team of equal talent. We passed the puck a lot better than they did and that was the key in the game. When John Pawlik scored the first goal of the game, I knew things would start going our way and they did.

The last thing I wanted to do was limp into the playoffs. We gave a team life on Monday by losing 7-4. That win for the Reforms coupled by the loss of Malys means Reforms are in and we play them first round. Lets hope my team comes out strong on Saturday and shows the Reforms what it is to play hockey. If we come out lazy and uninspired, then it will be a quick outing on Saturday.

I don’t mean to speak negatively and that isn’t my intention. I am very satisfied with the performance of the Bulldogs this season. However, the championship has eluded us. I feel this is our best shot at it. Next session will be a hard one with our 3 top players moving on.

I just want Saturday to be here already. However, that isn’t going to happen. I have time, and a few games to play before Saturday rolls around.

227

I just got done playing 3 straight hours at lazer skate and I am dead tired.  I am still a little upset about the second game I played.  I was playing an awesome game and came up with some great saves to keep my team in the game.  The other team just had a few too many quality scoring chances.  The save in my mind that made the difference was a dive across the crease glove save I made.  If I had to do that 100 times, I wouldn’t be able to do that again.  Well, on second thought, maybe I could do it one more time.  I couldn’t help but smile after that save.

Otherwise, I won my first and last game.  The first game I wasn’t tested much.  The last game I was so tired I couldn’t concentrate on the puck the last 10 minutes of the game.  I still made some saves, but I was just out of it.

I drove home in a daze and now I sit here in front of the computer.  I ate a bowl of soup and some grape juice so I am starting to feel a little better.  I am going to sleep like a baby tonight.

226

After a very good Bulldogs game last night were I only let in 2 goals, I played average today in both my games. Actually, my first game today was a last place team that I sub for playing against the first place team. We only lost 4-0, and I faced a ton of shots. I was pretty happy wiith my play. The second game was my ice hockey game, the first game back after a 2 week break. I came up with some decent saves, but they scored on some good opportunities including a couple breakaways. The end result was a 6-3 loss. After playing so well in this league last season, I had high hopes for myself this season. The competition has picked up considerably this season and it just means I am going to have to play better.

The ice hockey game at Van Andel is quickly approaching. We are about a week and a half out and I am already looking forward to it. I just hope my team can make a game of it. Based on the skill that we have, I think we will. It really just depends on which team comes to play.

An acquaitance of mine, Brian Steil, turned 21 tonight. I went to a local bar and watched him drink a few shots in celebration with some other friends. It just brought me back to that moment when it was my 21st birthday. Man, I have some memories of that day. Mostly embarassing ones, but still, your 21st birthday isn’t meant to be totally happy moments for the most part. Especially if you drink heavily. Everyone in this group wanted me to bring my camera and I didn’t. Maybe it was because I know what it was like. There are some things about my 21st birthday that I wish I could forget.

Even though I have attended more outings with the group I play hockey with and against, there is still part of me that doesn’t feel like I am part of that group. It doesn’t have to do with age. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it is because I have alienated myself for one reason or another. Maybe I feel I have burned bridges when I haven’t. Who knows. I think it is just a phase I am going through.

225

My desire to compete is high today. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it is the prospect of taking the Golden Eagles to a playoff birth. They are 2 points out right now, but have been in a lot of close games. I have to do my part and get them the rest of the way, but it won’t be easy beyond any stretch of the imagination. Nothing ever is easy when it comes to hockey. I seem to have a knack for making things hard on myself at times. However, it won’t be self inflicted tonight.

I think a lot of my feelings right now have to do with the fact that I did so well skating out last night. It makes me really seriously think about skating out on 2 teams next session instead of one. I just don’t know what I am going to do yet. Can my body handle the punishment? I have a lot of other things I would like to do over the summer, but the session is only 10 weeks.

Oh well, I can think about it more this weekend.

224

I had my best game of the season in a losing 5-4 effort.  I notched 2 goals and an assist.  Unfortunately there were only 6 guys that showed up to play, so I was dead the second half of the game.  That brings my total up to 2 goals and 8 assists on the season and I only played 5 games.  I am just getting lucky bounces, but I am happy they are coming.