305

Before I start playing World of Warcraft this morning, I am going to update my journal on what happened yesterday in playoffs.

Game 1 – Groot Builders vrs Schutts Greenhouse
Groot came in as the one seed and I felt this was my best opportunity to get that elusive 10th championship I was going for. It was not an easy game as it was scoreless at the end of the first half. The other team rang two shots off the post in the first half alone. One of the refs skated by me and said, “The hockey gods are smiling upon you today”. I had to agree with that statement. We got two quick goals in the second half to go up 2-0. They got back within 1 a few minutes later. We got another goal and then they got another one. We hit the empty net in the final seconds of the game to win 4-2 and advance to the finals.

Game 2 – Bulldogs vrs River Yaks
Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker of a game 2-1 and it was very painful to say the least. This is one team I was on for years as we worked hard for that elusive championship. It just never came to be. I was beat on a nice screen shot from the point and then again from a shot in the slot that the guy hit top corner on me. We got the first goal of the game and I thought we had a shot. It just was never meant to be. The team that beat us went on to lose in the finals by a 1-0 score. The only goal that was scored on him was a deflected shot. As a goalie, I know that was a hard pilll to swallow.

Game 3 – Dekleine Builders vrs Biohazard
Dekleine was a #4 ranked team playing the top seed. I thought, if we played hard and gave it our all, we would have a legit shot at competing with these guys. As it turns out, we jumped up to a 2-0 lead off really good goal scoring and hard work by the entire team. They tied it up 2-2 before the end of the half. We would take the 2 goal lead back and then held on for the 4-3 win. My team had next to nothing left in the tank after that game, but I was hoping they had some left for the finals.

Game 4 – Groot Builders vrs Fury
I have never played well against the Fury. In the last 6 years of playing, I haven’t beaten certain members of the Fury in a playoff game. That was going through my head almost all afternoon leading up to this game. It was such a hard fought game from start to finish. We got up on them 2-0 early, and then the Fury responded with 2 goals of their own to tie the game. One shot that beat me was in the slot that hit me and trickled past me. The second one was a slapshot from the point that hit top corner. We scored another two unanswered goals and that was all we needed. I got scored on by a nice pass across the top of the circle to a wide open forward who put it in on the weak side. Otherwise, the wheels came off the Fury after I made a few key stops in the dying minues and we held on to win. It was my 10th championship. For the first time since winning my 3rd championship, I didn’t break down and cry, throw my equipment off and jump into my teammates arms. It just felt like I accepted I hit that milestone and was content to let it just stay like that. It was a great run for Groot.

Game 5 – Deklieine Builders vrs Phantoms
Dekleine just didn’t have much left in the tank and it showed. They worked hard, but couldn’t get a goal. I played pretty well in the game, but was beaten by a couple odd man rushes, a penalty shot, and a rebound chance as we lost 4-0. I felt badly for Dekleine, but that team was an Aluminum team that was playing in the Brass league. They were overachievers that will compete much better in the lower division next season. I am very proud of this team.

Hitting my 10th championship now, and against a team I have had no luck beating, it has some special meaning. I no longer feel as if I am chasing a goal I can’t make. Will I move on away from hockey? I don’t think so. However, I know I won’t play as much as I used to. I also know my limitations in that I am going to stay out of the higher divisions for a while unless I have the right team in front of me.