Playoff saturday did not end the way I wanted it to, but it was still a very good day.
My first game of the day was with the Dragons as we played Ionia Skateland. I had a great game, a couple diving saves, and my defense really played very well in front of me as we won 1-0. It was a hard fought victory for us, and I was pleased with our performance.
I subbed in for the Lightning because their goalie didn’t show up for my second game as we played the Rabid Wombats. The Wombats are always a tough team. The Dragons beat them in the regular season this year because they lost one of their better players. Otherwise, they are a team that only loses 1-2 games a season normally. Today, I came out with a 5-4 win. The Lightning and Wombats traded leads through the game. I got beat on three shots over my glove or upstairs and a bad rebound chance that got me through the 5 hole. Overall, an average game but I thought I played better my first game.
The Fury was my 3rd game of the day, and we got through Who Cares by a final of 5-1. I thought we played very well and I had another strong game. The only shot that beat me was a power play goal off a deflection in the slot. That is about all I can hope for.
My last two games did not go the way I wanted.
The Dragons lost 5-0 to the Penguins, the champions of the division. It really wasn’t a game as the Dragons just got hammered. I had some good saves, but there were shots that I just didn’t have much of a chance on. Even Dan, the opposing goalie, said I was shelled out there.
The Fury, the team I wanted to win a championship on, lost in the finals by a final of 3-1. I played well enough to win the game, but the Fury just couldn’t score on Mike, the opposing goalie. I got beat on a nice top corner shot, a breakaway, and a goal I probably should have had that hit me and went into the net. That 3rd goal was the only one that I faulted myself for.
So, for the first time in 8 sessions and 2 years, I left Rivertown Sports without a playoff championship. I knew it would come to an end eventually, and the way it ended on Saturday didn’t surprise me. You never want it to end though.
Next season I will be back for the Dragons and the Fury. The Fury are changing their name to Stile’s Mom’s Cookies or something like that. I am pretty geeked about my chances to make playoffs and maybe even compete for a championship next season.
That terrible playoff loss I had in ice hockey still haunts me a little bit even today. I thought about it off and on through Saturday playoffs. The good news is that I reacted to the shots on Saturday and played very well even though I had thoughts about that bad game going through my head at times.
Time heals all wounds though, and even though I haven’t had the best week hockey wise or championship wise, it was good to have a strong playoff day to rebound.
Now my attention turns to the opportunity I have on Thursday with Encore and winning a ice hockey championship. The odds are stacked against me. The team we are playing against has been #1 all season. My team will need to play a very good game to win it. I will need to play strong. I look at this game as a game of redemption for myself.