The Year in Review Part 2

I have thought long and hard about what my goals are going to be next year. Here they are in no particular order….

1. Achieve 25 rollerhockey championships. This one should be very obtainable. I sit at 23 right now, and with 4 playoffs coming up this year, I should be able to get through and win 2 more by the end of the year.

2. Win my very first ice hockey championship. This is going to take a lot of hard work, but I intend to achieve this goal this year.

3. Get one year closer to my MBA degree. At the end of 2009, I want to have only 2 years left of part time work to get this degree.

4. Keep up with technology. Don’t forget that I have a day job and with the technology landscape changing so much, its important for me to keep myself up on the current trends.

5. Get plenty of sleep every night. 7 hours minimum would be a great goal to stay up on. The better rested I am, the more productive I will be, and the better I will be in hockey.

6. Never forget your friends and family. I am content with spending many nights at home relaxing. While it is nice to do that every now and again, its just as good to spend time with my friends and family.

7. Take good care of my knees. With the knee pain and discomfort I had this year, I have to continue to take good care of my knees. After all, when they go, my rec hockey career is done.

I think that just about does it right there.

I just pulled out my main computer and packed the motherboard in a box to send back to EVGA. My poor board decided to croak and I need an RMA replacement which is very depressing. Still, its nice that I have a RMA to take advantage of.

My eyes are pretty heavy after a long day of work and doing this computer project. That and I didn’t sleep REALLY well last night. I am going to crash soon.

The year in review

With the end of the year quickly approaching, and all the travel I have to do to see family, I have decided to start my review of the year that has passed. Just on the surface, so much has happened in my life and rec hockey career. I am sure I will forget a few things, but the important thing is that I remember the highlights.

In Janurary, the Stick Heads captured their 5th championship with me at the helm. It was one of the more memorable championships I had since they haven’t won a championship without me. That and we haven’t played together since that fateful final game in late January.

I went two straight playoffs after that without winning a trophy. For about 2.5 years, I had been playing on great teams or I have stolen a trophy for my teams that have been in. Even though I haven’t won one in April or July, I had played very well in playoffs and the regular season.

Some of the notable teams I have played for are the Dragons and we had a great playoff series in July. They made it to the finals after an awesome upset of the undefeated Rink Rats team by a final of 2-1 in the semi-finals. The 1st place Fury lost to the 2nd place Bluevortex.net team in the finals of the April playoffs by a final of 3-1, but I played a solid game in that finals game even in the loss.

Then, in October, I got back to the winners circle with two more trophies. One with Malys and one with Who Cares. I pitched a playoff shutout with Who Cares in the finals by a final of 5-0, which was my first playoff shutout in over two years. Malys we held off the top scoring number one Hurricane team and won by a final of 3-2. The last minute of that game was hectic. Their best player was trying to score and with both defensemen Jeff Z. and Jason in the crease with me, they both made saves in front of me to keep the game 3-2 for the last 45 seconds of the game.

Still, with all the great things that happened to me this year, there were things I did not achieve. My Kodiaks ice hockey team didn’t get a championship. In fact, it was this year in April that I gave up 4 goals in the last 5 minutes of our finals game to lose 6-5. It was an incredible comeback by the other team, and an incredible collapse by my team and me especilaly. They came up short in the summer session as well by losing their second round playoff game in OT by a 4-3 final.

I subbed for an ice hockey team named Encore for the last 4 games of the season and playoffs. I got them to the finals and they lost by a 7-2 score to a obviously better team. I still got them to the finals with some great goaltending. Encore had a great team effort in front of me as well so I had no regrets there as well.

I will post more end of year thoughts later on in the next week.

A win is a win……I suppose

Back a couple years ago, I played for Dekleine Builders in a very tough division. Our first game, we won 7-6 and I was disappointed with our performance as a whole. Still, they were all about “the win” and the fact the game was over. Ok, I let it slide. We ended up being 2-8 or something like that. The point is that I am always concerned when it comes to my goaltending and the way I play. Just because we win doesn’t make it all good.

Last night my ice hockey team won 9-8. Another one of these shootouts where I let in 8 goals in a game and we still win. We weren’t so fortunate when we lost to the new #1 team last week when we lost 8-7. Still, the point is that I have not played well for this team since I pitched that 4-0 shutout about a month and a half ago. I hurt my knee, was awful. Took a week off because of that and the next week because of the flu. Played the last 3 games and given up 7 goals, 8 goals, and 8 goals respectively.

That is just god awful. Especially since I wasn’t letting any of those kinds of shots in on Tuesday when I played hockey. I felt sharp going into the game, and my confidence took a hit in the 2nd period. I rebounded a little bit as time went on, but still, I was not my old self.

The break could not come soon enough. Now I get a couple weeks to rest and reflect on the year that has been. Maybe a break is what I need to recharge my batteries and play solid when I get back. One thing is certain, I would rather have a bad stretch now then in playoffs at the end of February.

A solid game

Its been over a week since I can say that. I had a solid game in net. In fact, my team had a solid game overall. The second place team we played against didn’t have their best game. We had a 9-1 lead in the second period and they had a power play the whole 3rd period. The game ended 10-4.

I was pumped as we took a big lead and never looked back. The win gives us a chance to make playoffs, which is my goal. Rick, the goalie for this team who is out on IR after having surgery, would be proud I think. This season is a dedication to him in my mind.

While I was happy with my teams performance, I felt for the goalie at the other end. Joe is a phenomenal goalie and someone that I want to be as good as. I remember in my days back in 2000 (or 2001) when I would practice with the River frogs pro roller team, I was not a good skater or player. Joe and Pauly were two goalies who I wanted to be as good as. Fast forward about 8 years and I am nowhere close. My age has caught up to me.

I wore my Grand Rapids All Stars jersey that I wore when I played the charity game against the Ex Red Wings back in 2003. The jersey brought me luck, so I am going to wash it and wear it to every game with this team. If we make playoffs, I will wear it to playoffs too. Then, I will retire it when the season is over. Call me superstitious, but I am going to roll with this because it makes me feel a little more secure. At my age, thats about all I have left.

My return to brass

After a long 2 month hiatus, I am back in the top division at Rivertown. At least for 4 more weeks. I am making my return to the brass division playing for Rick’s “Shock and Awful” team. A team that has an outside chance to make playoffs and where I have a chance to redeem myself. Last season, I helped lead Who Cares to a 4th place finish and to the finals. A team that may have been able to capture a championship were it not for the fact that they had to forfeit due to not enough guys to play in the final game. Now I am put behind the eight ball and in the spotlight to try to get this team to the playoffs.

My game is in serious need of elevation. I have not played well in over a week and I need to rebound in a big way. Tonight, I play against the 2nd place team in the division. If the team I play for can come together and beat this 2nd place team, we will be on the right path to get into the playoffs. Talk about playing under at least a little pressure.

At the young age of 36, I don’t have many of these opportunities left to play at the top division in a hockey league. It may be my last for all intensive purposes. I guess we will see how it goes.

Looking for a turnaround tomorrow

My struggles in goal continued today as my Donkey Punch team lost 11-2. I really didn’t play horrible, but I did let in 3 five hole goals that I should have had. One of them was REALLY weak. I did have some pretty good saves in the course of the game, but the team we played dropped from the division above us so they had their way with us for the most part. They should run the table in this division. Especially since they are only giving up 1 goal per game and scoring 9-10 goals a game.

I don’t know. Call me a traditionalist, but I believe that teams scoring that much and dominating that much in the lower division should just stay in the upper division. Why the management just let them move down just shocks me. It was probably a money decision more than anything.

This week I have a lot of hockey to play, but then I have a solid two weeks off before I come back to play on January 4th for Donkey Punch again. Two weeks to heal up and rest up. Then the stretch run to the playoffs and the playoffs themselves.

After these playoffs are done, I will have to evaluate how much I am playing and make some adjustments.

Save some money in tough times

My wife and I have been subscribing to the Key Card for the past few years.  We end up saving a lot more than we spend to get 2 books a year.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking to save some money next year.  Cost for the book is $20 for one or $35 for two.  I guarantee you will save more than you paid for the book in the course of the year.  Plus, all the money goes towards a good cause.

Welcome to KeyCard.

A little bit of everything

I will start off with the bad and end with the good.

First off, I will mention that I have been crap in net playing goal. I allowed way too many goals on Wednesday, and then again on Thursday. Even though my Marketlab team won on Thursday, I just did not play solid. I just don’t understand it because its the first time in about a month that I am playing pain free in my right knee. In fact, I have been feeling awesome. Maybe I have been too comfortable. Either way, I need to play more solid, and I have games starting tomorrow to turn things around.

I would much rather have a bad spell of games now than in late January when I am in playoffs. Thats for darn sure.

On a technical note, I just upgraded from WordPress 2.6 to WordPress 2.7 which includes a lot of improvements.

http://wordpress.org/development/2008/12/coltrane/

It was very easy to do that installation and then upgrade my Thesis theme to the latest version as well. Now I get to play around with more of the new features, but that is for another evening.

Its almost 12:30am now and I am exhausted after a long day. Our hot water heater valve that connects to the drain pipe croaked so that needed to be replaced. I spent time doing homework for my MBA. I had some work stuff to do as well. Then I was at the Roller Derby to watch the Grand Raggidy Girls. Then off to Frankie Vs for drinks and food with my friends. It was a long ass day and I am really looking forward to bed.

I am also looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow too.

A little disappointed

I seem to be playing well when I play roller hockey, but my ice hockey goaltending hasn’t been great the last month. I am giving up too many second chances and a couple easy goals per game. I am not coming out enough and playing as confidently as I should be. As a result, my team lost 9-8. I know it wasn’t all me, but I have to play a lot more solid than I have been playing.

Next game next week, I am going to play more aggressively. Going to come out and challenge the shooter more than I did tonight.

Gotta shake the loss off and come out stronger tomorrow.

Playing without discomfort feels so good

Last night I played my first game in goal without any pain in my knee. I guess resting it for 3 days really did help matters. Last night I played to a 7-5 victory, and we had a 7-2 lead going into the third period. My Malys team really did a good job keeping the shots at a distance and backchecking. I played solid up until the third period when they got a couple bounces and fought their way back into the game. Still, a win is a win.

Just the fact that my knee feels so much better makes me more confident. I can’t wait to play my next game.