The stretch run

I got as much out of my game last night as I could have wished.  The champions from this league last season gave us a great game, and we only had 6 guys to start and finished the whole last period with only 5.  Still, I am very very impressed with the resiliency of our team.  We lost 4-3 after keeping it tied up until just under 2 minutes in the game.  Sure, I wish I had that goal back that they scored, but I couldn’t have been more proud of my team for competing so hard.

This week is going to be very hectic for me as I enter the stretch run with all my roller teams at Rivertown.  Malys has clinched a playoff spot, but they could finish anywhere from 1-4.  The division is just that tight.  A win ensures us a 1st or 2nd place finish.  That is what we will be working on today.  My Marketlab team will clinch 1st with a win or a tie.  I am confident we will win on Thursday night this week.  As for my non-playoff teams, both Shock and Awful have a game on Tuesday and Structural Standards has a game on Thursday.  I am very much looking foward to closing out their seasons with a victory in both games (I hope).

I also have a paper due for my MBA class that is pretty much done and that just needs to be tinkered with a little bit.  I have worked hard on this assignment and I am hopeful that I will get a good grade on it since it is 1/3 of my grade.

Friday will be my day of rest and preparation for the games that are coming on Saturday.  I will be ready to perform at the level I am used to performing at in playoffs.  High intensity and a winning performance.

Strong games

I played a pair of strong games for both of my teams tonight.  The sad thing is that I couldn’t get Structural Standards a win after playing so well.  Still, I did what needed to be done to give them a chance to win and thats all I can ask for.  Structural fell 4-3 after maintaining a 2-1 lead up through the middle of the third period.  The other team got 3 breakaways they scored on.  I guess you could say I should have stopped one of them, but I made a number of good stops in that game to keep the game in our favor.  I really can’t ask for much more other than a goal or two more for our team.

Marketlab nabbed a 7-2 win in a game I had much less work but still played pretty darn well.  We came back and played a solid game after struggling to score last game.  With playoffs coming up next weekend, it was important for us to have a good game.

Overall, I played well for the games I played this week.  I missed 2 of my games due to illness and I am still not 100%.  This weekend will be spent resting, completing my paper for my MBA class, and puting my computer back together again now that I got my RMAed motherboard back.

Recovering

Well, I partially successfully recovered from the flu, cold, or whatever bug I had.  Its frustrating to be feeling like this for 5 days straight.  I didn’t play hockey Monday evening off thinking I would just rest and recover fully.  I felt a little better on Tuesday morning, so I went to work and then played hockey in the evening.  After getting schlacked in my game, I came home all down and out about it.  Wednesday was a disaster as I really just stayed home sick and rested.  I didn’t get a chance to play my ice hockey game Wednesday either.

So, in two days of me not feeling well I have missed two games.  Talk about depressing.

My game on Tuesday was sad.  We had to win out in order to make playoffs, so Shock and Awful lived up to the last part of their team name in this time of need.

Awful

We lost 11-5, and while it wasn’t all my fault, I didn’t play super in net.  Even if I did, we probably would have gotten beat 8-5 instead.  Still, its was just upsetting to lose that game because it pretty much put a nail in the coffin on their playoff hopes.

The good news is that Malys and Marketlab are both in the playoffs.  Malys has a chance to clinch 1st or drop as far as 4th in their last game while Marketlab can clinch 1st with 2 wins.  Both teams are going to have their work cut out for them to repeat as both teams won their respective divisions last season.  Malys will have to get through 2 tough teams, same as last season in playoffs.  Marketlab’s first round opponent last season wasn’t bad, and the finals game I think we won primarially because the other team was physically exhausted.  Its going to be different this season thats for sure.

I was asked a very important question after my last game last week on Thursday.  After playing an awesome game in a 4-2 loss, would I rather play horrible and win?  Absolutely.

Exhaustion or something else?

I played pretty well today. The first game we lost 5-4 in a shootout, but I didn’t play an excellent game. Sure, I made some good stops, but I let the team back in to tie the game to send it to a shootout. I allowed a goal on the first shooter of the shootout, and my team couldn’t get a goal in their 3 shooters. A little disappointing, but we got a point out of it.

The second game we won easily 13-3. I felt sorry for their goalie who was just getting shelled while I didn’t face many quality chances.

After playing my 2 games at Lazer Skate today, I got something to eat and then felt exhausted. My throat is still sore like yesterday, and I hope I am not coming down with something worse. I am going to bed early tonight so I am 100% tomorrow….hopefully.

Random hockey thoughts

After a very tough and eventful week of hockey, I have to type a few thoughts that have been going through my head in regards to hockey.

First off, the comeback factor. I have been very fortunate to play well against most of the goalies at Rivertown. I have had great success with sometimes better teams or teams just as good as others. I have put together many great playoff runs with a lot of different teams. Sure, I haven’t won every game, but I have had the number of a few goalies out there.

For every goalie I have had the number of, there have been goalies that have outplayed me on a consistent basis. In some cases, I have turned things around against these other goalies. I can only wonder how long it will be until other goalies start getting my number and outplaying me in playoffs. Especially as I get older because as I age, I feel myself getting a little slower all the time.

Second, the friends you play with is more important than the victories. Mays is a great example of this. I went to a hockey game tonight with a bunch of people who play on this team. We have played with each other the last couple seasons. Its been the most enjoyable time of my rec hockey career.

Lastly, playing hockey is still enjoyable to me. I still have the desire to compete and that is a good thing. I just hope this fire burns within me for many more years to come. Well, at least as long as I can play at a reasonable level to compete in rec leagues.

A most excellent day

About 2 months in the making, I had a big Grand Rapids Griffins outing with over 55 people buying tickets. We got everyone together at TGI Fridays before the game, ate and drank together, and saw the game. Overall, a great time was had by all and that is all I can hope for.

After the game, I got to my car and was just exhausted. It could have been me getting up so early. Then again, it could have been all the planning and organization it took. Either way, I was glad to get home and now I sitting here in my chair exhausted and watching hockey on my NHL Center Ice package.

I cannot wait to do the next Griffins outing.

Beatable

I had a pair of good games last night. Structural Standards beat the Dragons by a 4-3 final. The winning goal was scored in the last 1:30 of the 3rd period. Considering the Dragons beat us 6-1 in the first game of the season, to see my team come back and have a big 4-3 win against them is huge. Unless some major things happen, Structural won’t make playoffs this season. However, they have rebounded well with some good wins this season after a very rough start. I have to commend everyone on the team for their hard work. We may not be the best team, and the odds are stacked against us winning even 1 of our last 2 games, but they play hard out there. Thats all I can really ask for as a goalie.

On the other side of things, my 1st place Marketlab team was defeated by the 2nd place Ellis Sales team by a 4-2 final. There was an empty netter at the end, so it was a close game the whole way through. They had a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period and we came back to tie it in the 3rd period. With 6 minutes left, they put another past me on a nice shot in the slot to make it 3-2. Our offense just couldn’t get past their D. The puck was bouncing over our sticks. I really can’t say it was all bad luck, as we didn’t make any good luck on our end. Still, its our first loss of the season.

Last season when this same team went undefeated through the season, I was nervous when playoffs hit. We were tested in regular season and had some close games, but to skate into the playoffs without a loss was not the best omen in my book. Still, we went the distance. With this loss, it will motivate my team to do something special the last 2 games of the season and then do well in playoffs. I have no doubt.

That concludes my hockey games for the week. I played very well this week, and I am looking forward to having a few days off before I play again on Sunday. I have a Grand Rapids Griffins outing to attend to on Saturday and tonight after work I am going to be resting at home.

Ice hockey going well

My Kodiaks team did well last night in a very strong 11-5 win. It should have been 11-4, but I fell asleep in the last 2 minutes of the game and got scored on from center ice. I really can’t blame myself too much, but still its not acceptable. We didn’t play against the best team in the league either. Our true test will come with better competition. This season has been a challenge for me in net in ice hockey. Just haven’t been playing very solid and I don’t know what the problem is. Its not too much of a cause for concern yet, but it will be as the stakes get higher when playoffs hit.

My confidence is the first thing I have to work on. Gotta keep my confidence at a very high level and stay sharp. Playing my angles is another thing I can do much better than I am now.

2 down….1 to go

Two of my teams have clinched playoff births. Marketlab (Who Cares) clinched a few weeks ago with their 7th win of the season. With 3 games to go, they are in and if everything works out well we should take 1st place in the division. Maly’s clinched on Monday with their win. With 2 games to go, they could be anywhere from 1st to 4th.

The one team that is still up in the air is Shock and Awful. A team I took over for about 2 games ago. We have won both games, but we are still on the playoff bubble. Even if we win out, we won’t make it in. We need help in the form of the 3rd or 4th place team getting beat in their last 2 games. Obviously, we have to win out to have a go at it. With the way we have been playing, I think we have a strong chance to make some noise for the rest of the season and playoffs if everyone shows up. The key will be if things fall into place for us.

Tonight, I have Marketlab and Structural Standards to play for before getting a few days off of hockey to rest up a bit. Sunday hockey at Lazer Skate will be fun as normal.