We are moving on!

I was nervous.  I has been a while since I was this nervous.  I went into the game focused and I didn’t want to make a mistake.  My defense played solid in front of me, and we won by a final of 7-2.

We took a quick 2-0 lead, but the other team had their chances.  They just missed capitalizing on a few chances on far side passes.  They finally connected on one to cut the lead to 1.  In the second period we took a 3-1 lead and then they got a deflection a couple minutes later to close the gap to 1.

Little did I know that was as close as they would get…..

Team MOS played solid the rest of the way.  Every shot I faced for the rest of the game were either in my glove or went off me and I covered.  My rebound control was much better than it has been in a long time.  Before I knew it, it was 6-2 and we were in firm control midway through the 3rd.

The opposing team’s best chance in the 3rd came on a play in front of the next.  The shot came in and hit me, and one of the opposing players slashed me in the face not once but twice.  The puck did make its way past me and into the back of the net, but the ref called it off.  One of the opposing players got chucked for abuse of officials and that was the end of the game for the most part.

Overall, I was pleased with the way I played, but I know I am going to have to play better.  The first place team won their game and they are going to bring the fire next week in the championship game.  If my team does the same thing next week, and I play solid, then I feel good about our chances.

I just keep remembering how I had a few chances to win my first ice hockey championship years ago, and I came up short for one reason or another.  When I joined team MOS, we won in the summer and then in the fall.  For 2 of the last 3 seasons, we have won our respective league championship.  I get another opportunity to do it again.

I can’t let this opportunity pass me by.

It all comes down to this

I really do enjoy playoff hockey.  After a long season, all my teams are either in playoff tournaments or have just completed them.  One of my teams is already out, while 3 others are in for their various playoff tournaments.  Back in the day, I was all about playoff hockey.  It was a make or break time for me, and I had a lot of success in playoffs as a result.  It wasn’t all me mind you.  Mainly because I had great performances but I had a share of bad ones as well.  You still remember the good times a lot more than the bad ones.  This is true of any team sport I have ever played.

Yet, this time around I am more nervous than anything else.  It has been a full year since I lifted a championship trophy.  My team isn’t an odds on favorite to win, and being 41 doesn’t quite make things easier for me.  While I am a decent goalie, I am by far not stellar, and there are many stellar goalies out there that can steal games better than I can.  Being a little nervous is a good thing for me to be honest.  It means I will be more attentive and focused on the puck.  It also means that I will be very focused on my mistakes if I make any.  Rebounding from those mistakes will be key.

Here is to hoping that everything falls into place for my first game tonight.  If I play solid tonight, then I should be mentally ready for Saturday.