Details on the NYCGHA blue team are in. I won the vote for captain, so I’ll captain the Storm and the Ordinals for the season. The team’s name is Storm (congrats to Jonathan for nominating that name). We should start playing on April 29 (and, if not then the week after). It’s looking to be a good season! The Storm have a good roster. And I’m almost done with the Ordinals roster for spring and it’s looking good too!
Week one of the off season is in full swing (we don’t start up again until April 29). I went to Ronnie’s Ice this morning and had a good time. I got on ice about 45 minutes early so I could work on some of the skating techniques I learned last week. Spent a bit of time on forward strides, and I lot of time on the backwards crossovers because I’m worried I’ll forget how to do those. Even though it’s at 9 next week, I may show up at 8 and work on skating and then just bail out since I’m sure the crowd will be too much. We did a great short ice passing drill today, totally wore me out because we just kept going for about 20 minutes… but since this was the only hockey of the day, I didn’t mind just going full out.
The NYCGHA spring blue team continues its path towards formation. I have been nominated to captain. I’m in the running with one other person, so we’ll see how that vote turns out (should know by Thursday I think). Also, voted on a ton of team names (we managed to generate a crazy number of 55 names… oy). My favorites (and the ones I voted for) were Chelsea Fog, Backcheck Boys and Blue Thunder. The Fog name is so ideal… this morning when I got to the rink, there was a nice layer of fog on the ice, and fog on the ice is a can be a pretty consistent thing in the summer. The team name should also be announced on Thursday.
Over the weekend I took the Robby Glantz Power Skating Clinic and wow what a clinic it was! Glantz is the power skating coach with the L.A. Kings. We also had Mark Ciaccio, power skating coach for the Phoenix Coyotes, Brock Ballard, director of power skating for the De Raaf Hockey School in Bad Tolz, Germany, as well as some other coaches. But you can certainly see that we had pros teaching our motley crew of 30 or so how to skate better.
The three days included forward skating, forward crossovers, backwards, backwards crossovers, with an focus on proper technique and how to get the most power out of the stride. There was also some puck handling around moving the puck forward while skating fast, which is especially handy on breakouts.
The course was invaluable. The first day, working to clean up my stride was great, especially seeing the video playback, which showed everything I’ve been hearing from Ronnie over the past couple years. I don’t bend enough, which I’ve also known… but I’m also my upper body is too tense. I really just need to relax a bit to get my stride moving better. And I need to keep strengthening my quads so I can stay lower longer.
The clinic also helped me find backwards crossovers for the first time ever. I went to the group initially that couldn’t do them all, and Brock broke down the movement and I was able to pick it up and go back over to the larger group to work on their drills.
I’m looking forward to getting to Ronnie’s on Saturday morning to work on all these various strides to get them integrated into my skating habits. That’s especially key for the backwards crossovers, to get to the point where I feel comfortable enough to use them in a game.
Speaking of games, I did use some of these techniques Saturday night in the Tigers game, which came about 90 minutes after that day’s session. I was playing D for the Tigers and actually came off the bench and immediately had to go diagonally across the ice to cut off a Rockets breakout and did so by using some of the stuff I’d learned… even better is that I did so against a Rocket who was taking the class with me. Later in the game I had my own breakout and, again, tried to use what I’d learned… Unfortunately I was forechecked and backchecked by other Rockets from the class (I was the only Tiger to go, while there were four Rockets). Still, it was great to immediately put some of the forward skating techniques in to use.
I will definitely be focusing on these elements as prep for Montreal.
The Tigers wrapped up the spring season this past Saturday with a 3-3 tie with the Rockets. It was quite the nail biting game. We were up 2-0, and then I got color blind and mis-read a red Rockets players as an orange Tiger player and allowed a goal in because I was defending like I should be. They scored again and got it to 2-2. Then, with about a minute to go, they scored again. But then, in one of those Miracle sort of moments, we scored again. The score stayed at 3-3 as the five minute overtime ended… no shootouts here.
The NYCGHA held its first ever spring draft party on Sunday afternoon. Because so many people drop from full time for the summer so they can be away on weekends, the we were forced to drop to two teams. So, we decided to mix everyone up and form two completely new teams for all. I got drafted to, what is currently called, NYCGHA Sky Blue (which is sad sort of because I really wanted to be on NYCGHA Purple because I have always wanted a purple jersey… but that was the randomness of the draft at work). So now the team has to pick a captain and a team name. That should be interesting, check back late next week to see the result. The new season starts up April 29!
As the Ordinals’ third season closed out, the team racked up it’s 50 game and stands with a record of 19-29-1-1. The final game was sadly a blow-out of 1-14, but it was against the Imperials, a team we never manage to beat. By the time I got their for the start of the third period (I was in a power skating class and missed the first two periods, more on the class coming soon), it was already 1-9. Hopefully the spring season will be kinder to us. Regardless of our record, at least we love getting out playing the game, which is good since everyone gives up a part of Saturday afternoon / evening to do it.
Here’s a look at the team picture, shot post-game on Saturday (and including a couple of alumni, alternates and new players who either played or happened to be at the rink).