Playing with the Big Boys
With the holiday there’s not much hockey this weekend. I skated the Thursday night NYCGHA clinic session, which was a blast because we did a small ice game (one of my favorite drills to do) I just got back from this morning’s Ronnie’s Ice session and that well exceeded my expectations for holiday ice.
So what made it so good this morning? For starters there wasn’t an insane number of people, which is always the risk on a holiday. Second, the drills were good as always. Third, I got to double shift in the scrimmage with two extremely different lines.
First I was skating with the kids, we’re talking probably under 8 years old if I had to guess. I enjoy this. It makes me think a little different because it’s really about working with them to get them the puck and provide a decent amount of support going back on D without really making it too hard for the kids on the other side. It’s an enjoyable change of pace and I am happy to play that role. For a while it looked like that was going to be it for my scrimmage action.
But then, a few minutes in, Tommy called me over and said that when Ronnie came out I’d start double shifting on the third line to balance out Ronnie joining the other side.
I’m about as far away from Ronnie’s skill level as there is and now I’m going to join a line because he’s on the other side? That doesn’t seem to bode well for the guys I just got partnered with. One of the guys on the line I joined at least knew me and I asked him where he wanted me to be so I could be as helpful as possible. He was like, “Play D, it’s what you usually do, so go there.” I said I’d do my best not to mess it up.
You know, I did okay. I think the opposing team only scored twice after I joined and we scored on them more than that. They guy who told me to take up D sent the puck deliberately back to me at one point because I was open and I shot it back in on net. I played conservatively, making sure to stay behind whoever was hanging because if any of those skaters got behind me on a rush it would be over before it started.
I had a great time! I get to play with these guys in the winter, but then it’s never a fully high level line because of the mix of players. To get to do this in the summer was a treat. Maybe I did decent enough to get moved up again sometime?