An Evening with the Sled Dogs
In one of those flukes of scheduling both of my games last night were against the Sled Dogs. The Wizards played first and beat them 5-2 while the Blizzard ended up losing 3-2 in overtime.
The Wizards had the luxury of a full bench and playing an early evening game and we came out strong. It was good that we opened strong because the heat and humidity in the rink caught up with us, producing a sluggish 2nd period that we recovered from in the 3rd. We did have some solid puck movement last night, which was great to see.
I played a pretty good game here. I did have one fatal mistake that led to a goal. I made a botched clear. It was a dangerous clear because I was doing it through the middle of the ice and I knew that. The plan was to get the puck airborne to clear all the sticks and I failed to do that and the defenseman on the blue line shot and got the goal. I’m not sure I could’ve cleared to the boards because of the layout of the people, but at least with that the angle would’ve been worse to shoot. It was just bad all around.
I got interesting perspective last night too. Jonathan ended up watching the game because his skates had gone missing. I asked him afterwards if he had any tips on my game. He noted that I had a tendency to swatting the puck rather than taking a moment to settle it and move it. I thought I’d gotten better with that, but I need to work on it some more so there’s a new goal.
Later in the night, in Division 8, a very under staffed Blizzard took on the Dogs. We hit the ice with seven skaters along with our goalie. Seven is not a great number to play with since that only leaves two people on the bench at any given time. As you can imagine, it’s exhausting. We fought hard though and managed to get an overtime loss.
This game was difficult for me. It had already been a physical day with a 30+ mile bike ride in the morning, playing Ronnie’s Ice, running errands and playing the Wizards game. Plus I was playing forward, rotating between center and wing (and I don’t play wing well). Eventually positioning sort of went out the window for the forwards as we just started hanging in the neutral zone since we had strong D that could clear way out to center ice.
We managed to tie up the game with just a couple minutes left in the third. I was thrilled to get my first Blizzard goal with a nice backhand shot that went over the goalie. The puck popped out as he was trying to get it covered, so I just popped it over him while he was laid out on the ice. For better or worse, the Sled Dogs put the game away though within the first minute of overtime.
While this was tiring, it was also fun. I had a good time with the Sled Dogs defense. While I was cherry picking in the neutral zone we would occasionally chatter and laugh with each other about the absurdity of the game and the numbers we had on our bench. I did end up with a penalty against one of them. Somehow we were battling for the puck and I ended up hooking him. Not sure how it happened, but I trust the ref that made the call. Unfortunately we didn’t get the penalty killed and they scored.
Next week there’s no league play because of the July 4th holiday.