Champlain Shootout 2008

Another April, another trip to Burlingon VT for the Champlain Shootout. Last year we went with a made-up team, but this year we went with Black Ice (minus a few regulars and supplemented with some Ragers and a couple of other folks.)

So this year was a lot of fun. We played 4 games in all, and went 2-2, but took second place in our division!

Game 1: Saratoga Storm (N.Y.) – overtime win 1-0

Our first game was against the Saratoga Storm. Rarely do we play well on Friday nights, and this was no different than normal. Coach had me playing wing, which meant we ran 3 defenders. They did awesome; I’m not sure how I did, but reports are that I didn’t stink.

Fortunately, we managed to hold them scoreless. Unfortunately, they did the same to us. For this tournament, ties immediately go to a simultaneous shootout (both shooters go at the same time). We got down to the fifth shooters before Ann M. put one in the net on the Saratoga goaltender, and the win!

Game 2: Westchester Wildcats 2 (N.Y.) – overtime loss 1-2

Our second game was a tough one. Coach moved folks around a bit from Friday so we had 4 defenders and 2 centers. I was still up at wing. Our goal was put in by Pickles (a Rager [one of our mortal enemy teams…]). The Wildcats also put one in during regulation, so we ended up with another tie, and headed to another shootout. This one we went to the seventh skater before they put one in Lynn. Bummer!

At this point, we were sitting at 1-1, with 3 points to our name. We knew going into the third game that it was make or break time. If we won in regulation, we’d go to the championship game, if we tied and won, we’d be in fourth place, and if we tied and lost, we’d be in fifth place. So our fate was completely in our own hands.

Game 3: Old Nags (N.C.) – regulation win 2-1

We ended up playing at the UVM rink for this game, which was pretty cool. This game was our best of the weekend. We went out strong, played our game, and despite someone (me) coughing up the puck in our defensive zone to one of their points which led directly to their one goal, we got the regulation win! Amy put a sweet shot in the upper right 90 in the first period; Amy also got an assist when her shot bounced around and Pickles put the rebound in the net. Nice to win outright and to realize we were going to be in the championship game the next morning!

Game 4: Van Kleek Hill Griffins (Montreal) – regulation loss 2-5

Well, leave it to the Canadians to give it to us in the finals. We didn’t play as well as we’d played the night before, and no surprise since we were all pretty tired. Still, they got a few quick goals and were feeling pretty cocky, when Amy got a breakaway and buried the puck in the upper right 90 – pretty much the same shot as she put in the night before. We got another goal a little bit later on a wacky play. Liza just threw the puck towards the net, not very hard, and it caught the goalie off-guard and bounced on the post and dribbled in. Good fun! The rest of the game I honestly don’t remember much of. They put a couple more in, we didn’t get any more goals… Yeah. That.

So we went into that game in second place and we came out of the game in second place.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Our game times were ideal (6pm Friday night, noon and 7pm Saturday, 9am Sunday), the weather was gorgeous (in the 70s all three days), and the company was amazing. Our fabulous coach made the trip up with us so we had coaching for all four games – a key to us doing well, I’d say.

Now we get a couple of weeks off before summer leagues start. Of course, you know I’m looking for ice time between now and May 5. That’s just who I am.

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