It’s a new hockey season and with that, Amy and I have found ourselves on a new team.
Last year, we played our second season with the Black Ice, a fantastic D-level team in the South Shore Women’s Hockey League. The team overall had a much better year than we did our first season, ending up at almost .500. But over the course of the spring and summer, Amy and I both did a lot of thinking about where we wanted to go with hockey, and ended up deciding to try to find a more competitive environment on a C-level team. Luckily, one of the C-level teams in our “parent” organization (Storm Women’s Ice Hockey) was holding tryouts, so we both went to see how we compared to everyone else there. And lo and behold, they asked us (and our friend Libby!) to join the team!
It’s definitely been an adjustment in terms of both the social aspects and the skill level… But so far it’s going quite well in both those areas. I do miss my Black Ice teammates a ton but am working hard to try to maintain those friendships as much as possible (i.e. have gone to a game and will go whenever schedules align, am going to go to their monthly full-ice practices, etc.)
And so on to the Storm! I’m still playing defense, and Amy’s moved to wing since there are already several centers. Sometimes she plays defense too, depending on our numbers. Nice of her to be flexible that way. Our first game of the SSWHL season was against the NH Monarchs, and we ended up winning a goalie’s battle 1-0. Quite fun to start out strong like that. The next week saw us with a bye in the SSWHL, convenient since we were playing/hosting the Darcy Tournament in Gloucester. We won our first game at Darcy against the Ravens, also 1-0. The next two games we didn’t play quite as strongly, and lost against both MIT and the Westchester Wildcats C by the same score of 1-2. Still, we had a lot of fun doing general team-bonding things. Apparently the motel room where Amy, Libby, and I were staying (with teammate Niki) was the social center for the team. I don’t think any of us told the coaches or rest of the team that we’re generally early-to-bed types! Alas, we had to give up sleep in order to have fun, which is a trade-off I’ll take 9 times out of 10. But yeah, we had a 3-and-out sort of tournament, which is always a little disappointing. Then this Sunday we played Randolph, a team that’s been together for many years, and trust me when I say that it showed! They pass so well, they know where their teammates are on the ice, and they’re generally calm, cool, and collected. The Storm? Well, let’s just say that we have a few years’ work ahead of us to get that connected! We ended up losing 1-5 which was a total bummer. Next week should be another tough game – it’s one of our crossover games with a B-level team. Eeek! I hope we’ve got 2 full lines or my lungs might give out…
So yeah, so far it’s been going well. The skill level change is the biggest adjustment thus far. I’m trying to get as much ice time as possible and can’t wait until the Wellesley club team starts up again. I don’t think they’re going to practice at the rink that’s 5 minutes from my house any longer, but I think I’m going to bite the bullet and make a longer drive because god knows I need the practice!
Wish us luck and know that I’ll try to keep up with posts about games, practices, and my general observations about my game and what I need to work on in order to improve. The short list right now includes: develop a power turn, make better choices on breakout passes, and make better decisions on defending during the transition and on odd-man rushes. Easy as pie, huh?