Scrimmage v. Nashua NH Panthers

Well it was only a scrimmage, but we played really well tonight and walked away with 4-2 in favor of us on the scoreboard.

We had 10 skaters and a goalie – me, Amy, Lib, LisaO, LisaT, and STP from the Black Ice, Arlene and Wendy from the Black Ice subs list, Chris and Wendall (in goal) from the Storm Chasers, and Lib’s summer teammate Karen.

Let me start off by saying that Wendall isn’t normally a goalie – although she’s AWESOME back there. I do like to play in front of her – this is the second or third time I’ve done so. Her team has a full-time goalie; she subs when other folks need her. The Panther’s goalie is a woman most of us know, and she didn’t have quite the game I was expecting her to have as she normally plays at a level higher than us.

The Panthers scored in the first period on a shot that our goalie admits she should have had (she was right – it was a wimpy little shot…) They also scored in the third period on a really pretty wrist shot by one of their better players. No shame in letting that one in! LisaT, my linemate for the night, and I weren’t on-ice for either of those scores.

Amy scored twice – short-handed! – in the second period. Her first goal was an attempted backhand that didn’t quite get off the ground. Fortunately it went in anyway. About 20 seconds later she came back into the zone on the penalty kill and snapped it through the goalie’s five-hole. Wooot! Someone has her mojo back and her initials are ABB! I wasn’t on the ice for either of those goals. Later in that period, LisaO scored a truly beautiful wrister from the high slot. I was on-ice for that one.

The last score of the period (and for us, of the scrimmage) I got an assist! We were on offense; our wingers were changing lines and the puck was loose behind the net. Normally I’d play it safe and hang back by the blue line. LisaT and I had talked before the scrimmage, though, and had promised that we’d each take at least one big rush to the net during the game. This was my chance – I hauled ass down the left side of the ice hard towards their right D, who was lollygagging towards the puck behind the net. I skated past her, took the puck off her stick, skated behind the net and passed it up to LisaT at the right point (Amy was on the bench at the time and told me later that she commented, “Of COURSE the D would pass the puck up to the point!”) LisaT took a shot, which someone – Wendy or LisaO – tipped in. If I’d not charged the puck, they’d have taken it up and out of the zone. So I was a play-maker for this one and got the assist.

The rest of the scrimmage was interesting – the ref called a ton of penalties. At one point we were on a 5 on 3; didn’t score (argh!) but we played it well nonetheless. They were tough on that one. I felt pretty good from halfway through the first period; I made a bunch of boneheaded moves at the beginning of the game (letting pucks out of the zone, making wimpy bad passes, etc.) but managed to get myself into it a few minutes in. I find that as I play longer I play more physical. But as Karen said, “Hey, that’s was a good defender HAS to do!” Nothing I do is mean or chippy or (usually) penalty-worthy, but I know I annoy the living daylights out of the other team’s offense. Watch me burst with pride at that…

Several of their players were quite good; two in particular were really good. What was good to see was the fact that their top skater happened to also a.) skate with her head down some and b.) be incredibly easy to push to the outside when she was rushing the net. I like getting to know the ice better, and being able to see more things on-ice. It feels good to feel myself getting to be a smarter and stronger player.

The day itself stunk but apparently when my day stinks my game is good. I’m trying to figure out how to have a crappy day tomorrow so I can play well tomorrow night. (Just kidding!)

Stats for me this evening: +2/-0 for a +2 overall. Fun stuff.

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