Posts filed under ‘Hockey!’
Saturday night was my annual birthday soiree at the hockey game. I leave the guys at home and I go and hang with the girls who some days, I wonder if they’re a bit groupie. But I do it once a year, and its really just as fun as it is every year.
So, I went downtown and met up with Puddle at the local eatery. We had dinner, and chatted about the evening’s matchup. This is last year’s beloved team versus our current team. Who do you root for in this case? Do I root for the team who put me on the path to hockey mom status or do I root for our current team?
Oh, heck. I’m just going to not care who wins.
Especially when our team puts in the goalie who has been a serious sieve, even when they called up the rock solid one from Trenton. ARE YOU LISTENING? STOP PLAYING THE GOALIE WHO ALLOWED A CRAPLOAD OF GOALS! PLAY THE BRICK WALL!!!! I DON’T CARE IF WE’RE OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS! STOP SLACKING!!!
ok, rant to the management over.
So, I got my ticket and sat over with Puddle. We went to our usual spot for warm ups, and when we came back, our seats were taken over by a family, or at worst friends who had taken our jackets, bobbleheads (you know-the one of the traded player-LOL!) and dumped them on the arena floor. Not an auspicious start. Seriously.
Now, did we have the tickets to prove those were our seats? Dang straight we did! BUT, since there was a whole row empty, we figured we’d play nice and just bump up a row. Meh. We had a better view anyhoo.
AND we could hear the penalties and things. Turns out that was quite the evening for penalties, as at one point I even tweeted that I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.
But I digress.
So, as the game went on, the crew in front of us made me glad I didn’t have Isaac with me. It was a display of how NOT to behave at a game. The kids of the group were shredding styrofoam from the bobbleheads and throwing it around-I was covered in small beads until I said something. I was polite, but I did state that I didn’t care for being covered in styrofoam. Then, there was the nacho fight-huge thing of nachos. Throwing at each other. Parents saying nothing.
They even allowed the kids to run around up to the glass and shout rude things at the players from the Albany team.
No, this is not RPI or Union. Yelling “You suck” at every turn isn’t really the thing to do.
Then, during the third period, the be all and end all of disgusting happened.
The older of the two boys had a large soda. He decided it would be a good idea to whip the straw out with his teeth, throw it on the arena floor and then spit an entire mouthful of soda on the floor as well.
Yes. Straw and mouthful of Sprite on the floor. Add that to the shredded foam and the torn up 50/50 tickets and the remnants of the nacho fight and oh, EWWWWWWW.
I was never, ever so happy to see a group leave. Ever.
So, after the game, I went with Puddle and crew out to the back to wait for the players to come out and chat with our old team.
The player that started Isaac playing hockey didn’t make the trip up from Charlotte because of a concussion (see? Goalies get head injuries too! Head injuries equal ick!), so we didn’t have an opportunity to see him.
However, there were some of our favorites who came out and spent a lot of time with the group of us. As we got to talking, one of the guys said how much he missed it here.
I don’t quite understand that, as I spent most of my years trying to run from this area, but I can respect it.
So, at that point, A, who is most times, Puddle’s sidekick, came up with a trade proposal. 3 of ours for him.
It would be a good trade. Bring some life back to this team that sorely needs a good shot in the arm instead of call ups to the big guns in Jersey.
Well, the offseason is coming. A lot quicker than we thought this year, and there is a lot of time for trades. Can we at least get some D here in Albany?
but again, I digress.
The other day, Isaac and I went to Bombers Burrito Bar because he’d been asking for tacos. He wanted Toxic Bell, but I wanted real food-not 75-80% meat and the rest fillers. Plus, Bombers makes a killer pulled pork burrito/taco/what have you. AND it is a LOCAL joint.
But, back to the point.
So, this particular Bombers is covered in Union College material. It’s right by campus, so you would figure that it would be. The main piece of Union stuff is a jersey and a stick hanging on the left wall by the cash wrap.
Isaac started jumping up and down and pointing it out to me. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded this, but I was attempting to order tacos! COME ON! Pick-Chicken, pork, beef, tofu…COME ON!
So, after strongarming him into ordering we got to talking about the jersey.
It was then that Isaac did something that still tests my loyalties to this minute.
Sidekick and crew-avert your eyes.
“I’m going to play hockey for Union!!”
Well, there you have it.
Coach Leaman, are you listening?
Well, I didn’t want him to play for Coach Appert anyhoo.
As we come into my favorite time of the hockey year, playoffs, things ramp up. Chances get taken and things happen. There are times that grudges get settled or something stupid happens and the league…well…is just the league.
Currently, take the latest case that has taken over the headlines and voices of the entire NHL.
Zedno Chara hit Max Pacioretty. Watch the video at your own gasp inducing risk.
End result for Pacioretty? A fractured C4 and a concussion.
Not good. So not good.
Punishment for Chara?
a 5 minute penalty. That’s right. a 5 MINUTE PENALTY
The league felt that there was no reason for any further action.
As the debate rages on if Chara should have gotten suspended-I think he should have-accidental or not-I wonder if the league will finally make the changes to hit to the head rules before Isaac gets far enough to check.
I think this is any parent’s worst nightmare. Their child getting hurt, seriously in a sporting contest. I know it’s mine. I cringe when Isaac hits his head on the ice, even though it’s in a helmet, because I know what head injuries do.
Some days, I wonder why I allow him to play hockey-when players’ heads get hit into turnbuckles, when vertebrae get broken. The last thing I want is a severely injured kid.
Then, I think about it. I realize that there are catastrophic injuries in every sport. You look at the kids in football who take one hit and fracture their necks. You look at basketball where an ACL injury is almost a badge of honor.
It’s one of those things that as long as my darling Shrimp plays sports, I’ll have to shove to the back of my head and know that the coaches are doing everything in their power to teach him how to be safe.
Now, can we just stop showing that awful hit?!
We’ve come to the end of another hockey season. I can’t believe we’re here! It only seems like yesterday we went gear shopping for our own gear. Hey-can you blame me for the loaner gear last year? I didn’t know that we’d be in this deep with hockey. I had secretly hoped we would-that Isaac wouldn’t wash out and he’d be as happy as a clam playing a team sport, but I wasn’t sure.
So, when last year, we made the decision to move him up to Mini Mites from Intro to Hockey, with the assurance of the coach he’d be FINE, we kept a spot in Intro just to make sure that he was covered on all bases.
Hey-you can never be too careful!
We ended up keeping him in Mini Mites. Two days a week seemed to fit well. As the season wore on, we were faced with the inevitable choice of keeping him in Mini Mites one more year or move him to Cross-Ice Mites for next season. It seems early, but you really have to think of these things. For us, it’s also a time thing. This year was two days a week and if we move Isaac, it would be 3 days a week-one day of drills and things (which is currently our 2nd day now) one day of skate (with the awesome Coach Randall-which is our first day now) and one game day (which we don’t have now.)
About a month ago, Isaac began to make these huge improvements, rather than these small tiny unnoticable ones that would make us keep him back in Mini Mites.
Now, we seriously have to think.
Do we move up, or do we stay put.
But, no matter what, it’s worth it to see this
No, we’re not submarine voyaging here…we’re playing HOCKEY!
Coming off the holiday means going back to Mini Mite hockey-2 days a week.
Saturdays are still spent with Coach Randall and his skating lessons and his chants that the kids repeat-“I’M A GREAT HOCKEY PLAYER!!”
Sundays, wellll, those are the days where all the hilarious stories come out of. The Sunday experience is drills, games and general organized mayhem.
Kids are shuttled from station to station in 5 minute increments and then play a scrimmage game at the end on the days where they do drills.
One of the most popular stations is the dive drill. There are several variations on this drill, but all involve the kids throwing themselves onto the ice at a relatively high rate of speed. The coaches usually run this drill in at least ONE of the stations, sometimes two.
Last week, the dive drill had two variations-the Glove and the SUBMARINE!!
First variation-The Glove.
Kids drop their sticks, skate around, chase style, skating away from the coaches who are throwing their gloves at them. If a kid gets hit with a glove, they have to dive and slide. I got some shots off, but I was in a really bad position, so they all stink. I’m not even going to try and post them. Just know that it involves adults throwing gloves at kids and the kids laughing as they dive onto the ice.
Then, there was SUBMARINE!
This drill involves the kids skating down the ice at a high rate of speed with their sticks, and when the coach yells “SUBMARINE!” the kids need to throw themselves on the ice and slide on their bellies. This induces laughter and giggles and “AGAIN!” from the kids. This drill is never a struggle for any of the coaches to do.
So, thankfully, one of the other parents had her AWESOME camera with her on Sunday. She started snapping picture, upon picture upon picture.
Note the smile under the face cage as he’s about to throw himself down onto the ice. Note the small boy in the front already on his tummy.
I think all of the kids, especially Isaac, live for the dive station. Between that and the jump station it makes their week.
My darling sister can’t make it into town for Christmas. Her husband’s mom is flying in from London, so she’s stuck at home. She mailed her gifts to us so that they would arrive on time to open for Christmas.
Here’s the thing. Isaac got to the mail before we did. The package containing his gift, addressed to him, was sitting on our porch when he ran up the stairs after coming off of the bus.
He grabbed the bag and we immediately took the insides out of it…and put it under the tree. We have talked about not touching presents…but what can you do?
So, over two days, I was constantly being “Candace” from Phineas and Ferb. I was busting him over and over and over again. He would jump a few feet and wander away.
I figured we weren’t safe, so I had asked my darling other half to take the present from my darling sister and hide it upstairs for a few days as soon as we got up in the morning.
Note the key word here. In the morning. It was 10:30 pm and we were both tired and I had been dealing with yet another server crash at work. I couldn’t think and that’s why I asked the other half.
I climbed the stairs to bed, delusionally confident that the present would survive the night.
Isaac is in the loft by my bedroom crashing around.
I say “what are you doing?!”
He says “playing hockey.”
Now, that’s not an uncommon response in my house. He does play Mini-Mite hockey. He does have a floor hockey set that my sister gave him last year. He wants to be a goalie. But his hockey aspirations have been talked about here ad nauseam, so I won’t go back into those.
It was the next thing that killed me.
He came flying into my dark bedroom yelling the following:
“LOOK! AUNT M and UNCLE M SENT ME A RYAN MILLER JERSEY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!”
Now, picture this-the sun has yet to rise. Shrimper is in his glow in the dark footie spaceship pajamas. He has a Reebok Ryan Miller Jersey on over said pajamas. He is playing floor hockey.
“you’re kidding, aren’t you? You opened that present?’
“Yep! But I didn’t open YOUR present from Aunt M.”
Yeah. I gave up at that point, because I had nothing. No response to that one.
Isaac trotted off happily to play more floor hockey with the wall before having to get ready for school.
Isaac has been back in the hockey groove for about 3-ish weeks now. We moved him out of Intro to Hockey into Mini-mites. With that, came an increase in time on the ice (2 days instead of 1) and one of those days is at Union, the local college that we’re affiliated with.
As it is, the mini mites are all thrilled to be on college ice. It’s big, it’s all sorts of seats (not just the bleachers), it’s warmer than our home rink and for the parents, there’s CELL PHONE RECEPTION in this one! There’s one other big draw-the kids get to walk the tunnel from the visitor’s locker room to the ice.
So, a typical Sunday at Mini Mites involves skill and drills. Lots of moving from station to station and even getting some instruction on the ice from coaches.
But today…well, the end of practice was anything but typical. We saw a few of the college players milling around in their Under Armor and that’s not a really common sight, but we’re at a college rink, with two VERY good teams (both men AND women!) and it’s to be expected. What wasn’t expected was what followed….
First the coach of the Men’s team came skating onto the ice-warm ups, whistle, stick and gloves…and began playing freeze tag with the kids. Then, a few of the players came out and began joining in the games and when the usual cross ice games began, the players joined in.
As the next few minutes wore on, more and more players came onto the ice, including the goalies. The fact that they were using mini-nets produced my favorite photo of all time. It’s a bit dark, but I call it “Big goalie in a little net.” (Sing it to the tune of the Chris Farley “Fat Man in a little coat” song.)
Then, Coach called them to gather up and paired off the college team with the kids. They not only got to shoot, but pass to a big guy.
Isaac decided he’d show off his “body stopping” skills…much to the giggle of the player he was working with.
Then, after a few minutes of one on ones, the coach called them to gather up again
and they did a all of the big guys passing (gently) to the little guys (and girls) and then the kids firing at the real goalies in the real nets! I know some pucks went in, but who knows which ones. All of the kids were celebrating with sticks in the air and laughing.
Then, after an extra 20 minutes, Coach Leaman gathered up all of the players, small and large and had the big guys give the kids a proper send off…
High fives from the entire team! For each kid! AND because they have their names on their helmets, they were congratulated by name. What a rush!
Thank you to the Dutchmen and Coach Leaman for a Dutch Treat that neither the kids or the parents are soon to forget!