I had been looking for a second team for a very long time now. At this point in the year, I felt that joining the beginner league was my best bet. I hate joining teams mid-session, especially when they’re playing well. However, a few of the guys I’ve played with in the past has had issues with players showing up to games, and were losing nearly every game. I’ve seen their team, the Piranhas, play multiple times because I do know some of them, and they’d frequently get games right after the Immortals.
Last night was my first game with them and I was one of 9 skaters, meaning lots of ice time. Unfortunately, the game was against a team in the tier above us, and they were also losing badly this season, so little mercy was shown.
I felt incredibly nervous going into the game. The Piranhas are a tier higher than the Immortals, so I knew there would be some more experienced players. But at the same time, it was calming that they were a relaxed group, and didn’t put any pressure on me. I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario for a first game. I broke another skate lock for multiple reasons. One being I tied my skates way too tight, and I really felt it in my first few shifts. I fell flat on my face 5 seconds into the game with no one around me.
I felt the first period I played average. I was a little nervous but I kept to the basics of my game, and just skated hard. I had a few plays where I had a hard time getting the puck out. I iced the puck once in a panic, which was par for that first period. I was too busy slapping the puck around instead of controlling it. The whole team was like that in the first.
In the second, after I calmed down, got my legs under me, I played a lot better. I was controlling the puck, I was making passes and getting attempts. I was able to use some explosiveness to get around the d-men a few times, but had a hard time staying in front of him as they were faster than me. Because we only had three d-men, one winger would come down lower than normal, leaving the other to cover both d-men. I actually liked that. I found it rather easy to shift back and forth, and the other forwards would recognize what was happening.
Going into the third, I was tired and out of it. When I don’t play multiple times a week, staying in playing shape is more difficult. But it was more of the same that was in the second. I tried to win some board battles and just keep playing through the game as if the score was tied.
In the end, I really couldn’t be more pleased. The team has a good attitude, takes the game serious enough to win, but not serious enough to make it “work”. I hope I get to play more games with the Piranhas, and build some confidence with them.