I went into this Goaldiggers playoff game a little unsure of How I'd play. I haven't played much in the past month for some personal reasons, but was still excited to be there. We were playing against a team that I know we were better, so I expected to win.
I read back on some of my posts and noticed when I come back from not playing for a while that I get soft. I become paranoid of getting hurt, and once I make some contact, I play better. With it being a playoff game, I'd have to step it up a little bit. My second shift, I put a guy into the boards as hard as I could, which still wasn't enough to get a penalty. We battled for the puck for a good 5 seconds before it got loose and I got hit in the face with an elbow. I was wearing my cage, but it was enough of a jolt for me to bite my cheek and draw blood.
In the second period, behind their net, I lost a puck battle along the boards against two opponents. Still skating, one of their players tripped over my stick which was down the whole time anyway, and cried about not getting a call for a little bit. The defensemen kept the puck in and then I gave the player that tripped over my stick a small jab in the skates, trying to make him a little paranoid or maybe even bait him into taking a penalty. He knew what I was doing, gave me a small shove and then I skated off as I saw the ref closely watching us.
In the third, we had a three on two down the ice, the puck came over to me. I settled it down, and just fired it short side as hard as I could about 10 feet away from the net. Just as I got the shot off, A defensemen attempting to block it came sliding by and tripped me and I went flying. As I was falling, I saw it hit the goalie. I hit the ice, hear the whistle, and get up. The other team is crying about the penalty, but then I noticed everyone was going to center ice. I didn't realize the puck had gone in. So that's a good note for tonight.
We then tied it at 3. I spent my time fore checking very hard putting a lot of pressure on players. I noticed there were a handful I was faster than, but not fast enough to get around them and their protecting of the puck.
At the end of the third, tied, we were in their zone. The d-man got the puck and tried to skate down low with the puck. A bigger guy, I tried to get in his way, and knock the puck off his stick. Somehow he got around me and my arm and his stick got tangled up. He kept yanking on it and nearly tore my arm off. I let him go to avoid a penalty, and he walked into the slot and scored what would be the game winner.
I felt I played poorly because of conditioning, and rust. I played hard and Am sore all over. I felt I would have done a lot better tonight had I been working on my balance and strength. It wouldn't feel as bad as it does though if my guy didn't score the game winner. It is really starting to eat at me.