I got into the locker room and noticed right away that everyone was fired up. I wasn't surprised. I cannot think of anyone who didn't know someone who was sitting watching the game. Summer time, early Sunday game, no rain, and a barbeque after the game will do that. I even had my sister and brother in law watching.
Right from the get go, everyone was skating hard. We scored 30 seconds into the game. My own first shift was a very good one for me. I had gotten a few good chances in the crease, and was able to outwork a couple of opponents along the boards. The entire night, everyone on our team was determined to help the team get the win. A couple of dumb mistakes would cause us to give up a few chances, but we kept playing. I was pleased with how I was playing. I was not panicking with the puck, I was making good choices.
I could have stayed on my point a little better, but not doing so did help us draw a penalty. As I was going below the dot, trying to tie up the skater's stick he would lift my stick and eventually grab it. Once he no longer had the puck, and I tried to get back up high but he grabbed my stick. Luckily the ref saw it and called the penalty.
The worst feeling though was when our d-man was bringing the puck up through the neutral zone and I just couldn't get out of his way. That was really frustrating to me. What's worse was that it directly caused a goal against. The team though kept playing extremely well. We'd go back and forth for a little bit.
I was able to read into the play a little bit and got myself set up for a nice breakaway. Unfortunately, their quickest skater was able to disrupt the shot before I could get it off. The fact that I was able to recognize that I had the opportunity to create that chance though made me very pleased. We'd then score a goal in close that would tie the game. I would try and keep up some speed through the neutral zone. I was able to catch the pass and have an odd man rush. I'd take my shot as hard as I could and it snuck past to give us another quick goal and the lead. I know I didn't get all of it, but I thought it had been a decent shot for me at least. Even if it wasn't, I'll take it. Sometimes the ones that should go in don't, and the ones that should go in do. Hopefully it evens out in the end.
Through the entire game we said just get shots. I try and do that every game. When I don't, I lose opportunities, and just get frustrated. I always try and put the puck into key areas. Being able to skate with the puck a few seconds more is making a huge difference for me.
The two quick goals our team scored brought a big boost to us, and really deflated the other team. While on the forecheck, I was able to break up a pass and my center was able to come down, pick up the puck and get a solid shot on goal.
We'd end up getting the winning goal with about 90 seconds left. It was an exciting finish. From my angle, the guy who would end up scoring the goal from about 7 feet from the net, took his time and was able to just put it past the goalie in an incredible display of patience. To see our bench get excited, as well as hear our family and friends cheer just added to the victory.