Last game, I lost my temper. I wasn’t happy with how I was playing, I wasn’t happy with our team work, or how our team was playing. For a game that really has no meaning (I’m never going to play at a high level, so who cares), I took it way to seriously. Earlier in the day before this game, I was reminded of that. I didn’t think about the game at all during the day. In fact, I gave serious consideration to skipping it.
I went, and I’m glad I did. Playing helped relieve stress that I had acquired since the last game. I was thinking about how I can mess with the other team rather than all of the bad things that happened throughout the day.
The Grizzlies had some big guys and good skaters. They also had some weaker skaters who were more like pylons, and did a lot of stick work. In the first period, I gained the puck in the neutral zone. As I was skating through the neutral zone, I felt one of their sticks in between my legs. As it was bouncing around, I felt that was an opportunity to either get his stick out of his hands, or draw a penalty. I made a hard left turn and pumped my legs to move forward as fast as I can and get the stick out of his hands. I couldn't keep my balance, but I drew the penalty. In second period, after a battle down low, with the puck in the neutral zone, they tripped me. I felt that was a weak call, but we’ll take it.
I had chased down the puck several times into the corner, but kept getting out muscled, and not getting control of the puck. At one point, I did gain control and had plenty of time to look and make a pass. I looked at my team mates, and didn’t see any options. I didn’t want to create an oddman rush going the other way so the pass to a d-man was out. I made a quick pass right into the crease, hoping that my center would pick it up and get a rebound, but it didn’t work out.
I had a couple of good forechecks where I was able to disrupt a pass, and put a lot of pressure on players. Once or twice, I was a bit too patient and didn’t get the puck out of our own zone, but it was better than just a blind pass.
In the third, we were up and wanted to make sure we put pressure on the other team. The rink was wide open, and that allowed me to put a lot of pressure on the d-men. It really caused them to make poor decisions. Bad passes were made, I was able to deflect a pass near the net. In the neutral zone, I was able to pick off a pass and I had a breakaway from the red line in. I could feel the players behind me, and I was more focused on them than the goalie. I was focused on moving forward as fast as I could, and I was lightning down the ice. I think a lot of the Piranhas didn’t know I had that speed. But 10 feet in, I realized I wasn’t going to get tripped like I thought I would, so I had to do what I had to. The goalie was all over, and shaky. His legs were wide, so I just gave a tap forward to go through the 5-hole, and he was able to get his stick on it and knock it away.
I needed this game. I played well, and with the last game as well as things away from the ice, It really helped me stay positive. I’m glad that the Piranhas got a victory. We deserved a lot more than what we got last game, and deserved this victory as well.