Tonight made me appreciate matching jerseys. Typically the Goaldiggers wear blue, but tonight, our opponents had blue, and we switched to nearly every color of the rainbow. Very frustrating to me, but no big deal.
The team we were playing against were a little bit lower than Piranha level, meaning they really had no chance. The problem is, the Goaldiggers saw that they were by far more talented, and played down to their level. We got lazy, made bad passes and bad choices. As the game went on, we did get smarter, but still made stupid mistakes.
The team decided to use this team as a way to get in shape and practice smart decisions after the first period. The team never practices together, or has really strategy talk, so this was a good practice for us.
I tried to get back to skating like I used to, where I would fore check as hard as I could. It had mixed results. One play I broke up their pass, another resulted in a great stretch pass, but one resulted in some contact. I had gotten off balance some how, and ended up just kind of tripping over the defensemen after he made a pass. I didn't fall but I stretched my neck out pretty good on his body, and it is still sore 36 hours later. I also focused on staying on the point better and not going down so low in my own zone.
At one point in the second period, I was a part of a good cycle. Five or six times we were able to pass the puck along the boards, into the slot and generate some type of chance. I was set up in the corner. We tried to get that going again, just as a practice, but for whatever reason, it didn't happen.
The game reminded me of what it is like to play against less experienced players. I have to play more cautiously for my own safety. Players having less experience make strange choices, and can ultimately lead to injury. A prime example happened in the third. I had picked up the puck at the top of the circle. I went in slowly to try and look for a spot to pass to. I heard the defensemen say that someone was coming, and made my choice right then. As I was releasing the shot, my stick wasn't lifted, I wasn't bumped, or anything I was expecting. No, instead I was tripped from behind as the skater slid on the ice and took out my legs. I assume he was back checking hard, tried to stop and tripped. Not a dirty play, but something you have to be alert for. Playing on the Coyotes, this is something I will have to keep in mind.
I had one assist on a goal off of a face off, and a few shots. The Goaldiggers one 10-3 or 11-3, something like that. We could have easily run up the score, but we were more or less playing keep away at specific times in the game.