It was time for the Phantom 3 Studio Ice. I missed last week, but was excited about this week. My back was really sore going into the night, so I was concerned about it. It has been bothering me on and off for a while.
The rink was like a pond when I the zamboni got off. Luckily the group was smart and waited for it to freeze. As a result, the ice was great. I made a change to my stick. Typically, I do a spiral tape grip down to about half way down the stick. That is where I would grip with my bottom hand. Unfortunately, that isn't what you're supposed to do (from what I'm told. I grip the stick way too low, and as a result I don't have a lot of ability to stick handle. I gripped the stick a lot higher, and then taped down to that part.
I felt it really helped me. It definitely made my shot a lot harder, but less accurate. I felt that I was able to stick handle faster, but it'd take a some time to get used to. It also enabled me to bend my knees a lot more, which helped my skating so much, which is again something I'm trying to do more. I felt that I was able to skate a lot faster, stop easier, and make tighter turns.
When I play defense against an individual player I take away their options. I keep my top hand on my stick to take away their passing lane. If I can, I try to knock the puck off their stick. I need to use two hands more so that I can lift the stick, and then take control of the puck rather than just whacking it away. I do a great job of keeping up though because I do deflect a lot of passes with my stick, and skates.
For highlights, I had one great play where I picked up the puck off the boards, went around a stronger skater than me, cut to the middle and had a good scoring chance. I was very happy that I got around him as he knocked the puck off my stick all night. It looked like I knew what I was doing!