Three on three sessions are always fun for me. The closer the skill level is to me, the more fun I have. I like playing in the Phantom Pond Hockey Skates, but those guys are so much better than me, that it can be frustrating. The day after Thanksgiving and nearly every player was in a division that I'm in - I had a good feeling.
At these skates, I really like to play defense. Typically two guys go up, and one stays back. It makes a nice triangle, and I like to give support to the goalies. When you're playing back, you always have a solid angle at the goalie, and both of your players. Distributing the puck, carrying it in is so much easier from that area of the ice. I did this a ton tonight, but I rarely ever took it in.
I didn't do as well as I would have liked. I later learned that one player had a mission to not let me score whenever he was on the ice. I thought that was rather humorous. I didn't mind, I appreciate the challenge. I did have a lot of good battles with players along the walls. I took one smear along the boards, but got my shot off, and it did go in. Another time, I was able to pin one player's stick against the boards with mine, and used my foot to kick the puck to my side, then turn and control it. I did very well battling for loose pucks all night. I also made a handful of great passes to my center, who did extremely well. Whenever I play with this specific player, we have amazing chemistry. Despite playing on the same team together, we don't see the ice with each other very often.
Towards the end, I started having problems moving the puck. I'd make a pass or try and shoot, and I'd whiff. Yet I see a huge thing of snow go way up in the air. The Ice was just so cut up that it was difficult for me to put a soft touch on the puck. Others were doing the same thing.
Once everyone was done, I stayed on the ice. One of the guys brought his six year old out, and he skated for a while. He got much better since I last saw him. I passed him the puck a few times, played defense on him a couple of times - just fun stuff. When I was done with this I wanted to focus on my skating. I did laps as hard as I could, forcing me to turn. I did fairly well I felt. The ice at this point was rough. I lost an edge in a corner, fell and was shocked that the ice was so cut up and filled with snow that I didn't slide. It was then I knew I was done.
We rented the ice for 90 minutes, yet we didn't give it up for two hours. Ultimately, I think every player and goalie had a blast on the ice today. That is what is most important to me. All of these guys knew each other, were very relaxed, and had fun with their friends - something we're all supposed to spend to do during the holidays.