The Piranhas were short on defense. Knowing our position in the standings, and the need for help back there, I wanted to jump back and get some experience with them. There may be a day down the road when it is needed. My freshly sharpened skates felt absolutely amazing, and I could tell I had wheels that night.
As the puck dropped, I felt really strong. I had made a point to have good communication with everyone on the ice at all times. I felt it was working. I was able to move quickly up and down the ice without the puck, making myself a good option. I had enough speed to get back at times when I was burned. Unfortunately, I am still very green in my own zone. There was a pass from the corner to the guy in the high slot that I could have picked up but did not, and ended up screening the goalie. There was another play in the second where I had a 2 on 2, and did not pick up my man, and as a result, he received a pass and had half of the net.
It wasn't all bad though. My speed and recognition for the game came into play. I saw an official's arm go up in their zone signaling a penalty. I made sure I was as aggressive as I could be. I jumped in, and picked up a loose puck. I walked around one guy to get a clear shot of the net. As that was happening, I saw a speedy forward on my left side coming up. I passed around another defense men putting it on the tape of that winger who was able to put it top shelf. Not surprising, I play with that winger regularly. It was a beautiful play by both of us.
I did take a hooking penalty but I felt it was a little grey. I of course didn't argue, but had I known I was going to get a penalty for it, I would have made sure I earned it and hauled the skater down to disrupt the odd man rush. The Mastodons scored on the power play.
One play that I still can't get my head around is as I was trying to keep the puck in the zone, I saw it basically slide into my stick and go out of the zone. However - it must have been just inches off the ice because it made NO contact with my stick. The goalie came out to play it, and I told him to leave it, but he hesitated. He left it, but little to my knowledge, there was a skater with more momentum than me on my tail.
I kept my game simple, made a few ok passes, and just put the puck on the wall. I should carry it more though. I'm really going to need to work on my confidence carrying the puck if I want to improve my effectiveness as a defense men at any level.
The Piranhas would lose 4-2. I believe the game was lost because we were out worked, and our defense just did not click. It'll happen when your defensive core cannot make it. I'm neutral on how I played. I think the mistakes I did make were capitalized on, making it seem worse than it really was. I think the areas I did well were a lot of the same skill set that you'd have as a winger, so that isn't too shocking.