At the start of the season, I questioned if I would be able to handle a second team in addition to the Piranhas. I joined the Moose with the knowledge that I have already played with a few of those players. If I had to take time away for a bit, I knew they would understand. I also knew I needed to be on the ice a lot this summer to have something to look forward to.
I started off the season thinking, “Man, this is going to continue how I left off last season…” playing well. The moose to me looked completely dominant, and the Piranhas were solid. I scored an important and pretty goal for the Piranhas against the Aces that would draw some attention from quite a few players on both sides. By flipping it gently over the goalies leg pad and having it come down in the goal but without hitting the back of the net.
I would then miss a long string of Moose games because of injuries, personal problems, and one even because of the weather. I stopped my training, my diet was poor, and I generally just stopped taking care of myself. I would make it worse two days before with the Piranhas, and then not be ready for The Moose. It was not a good pattern. I hit that skid, and just did my best to not be a liability on the ice. Normally in a scenario such as this, I would force myself to be disciplined and get back on the right track, but instead, I gave myself a break.
My typical fire and jump in my step would come and go for about a month, then would come back. I rejoined the Moose. I had a two goal game against the Shooters, where one I was skating full speed, batted the puck out of the air and into the goal, without hitting the back of the net, and another no look, fast shot along the ice that the goalie never saw coming because I used his own defensemen as a screen. I’d have another goal against the Shooters where I walk from the corner, through three of their skaters, across the slot, and then score that I will never forget. I was feeling really positive about my play, despite not being in my best physical condition. I started playing with confidence – carrying the puck into the slot, successfully performing moves that that I had only tried in practices. But I hit a small slump the last few games, playing with hands of stone, and still not being conditioned as well as I’d like.
Aside from a few highlight worthy goals, this summer regular season didn’t do much for me. The Moose would finish first in their division, and the Piranhas would finish second in their division. Both teams have an excellent shot at their championships. But for the playoffs, I’m going to focus more on mental preparation than physical. I don’t think the conditioning will improve enough to make a difference, but if I have my focus, I can be a difference maker.