Saturday, January 21, 2017

Biohazard vs 96ers

I had been playing well for Biohazard for a few weeks. Because of conflicting schedules though, I hadn't been seen the last couple of games. I was excited to get back out there. I started on a line with pretty much the best line mates I could ask for on the team.

In the first period, I seemed to be doing alright, winning a puck battle here and there, but I wasn't involved in the play much. Our defense was a bit more active, so I ended up covering on the blue line quite a bit. I also was the first man back quite a bit, which helped rush the opponents' passes.

All night I struggled on the break out. I tried changing where I should be, coming back a bit, going forward, but the puck would regularly go into a different direction. The times I did gain the puck, I didn't enter the zone the way I would have liked. I had an opportunity for a pass to my winger, but didn't have a strong enough hold on the puck to move it to him. I put a weak shot on net instead.

Most of the interesting things happened later in the game. I had made a great netural zone pass to a player who would carry the puck into the corner and lose possession. I had poke checked it back to my guy, and went to the net. He would fire a shot over my shoulder, and the goalie never saw it because of the screen and his defenseman standing in front of him.

As the game would go on, we were down and making a bit of a come back. I went in on a forecheck, but then tripped - on myself. I fell, the pass was still rushed. Before I could get up, the play was coming back into the offensive zone, and I was offside! I couldn't get back fast enough, which caused the puck carrier to skate across and didn't get a good scoring chance. Bad times.

In the third, I caught a pass in the defensive zone and felt my stick bend a little bit. I looked and it looked ok, So I kept playing. As I was bringing the puck up, I could feel it being unstable. I got to the blue line, dumped the puck into the opposite corner (was supposed to be a pass but ended up being a dump) and just went to the bench. Sure enough, broken stick.

We were down a man, and down by one goal at the end. Again, a defensemen pinched. I saw this, and went a little higher to help cover up high. But we needed the goal! The puck would squirt out, and up to me. At this point, I was exhausted, and needed a change. I took one stride in to see if anything would open but had nothing. I see the other defensmen wide open, knowing he'd have a better angle. I gave him a great pass, saw it slide right onto the tape of his stick. I turned and went for a change. I threw my skate over the board and heard, "Bad change! I looked, and there was a break away going against us." They would score, but I felt responsible for that.

We'd give up one more, but it was a whole lot of bad that night.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Piranhas vs. Vipers

My hips were tight and I didn't get as long of a nap as I wanted before the game. I knew it was going to be a difficult game as a result. I did my best to stretch as much as I could as long as I could before the game but it wasn't helping much. My back felt great though.

I had different line mates than I usually do, but that's expected when you have a short bench like the Piranhas have all year. I started off on center, and for a change, I was actually winning faceoffs. I had won a few the game before, and I was winning them cleanly and with control tonight. At the very worst, I was tying up the opponent and the puck would just sit there.

My line had a lot of speed, and it showed on the first shift. We had a couple of shots, but not great ones. We were in the offensive zone nearly the entire time we were on the ice for the first period. But eventually the short bench would come back and bite us. Wingers would go to low to help out tired defensemen and centers weren't getting low enough. 

There was a lot of board work, and it seemed this team was made of giants. They moved the puck well, lifted sticks, and made it difficult to move out there. I made some ok passes, but a few were too hard. Others were off the ice.

I really tried to focus on possession of the puck this game. The team had discussed a few things openly that we could change. I get a lot rushes because of my speed. I shoot, and have no one there for the rebound. I need to figure out something else to do with the puck because the shots are being seen clearly. I tried carrying the puck low and coming back up, gaining some time, drifting a little bit wider, and even driving to the net once. I didn't let that distract me from when I had the puck in a high scoring area, I was getting it to the net.

The Piranhas lost 3-1, with the empty net against. A close game, but still a loss.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Piranhas vs. Arsenal

I didn't get anything resembling a warm up. It was my own fault. I spent a lot of time at home stretching before coming to the rink.

The first few shifts of the game, my line did really well. We got the puck deep, and kept possession. I was playing with two players I normally never get to play with, and one was usually a d-man. I had a really good jump to my game early on. Our team would dump the puck in for a change, and their defense man would slowly go back to get it. I'd bet him to the puck and gain possession, but before I could get a handle, I'd stumble  and not much would happen. This continued, and it forced the goalie to make some bad decisions that lead to scoring chances. Early on, I noticed I was able to control a few faceoffs. In a draw in our own end, I was able to have my wingers line up in the slot, and I shot right as the puck was dropped.  The goalie was beatable.

At the end of the first we were down 4-1. In the second we really started to click. There was a good 90 seconds where our team was able to cycle the puck, and get scoring chances. It was exhausting for both sides. We were able to get a goal after I won a faceoff to the winger in the middle. He shot, I tapped at it to put it in but it got deflected somehow and went in from the rebound from my shot. The official gave me credit for the goal, but I think it was the winger. That same shift, he and I had a 2 on 2. I acted like I was going to pass to him, but used the defense man as a screen, and silently slid the puck through his legs, and the goalie barely saw it and it went in. Two goals in one shift. I'm really liking that play where I have the option to pass and I do the no look shot.

I had a battle in the corner in the offensive zone, where as I was falling to the ice, I saw a forward in blue right in front of the goalie. I made a very lucky pass and got it to him, but he fanned on the shot. I also had a couple of good passes to my defense man in the offensive zone, but not many solid outlet passes. Defensively, I didn't do much, but I didn't make mistakes. Overall, one of the better games I've played this season. The team played very well, but we lost 5-3. We didn't get enough quality shots in my opinion.