Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hockey Madness

Sarah, Shelley, Chris, Jeff, and I just got out of our first hockey game. As spectators? Oh no, my friend, as hockey players. That's right--we don't play for Ohio State, but we do play at Ohio State. It was really cool. More updates on this later. Out next game is next week - Maybe i can get some pictures.

[next day update]
OSU offers hockey at three 4 levels: A, B, C, D, D being the least skilled, and A being the most skilled. Since we have no skills, the best place for us is D. Are we playing D-League hockey? No...The day of signups, we were too late and all the D-league teams filled up. Feeling invincible as college students sometimes feel, we built of our courage and signed the C league sheet. What the hell were we thinking? Only one of us has ever played before--we can hardly skate.

So we 'practice' for the first game by attending a couple open skates and we feel less-confident when we realize that, yes, we can't skate, have never handled a puck before, and are on a team with 15 other people whom we also don't know.

So Wednesday night comes along...our game is at 12:15 am. We start to meet some people on our team, assuming that people wearing our color must be from the same team. This assumption seems to hold and I learn that there are at least three club-hockey players on our team. Holy shit. "We are so screwed," I tell the first one, which invites a confused glare. Moving on, we enter the ice and warm up a bit. This is our first time with pucks and sticks. This illicits several additional glares from our new teammates as they come to a now common realization that we have no idea what we are doing. I fall several times trying to take slapshots while the club players fly around me with such speeds the ice catches fire. I quickly fall on the flames to extinguish them.

We clear the ice and our five starters choose themselves (phew.). We make lines for offense and defense. Most of us go to defense because that happens to be where we were already standing. A D-man comes off and I jump on. Six on the ice. Dammit, I jump off before we get hit with a penalty. 4 minutes into the game I replace a D-man before a faceoff. I promptly fall on my ass trying to stop in front of the puck. It is hilarious. I fall again trying to get up. The puck as already been swept away and chase after after it. I make a few hits at the puck, clearing it some times and completely missing it others. This continues for about 2 minutes before my line changes.

This process continues for 2 periods--I feel that I'm improving but with the fatigue, who knows. The 3rd period starts with us down 3-2. I make a cool steal and am feeling like hot-stuff at the exact moment that I skate over the puck I've just stolen and fall trying to turn around to get it. I'm beyond the ability to be embarassed, folks.

Then, my crowning moment...4 minutes left in the 3rd. we're down 5-3 with no chance of making up he difference. This is no-contact but we're starting to skate with a little less-avoidance of those in front of us. I'm on defense and someones coming at me. I make a lucky block and the goalie says something like "about damn time". I fly around behind my goal while the opponents offensive man does the same. It gets pretty crowded back there and I see my opportunity. I conveniently place my skate in front of the offender and he conveniently falls over it. It's awesome. I've committed my first minor-penalty worthy action. But since I'm so sly, there is no penalty. Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure this is quickly followed by another goal for them, making it 6-3 and probably me falling on my ass trying to get off the ice.

It's the little victories.