Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nectar of Victory

Yeah, the title is a Northeastern football reference. Expect those to seriously date my writing as I graduate and incoming freshmen attend a college devoid of a football program.

I had my first, and likely last, victory as an ice hockey goalie at Northeastern last night, beating Eishunde 8-5. Of course, the fifth of those five goals came off the stick of Jeff, so it's unlikely that I ever hear the end of it.

Certainly not my best game, but not my worst, either. I had a clean first period but only saw maybe 4 or 5 shots, mostly from bad angles or from relatively far away. The only save worth writing home about was a blocker save that only kinda hit my blocker and mostly hit my arm in a place with surprisingly minimal padding. We scored thrice in the period, courtesy of the Noble Trifecta of good shooting, porous defense, and mediocre goaltending.

The second moved me to the away side net, a net which always seems to give me trouble. I don't know if it's mental, if I'm a little tired in the second, or if it's all the engative karma and "sieve!" chants directed to that side of the ice, but I never play well over there. Regardless, I let in a terrible five-hole goal, but I'm blaming my pads*. Modern pads explicitly designed for modern goalies don't have any gap between the top of the pads and the ice surface when down on the ice. My pads, however, are vintage 1997, and have an irritating and unfortunate puck-sized hole right where they should be stopping pucks, so if my stick ends up out of position, I'm screwed. In other words, if I play a puck perfectly, but don't have my stick down as I drop, the shot turns into a goal. It's aggravating, and why I'm replacing those pads once I leave Boston.

I think I gave up three in the second, but we scored three, so no harm, no foul. Plus, I made my first legitimate glove save of the semester, so that was nice.

The third started with the clock stopped for probably 90 seconds, during which I grew increasingly frustrated. A 3 goal lead isn't really enough for me, and giving a team with a huge bench that much extra time leads to scoring chances. Regardless, I would only give up 2 that period while we scored a pair of our own, so the team earned its first W, moving to 1-8-0 over the last two semesters. Progress.

I had an opportunity to play the puck with some degree of success, although I imagine the opposing forward would argue I was more of a hindrance than a real threat. After shoving the puck down the boards, I got back in net just in time to make a mask save off my forehead. Immediately after that, one of our forwards took the puck all the way up ice only to get hooked and sent shoulder first into the net. I was pretty sure he was dead, but he got up and played the last 1:29, scoring a goal on the ensuing power play. Hockey players are weirdly tough.

I've got one game left, two games of broomball, and five games of floor hockey.

*I have yet to catalog all my equipment here, but it'll happen. Goalies are vain.

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