" Ooooo...to join the rush. As the season builds...you won't die of a thousand fakes or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes...."
Last Sunday my 2010/2011 pickup ball hockey began with a less than stellar start. No big surprise as I had a summer of rust to shake off and will need to get in some playing time to start seeing the ball better and getting my angles down. Dropped both matches for a 0-2 start. Today was another story as I noticed a difference immediately and managed to snag 3 wins despite facing the "Shaun" factor. He is an amazing player with excellent court vision, ball sense and a deadly accurate shot. I always know I'm gonna have a workout when he is drafted on the opposing team.(Note - the goalies draft our teams each week from a pool of attending players. Games are played to 10 hence we can manage 2-3 games per two hour session)
Fitness is not an issue thanks to a summer of competitive cycling and after two weeks the body is responding well to the rigors of the game. We play in a highschool size gym with regulation ice hockey sized nets. As a result the goalies are constantly engaged as the flow of the game is fast on such a small surface.Not much "recovery" time for the netminders as the transitions from offense to defense are constantly shifting.Since we use the orange Mylec balls(hard) and slapshots are allowed goalies wear ice hockey gear so hydration is key as you literally sweat bullets in the indoor gym.
It's nice being the shooter and not the backstop. It's working out well....I get to enjoy both aspects of the game and it keeps both positions fresh.I'm a decent second line defenseman and I aspire to be a third line grinding forward as it is taking some time for the ball handling skills to return after a decade away. The one thing I can offer is good fitness so I get out there and forecheck and stand in the slot being a nuisance.In terms of goaltending I need to work on my rebounds. Somehow I need to develop "velcro" skills to cut down on second and third scoring chances in the slot. Work in progress.