Sunday, October 02, 2011

Between The Pipes - Oct 02 2011

Today was the start of the 2011-2012 Sunday Ball Hockey season and my return to a winter of goaltending. I was looking forward to the start of hockey and actually got an early primer on Thursday night. Scheduled to play out I got the "call" late that day to play nets as the regular goalie was unable to make it.

I have made a change this season by picking up a newer pair of goalie pads over the winter. The Itechs are much lighter than my old leather Browns with a smaller side profile but much improved protection and strapping, including a thigh pad. I also picked up a goalie specific jersey which is way more comfortable with far less restriction and binding of my regular style jerseys.

In hinesite it was good to play goal on Thursday. It gave me an opportunity to test the new pads and make adjustments accordingly before todays match. I needed to punch some new holes in the straps to snug up the pads to my comfort which made a world of difference this afternoon.

Other than being muggy and hot I felt pretty good during the warmup and was seeing the ball well which was a good sign considering I was wearing contact lenses.Another change this season was my adoption of daily contacts. My previous contact lenses just did not work well in the gym (under the lighting)so I was wearing glasses and there was always an issue with sweating and comfort in the helmet. The dailys worked really well today - they are trial samples but I think I will go ahead with a purchase. No more lense fluids,containers and cleanings. Wear them then chuck them in the bin. Nice!

Surprisingly the pace was pretty good so early in the season so the first game(play to 10) was a back and forth affair that ended in a victory for my squad 10 -9. We were outplayed for most of the match as the opposing squad's forecheck and speed really put our defense under pressure but managed to ike out a victory.

The second match felt like we were defending a penalty even though we had a full complement of players on the floor.Down 3-0 early we rallied somehow despite being badly outplayed to make it close but ended up losing 10 -8.

With 20 minutes on the clock we started the rubber match and my squad got out to a fast start scoring 4 goals in the first 10 minutes. The heat was taking it's toll on me and I had finished the last of my water with about 12 minutes on the clock. At that point I was just hanging on trying to backstop a second victory. The opposing team rallied to score 4 goals but we added 3 as well for a 7 - 4 win as time expired.

It was a good day. The new pads and contacts were a success but I do need to work on my hydration.The loss of fluids from playing indoors wearing full ice hockey gear certainly challenged my hydration regimen and pre game prep. I was literally sweating bullets for two hours and, post game, looked as if I jumped in a lake, goalie gear and all.

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