After starting the season with some losses and poor play, T’s team has gone 4-0-1 in their last five games to finish the season (including today’s “playoff” game) with 11 points and leading the four team league.  So they go into next weekend’s championship game with home-ice advantage – of course, all four teams play on the same ice all the time, so the other guys have that too, but it’s all good.

He’ll actually have no break between seasons this time as the Spring season starts April 5th – so he’ll play his championship game, then go the next weekend for his draft skate into the next season.  This has two downsides: A) I won’t be able to get him extra ice time between seasons like I did in December/January, and 2) I had to come up with $370 rather unexpectedly today. 

Both of these things suck.

But on to more fun and interesting things:

Period 1 – Shift 1

T was bragging before the game about how he was going to put forth more effort than he ever had before out there today … and he actually did.  He had a good first shift, worked hard, positioned himself well … at one point, he was really well-positioned in the neutral zone and one of his teammates actually passed the puck to him.  He missed it, but it was still a deliberate pass to T and not just a dump out of the defensive zone. 

Period 1 – Shift 2

Again in the defensive zone, the left-wing passed to him.  He was able to stop this one, but wasn’t quick enough about doing something with it and the other team took the puck.

Puck handling is something he needs to work on, as he skated hard to get to the puck later in this shift, but couldn’t keep it or pass it quickly enough.  Another turnover.

Since most of these kids can’t jump over the boards yet, T needs to learn to give way to the players coming onto the ice during a line-change – bit of a muddle as he was coming off and blocked his replacement at the door.

Period 2 – Shift 1

Offensive zone along the boards, he’s able to get his body in front of a defender and keep him away from the puck. 

Later in the defensive zone, there’re three of the other team in the high slot with the puck … T skates right through the center without doing a thing.  The words: “What the fuck are you doing?!” were almost yelled.

imagePeriod 2 – Shift 2

I have no words for this shift.  He was simply awesome. 

Face-off in the defensive zone, puck goes behind the net to the other side and the opposing team comes out with it … T’s there and puts a body on the kid to take him off the puck and into the boards.  Puck’s loose because of him.

Other team gets the puck back and to the high slot … T’s coming across the center as fast as he can, stick on the ice and outstretched to block anything that comes.

Player’s hanging around the net looking to cherry-pick … T’s there and all over him like a latex bodysuit … okay, unfortunate metaphor, but you get the idea.  A little shoving and this kid can’t concentrate on where the puck is to do any good.

Other team gets the puck to the point and try to skate it into the slot … T comes out of nowhere and leans into the puck carrier.  They both go down and the puck’s loose.

And something else he did that I actually can’t remember because there was so much. 

And, to top it off, after all that mucking about on defense, his team got the puck on a breakaway and scored.

I think I can honestly say that without T’s work in the defensive zone that wouldn’t have happened and, in fact, the other team might have scored.  That he contributed so much on a shift with a goal is awesome … that it happened to be the game-winning goal is icing (not the bad kind of icing).

Period 2 – Shift 3

Puck carrier crosses the blue-line and T’s on him, turning tight with him and really stretching to reach the puck … who the hell is this kid and what did he do with my son?

Period 3 – Shift 1

Still working hard, still aggressive. Came up on the puck-carrier and took the ice away from him.  Puck’s loose.

And then, he’s behind and to one side of his own goal … teammate behind the goal, teammate toward the boards.  He gets the puck and makes the best pass I’ve ever seen from him … right on the tape … of the opposing player in front of his net …

imageOh, well.  Not the end of the world, but I keep telling him: “It takes a lot of atta-boys to make up for one oh-shit.”

Period 3 – Shift 2

Still aggressive and skating hard all the time.  I’m really proud of him.

Then #7 on the other team gets the puck at the blue-line and he’s nearby.  He seems to hesitate … he doesn’t go after her.

Yes, her.  #7 is a girl (hockey-chicks are so cool) and I think it’s the girl who played on his team last season.  I think he gave her a pass because he likes her.  Got to talk to him about that … I don’t care if it’s his girlfriend out there, he needs to stand her up.