Archive for December 2013

Happy Noob Year!

Happy Noob Year!
Happy New Year to our readers, family, friends and teammates. Can’t see the animation above? Click here to view it. Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time. Email:

Jersey Accomplished!

Jersey Accomplished!
So my bosses at Chicago Now — which this blog is proudly a part of — challenged us to write about something we learned or experienced today. I’m a college professor who stayed home and did final grades today (’tis the season). Work, work, work. No hockey, not even a public skate. So, I really... Read more »

Photo Essay: 5 Things I Learned from Game 1 at Johnny’s Ice House West

Photo Essay: 5 Things I Learned from Game 1 at Johnny’s Ice House West
Last Saturday morning was our first game in the Hockey 101 class at Johnny’s Ice House West. Sal brought the camera along and got a lot of shots. Just as I learned a lot from seeing the still images from the photos I took during the Chicago Blackhawks “Red-White” game, I learned more specific things about... Read more »
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First game, first goal, first penalty in a new "noob" league

First game, first goal, first penalty in a new "noob" league
I played my first game in a brand-new hockey league for beginners last Saturday. It was the most fun I’ve had on the ice all year. The Heartland Novice Hockey League is exactly what “hockey noobs” in and near Chicago were hoping for: a league by beginners and for beginners like me. Participants were carefully... Read more »

Game 10: A last-minute win

Game 10: A last-minute win
There was a lot on the line for our tenth and final regular season game in Franklin Park’s Original Six recreational hockey league. This game was against Detroit, a team we tied but could not beat in our second game of the season. If we won this game, we would clinch second place. This would... Read more »

Photo Essay: Women's Ice Hockey and Professional Ice Hockey 1900 - 1940

Photo Essay: Women's Ice Hockey and Professional Ice Hockey 1900 - 1940
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Game 9: Not bad for a noob

Game 9: Not bad for a noob
After a two week break, my Toronto team returned to the ice to play against the Ottawa team. It was a “Battle of Alberta,” but held in the Chicago suburb of Franklin Park and watched by almost no one. A few of my friends came to heckle me cheer me on, though, which was awesome.... Read more »

Game 8: Hitting my stride

Game 8: Hitting my stride
My team’s eighth game of the season in the Franklin Park Original Six League felt really good for this beginning hockey player. Perhaps for the first time, I thought that I could be an actual part of the game — not just a guy who “tries to keep up,” or “not embarrass himself” or “lucks... Read more »

Review: Johnny's Ice House Hockey 101 class ★★★★★

Review: Johnny's Ice House Hockey 101 class ★★★★★
This summer, I took the Hockey 101 lessons at Johnny’s Ice House, a hockey rink located in Chicago. The class was more fun than a Patrick Kane hat trick, and I learned a lot.  But most importantly, this class was intended for absolute beginners, so I fit right in. Here is my review of the... Read more »
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Game 7: Nothing to See Here

Game 7: Nothing to See Here
My first season as a player in the Franklin Park “Original Six” League is winding down. I was initially resistant to joining a league less than three months into my hockey odyssey. I mean, who in their right mind would want to play in real games after less than 20 hockey lessons? Now, I am... Read more »