My sixth game in Franklin Park Ice Arena’s Original Six League was frustrating. We won the game 8-4, so my teammates and I were happy. But this was my toughest game as a defenseman. Mind you, I’ve only played the position in three games, so I still have tons to learn. Many times, I found myself flat-footed and confused by the fast offensive players on the opposing team.
Statistically, I only did OK because I was on the ice at the right time. Three goals were scored during my shifts, though I had absolutely nothing to do with the scoring. In fact, one goal was scored as soon as I hopped over the boards!
But I was also responsible for two goals against us:
- One goal against us resulted because I was caught-flat footed. An opponent with the puck entered our zone and cut across the ice onto “my side,” with my defense partner in pursuit. I was unsure if I should stay in front of the net (which I did) or move to the right side and try to cover the other winger. All this happened in a blink, as the player with the puck found the open man who scored against us. Lesson learned: …I’m not sure 🙁
- Later that game, an opponent got behind me and I couldn’t catch up, resulting in an uncontested shot on net. The puck hit our goalie in the head and went in. Man, our goalie was pissed! Lesson learned: watch out for cherry-pickers (that is, players who will sneak behind you and wait for a breakaway pass).
This game constantly challenged me. I had to try and find ways to shut down faster, more skilled players. One guy in particular — who was big and agile — was an absolute menace. Sometimes, all I could really do was just get in their way to slow them down. In the end, we won, so I guess that’s all that matters.
Sal’s Stats: Game 6
Shots on Goal: 1
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Filed under: Hockey Games