April 22, 2010
I decided this spring to try playing on a higher level hockey team. I've been playing for 5 years now, and have always been on the beginner/novice level teams, and am having great fun. I realized over the winter that I wouldn't continue to improve without doing two things. The first was practicing, so I addressed that by doing about half of the sessions at the Wells Hockey Clinic. The second was playing against better competition. The levels of play are designated by letter and number. The closer you get to A1 the higher the level of competition. I have been playing D2 and D1 level hockey my whole career. When I started with the Mutineers last summer, we played C3. The Mutts eventually got moved down to D1 becuase we weren't winning, and players weren't interested in getting better. Getting moved down to D1 is what sparked this interest in moving up for me. I met a lot of people over the winter while I was scorekeeping, one thing led to another, and I found a spot on the Unknowns, a C2 level team. I played my 1st game with them last week, and I was pleasantly suprised with my ability to keep up. I played my second game with them last night, and boy did I learn some things. The team we played last night was seriously fast, and seriously physical. I was telling my buddy Kevin today, that I felt like all my decisions were wrong. Things happen so much faster, I didn't have the time I expected to figure things out. It has been a long time since I've been outplayed like I was last night. The silver lining for me are several things:
1. I didn't do anything that led directly to a goal.
2. I was on the ice for more goals FOR us than AGAINST us.
3. My straight line speed is fast enough to be able to play at this level.
I'm sure I will be able to play at this level, but I'm going to have to put in some work to get my game to a level where I can contribute. I like this challenge, and I'm willing to put in the time to make myself better. I will make sure to keep you aprised on my progress.
Talk to you soon!