D League Chronicles: What I've Learned in 2 Games

I started playing in my first hockey league about 3 weeks ago. I was slated to play on a team of free agents and I was hoping to play defense. As it turned out, I’m playing on a team that’s been around for a couple years and I’m playing as a winger. There’s a core group of about 5-6 players, but the rest of us are new to the team. There’s only 1 other player who is new to the sport besides me. It’s an interesting group to say the least.

Game 1

We should’ve worn “Hello, My Name Is” stickers for the first game. I didn’t meet most of my teammates until the game started. It was a fun atmosphere to make new friends as we won 5-2. Mostly thanks to a hat trick by one of our substitute players and to our goalie (I think his name is Brian) standing on his head multiple times. I had no shots on goal, no assists and I wasn’t on the ice for any goals, for or against, so I’ll take that as a small victory for my first game.

Things I learned after Game 1:

  • I CAN SKATE! No really, I was concerned if I could keep up and stay up. I realized after the game that I never really gave much thought into what my feet were doing. I was very relieved.
  • I need to focus more on offense. Our defensemen gave up way too many odd man rushes, but my job as a forward is to get pucks to the net, so I need to focus on that first.
  • Line changes are easier than I thought. We just go out in rotation.
  • I need to work more on my stickhandling.

Game 2

We lost game 2 with a score of 4-8 on Mother’s Day. To make matters even worse, our goalie brought his mom to watch the game. I felt bad for him. On the positive side, my line scored 3 of our goals and I got my first assist! Well at least I think I did. The stats aren’t up online yet to my dismay. I still haven’t registered a shot on goal.

Things I learned after Game 2:

  • Being a forward and all, I should really shoot the puck at some point.
  • In order to shoot the puck, I need to put myself in a position to score.
  • I’m getting more confidence with the puck.
  • I need to work more on my stickhandling.

Regardless of how well I play or how well the team plays, I’ve learned one VERY important thing. I flat-out LOVE hockey! This game rocks.

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