My Return to the Ice – Back Yard Hockey 2011

This weekend I did something that I hadn’t done in years. I was excited. I was nervous. I was hyped. It felt just like it did when I was a kid.

Saturday afternoon I strapped on a pair of skates and hit the ice on the pond at my parent’s place for the first time in at least 5 years. It was awesome.

When I got the house 2 of my brothers (seen in the picture) had already been working on the rink since the night before. They did a great job. The picture doesn’t show the full length of the shoveled ice. I would say that I was about 25 feet in from the edge when I snapped that with my BlackBerry. The ice was smooth with the exception of that white patch in the middle. And it was as ready for blades as I had ever seen it.

Before we hit the ice though we realized that we were in need to sticks since the ones from our childhood seemed to have disappeared into the abyss. There was also the issue of dull blades since it had been a long time since anyone slid their feet into the boots of the skates in the basement. Luckily, mom was all about this party (the fam was on the way) and handed us some cash to go and get new sticks and pucks and get blades sharpened.

When we got to the store we dropped our skates off with the dude and went looking for sticks. We grabbed 3 righties and 2 lefties – scored a roll of red and a roll of black tape, picked up 2 pucks and decided that we were all set. When we cashed out for $91.37 it was an overwhelming win and almost felt like that Ikea commercial where the woman runs out of the store screaming at her dude to start the car.

Back at the house my aunt and her girls were already on the ice in their figure skates and the boys and I hit the basement to tape sticks and get ready. We carried all of the sticks up the hill to the pond and traded boots for skates before stepping onto the sweetness of the rink. As I was tying my skates all I could think to myself was “don’t fall in front of these kids” – it would have been uber-embarrassing. Turns out it was a lot like riding a bike though as I stepped out, took a few tentative strides and then was off to the races. I didn’t pick up a stick for the first few minutes. I just skated some laps and got a feel for my blades and feet. It felt really, really good.

After playing around for a few minutes more family showed up and it was only a matter of time before a game broke out. My uncle, cousin and cousin’s girlfriend all hopped onto the ice and the 6 of us passed the pucks around and made jokes and acted like a family. And then the challenge was made. And I think it was my bad idea. As a group we decided that we’d play some shinny but didn’t know who was going to be on teams… that is until I said that we could play house vs. house.

Here’s the thing about that idea – my uncle plays men’s league hockey twice a week and is strong on his skates and on the puck and my cousin’s girlfriend played NCAA hockey at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. As a group I think my brothers and I may have had full hockey equipment on 3 times, at the most.

Anyway, we put a saw horse and a bench out for nets, agreed to keep the puck on the ice and keep the slashing to a minimum and went to work.

The score was 7-0 (for them) before we finally got a goal and I hate to say it, but it took us boys a long time to get things together. Near the end of the game we looked somewhat decent. Our passes were closer to stick to stick. Our shots were a little straighter and our skating was a little more fluid.

There were a few moments where we were ready to throw in the towel. Particularly when we were getting circles skated around us. But we kept on fighting. We just didn’t look that good doing it.

In the end it was a combination of poor cardiovascular endurance and darkness that ended the game. We have lights to turn on for night skating, maybe we’ll turn them on next time.

It is very safe to say that the home team was beaten on our own ice. But looking back there was no shame in it. I mean, we look like the Bad News Bears out there. I’m just happy the only times I hit the ice were on purpose. (I went down on a knee to block a shot – not smart – took it off the ankle).

The best part about all of it though was getting back on the skates. I can’t wait to get back out there again and we’re already planning an open invite day to the house for as much skating as you can handle.

Stay tuned for the recap from that adventure. It will be awesome!

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My Return to the Ice – Back Yard Hockey 2011

This weekend I did something that I hadn’t done in years. I was excited. I was nervous. I was hyped. It felt just like it did when I was a kid.

Saturday afternoon I strapped on a pair of skates and hit the ice on the pond at my parent’s place for the first time in at least 5 years. It was awesome.

When I got the house 2 of my brothers (seen in the picture) had already been working on the rink since the night before. They did a great job. The picture doesn’t show the full length of the shoveled ice. I would say that I was about 25 feet in from the edge when I snapped that with my BlackBerry. The ice was smooth with the exception of that white patch in the middle. And it was as ready for blades as I had ever seen it.

Before we hit the ice though we realized that we were in need to sticks since the ones from our childhood seemed to have disappeared into the abyss. There was also the issue of dull blades since it had been a long time since anyone slid their feet into the boots of the skates in the basement. Luckily, mom was all about this party (the fam was on the way) and handed us some cash to go and get new sticks and pucks and get blades sharpened.

When we got to the store we dropped our skates off with the dude and went looking for sticks. We grabbed 3 righties and 2 lefties – scored a roll of red and a roll of black tape, picked up 2 pucks and decided that we were all set. When we cashed out for $91.37 it was an overwhelming win and almost felt like that Ikea commercial where the woman runs out of the store screaming at her dude to start the car.

Back at the house my aunt and her girls were already on the ice in their figure skates and the boys and I hit the basement to tape sticks and get ready. We carried all of the sticks up the hill to the pond and traded boots for skates before stepping onto the sweetness of the rink. As I was tying my skates all I could think to myself was “don’t fall in front of these kids” – it would have been uber-embarrassing. Turns out it was a lot like riding a bike though as I stepped out, took a few tentative strides and then was off to the races. I didn’t pick up a stick for the first few minutes. I just skated some laps and got a feel for my blades and feet. It felt really, really good.

After playing around for a few minutes more family showed up and it was only a matter of time before a game broke out. My uncle, cousin and cousin’s girlfriend all hopped onto the ice and the 6 of us passed the pucks around and made jokes and acted like a family. And then the challenge was made. And I think it was my bad idea. As a group we decided that we’d play some shinny but didn’t know who was going to be on teams… that is until I said that we could play house vs. house.

Here’s the thing about that idea – my uncle plays men’s league hockey twice a week and is strong on his skates and on the puck and my cousin’s girlfriend played NCAA hockey at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. As a group I think my brothers and I may have had full hockey equipment on 3 times, at the most.

Anyway, we put a saw horse and a bench out for nets, agreed to keep the puck on the ice and keep the slashing to a minimum and went to work.

The score was 7-0 (for them) before we finally got a goal and I hate to say it, but it took us boys a long time to get things together. Near the end of the game we looked somewhat decent. Our passes were closer to stick to stick. Our shots were a little straighter and our skating was a little more fluid.

There were a few moments where we were ready to throw in the towel. Particularly when we were getting circles skated around us. But we kept on fighting. We just didn’t look that good doing it.

In the end it was a combination of poor cardiovascular endurance and darkness that ended the game. We have lights to turn on for night skating, maybe we’ll turn them on next time.

It is very safe to say that the home team was beaten on our own ice. But looking back there was no shame in it. I mean, we look like the Bad News Bears out there. I’m just happy the only times I hit the ice were on purpose. (I went down on a knee to block a shot – not smart – took it off the ankle).

The best part about all of it though was getting back on the skates. I can’t wait to get back out there again and we’re already planning an open invite day to the house for as much skating as you can handle.

Stay tuned for the recap from that adventure. It will be awesome!

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