Skate and Shoot

April 1, 2010

Erin has her first hockey game on Saturday! I went to get her skates sharpened the other day and they had sticks on sale. Goal sticks can run upwards of $130, so a $49 stick seemed too good to be true. Whenever Erin is at practice, Jeff and I have noticed that she doesn’t do a great job of keeping her blade on the ice, so I decided that a stick with a longer paddle length might be better for her. As we looked around and she tried a couple of  sticks, I began to wonder if I should wait for Jeff to look with us. Eventually, I decided to get the stick that was on sale since they assured me that the stick could be returned as long as she didn’t actually use it. It turned out that Jeff approved of our choice, so I cut it down for her this morning. Obviously, she needed to get onto the ice before Saturday to get used to the new stick. I looked around and found a skate and shoot, at a nearby rink, that was supposedly for ages 10 and up.

When we got to the rink, we discovered that all the participants were guys and their average age was about 30.  Sarah has been gathering equipment over the last few months and she finally has all of her equipment, so she asked if she could go and play as well. When she was quite small, maybe 4, Sarah had full equipment and completed a learn to skate program. Since then, she has not played. She skated from time to time at open skates, but that was about it, until today. Both girls got ready and went out onto the ice. Erin skated right out there among guys easily 2 or 3 times her age and weight. The child really has no fear!

The guys at the skate and shoot were great! They took it fairly easy on her and she had a blast. Every now and then, one of the guys would get a little over zealous and another of the guys would yell at him. A few times I heard the guys telling her “nice save” after putting the puck right into her pads. She totally ate it up!

She is still very new at goaltending and although she is doing really well, she still needs to work on a few of the fundamentals. In the picture below, she had made a great effort to stop the puck, but it went right through the five-hole. Jeff told me she needs to bring her feet together when she attempts to stop the puck this way, thus closing the five-hole.

This shot of a deflection was pretty cool. The puck did not actually go in, even though it looks as though it might.

Sarah struggled a bit, but one of the guys helped her out, giving her a few pointers here and there. She was a bit discouraged, but I think as you’ll see in the next couple of pictures, the guys out there could easily intimidate a young person without much hockey experience! Once the guys started to scrimage, Sarah took the bench. She didn’t want to slow them down nor did she want to get hurt.

Despite the fact that these guys towered over her, Erin held her own and stayed right in the thick of it, following the puck and making a few good saves. A couple people told me they thought it was cool that she got right in there. She took a puck to the mask and kept right on playing. After playing for about an hour with only one short, 5 minute, break she decided she’d had enough. She was so tired afterwards, that Sarah and I had to help her out of her equipment.  I imagine she will sleep well tonight!

Jeff has the day off tomorrow, so he and the girls are going to go to a skate and shoot in the afternoon for younger kids with a parent. Sarah is too old, but since she’s newer to hockey, the rink folks told her she could play with the younger kids at this skate and shoot. I think Erin will be well prepared for her game on Saturday.

One comment

  1. Pretty cool, Carly! Goooooooooooo Erin!!!!

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