me in my first game!

That's me in the red!

19 August 2000
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Played my first real game on Thursday, and was totally exhausted for the next 24 hours. Not so much from the physical exertion as from the mental effort (and the nervousness). My teammates were totally great—very supportive. The only problem is that almost every one of them came up to me and said, "Just remember one thing...", and everyone's "one thing" was different. =:o That made for a lot to remember!

Even though I'd read about faceoffs, it was still a little tricky to know where to line up. I got on the wrong side of my check the first time I went out and had to be pointed to the right spot. The arrangement was a little different when the faceoff was in our defensive zone, so I had to be told where to stand in that case, too... by my check, who seemed incredibly impatient with me.

It was probably because she was mad; in the first few minutes of the game I'd accidentally knocked her over when I wasn't able to get out of her way. As I've mentioned repeatedly, I'm not a great stopper, and she was coming at me while looking the other way; the result was a collision. She went down on her head, and my forward momentum was halted. I was mortified. I apologized profusely and bent over to help her up, but she started cursing. I thought it was because she was hurt, so I said, "Oh my god, are you OK?" She responded with, "Jesus Christ! FUCK!" I apologized again, but as she didn't seem receptive and play hadn't stopped, I returned my attention to the puck.

After that I guess she figured that if the refs hadn't called me for the body contact, they wouldn't call her for hooking, so I spent the rest of the shift with a stickblade in my side. She also knew a thing or two about verbal intimidation; it was definitely distracting to have her keeping up a constant stream of derogatory chatter whenever I went for the puck. I'm not sure that's a skill I'll ever be good at. For such an irascible bitch, I'm pretty polite on the ice. :)

I think I'll need a little more practice with faceoffs before the procedure sticks in my head, but I did get one skill down completely: hopping over the boards when coming off the ice. I'd already learned to come on that way, but I always used the doors to get off because the wall's a good 6 inches higher from the ice side. I finally decided to try hurling myself over on my stomach, and after a few successful attempts that way, I got brave enough to scissor over. It was easier than I expected, and before long I felt like a pro.

I didn't score any goals, but as Gary said in the locker room after the game, "Congratulations, Lori: You weren't a liability!" At some point I hope to go from being not a liability to being an actual asset. Maybe even before the last game of the season.

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