Trevor lays out the plan

6 October 2001
Arrived in L.A. last night at around 5pm, on the same flight as Pauline and Cara. We picked up my bag (Cara's and Pauline's had come down in other people's cars, along with my sticks) and then took the bus to the Budget lot, where we picked up a silver Taurus. From there we headed to the hotel. After a couple wrong turns, we made it to the intersection of Sepulveda and Mariposa, where we spotted several fast-food/chain restaurants. The hotel was only a couple blocks away, and we were all starving, so we decided to eat first and then check in. I thought the Sizzler salad bar looked promising, and the omnivores in the car agreed that they hadn't had any vegetables today, so it was fine with them.

We finished around 6, and I dropped Pauline and Cara off at the hotel before trying to pick Michele up at the airport. I was foiled by security measures, so she took a cab. I stopped at the store for water and a carton of epsom salts, then met the team at the hotel for our pre-game strategy session.

We discussed how a floater rotation would work, then mentioned that it might be moot if it turned out that I couldn't skate. [I tried to play on Wednesday at Ice Oasis, but the mere act of stepping on the ice hurt so bad that I knew I'd never be able to make it over the boards (or even out the door), much less get a full stride. Rather than continue and make it worse, I skated off before the warm-up was over and went home.] Trevor also reminded us how the dump-and-change and dump-and-forecheck worked, what to do if we got the puck in the corner, etc. We exchanged room and jersey numbers, figured out the carpooling arrangements, and headed to the rink.

The HealthSouth Training Center turned out to be a really neat facility with an outdoor roller rink and two indoor ice surfaces, one Olympic-sized, and one NHL. We went downstairs to locker room #2 and started getting ready. Shauna was kind enough to wrap my knee for me, doing a totally professional job of it. (It turned out that she'd been a student trainer in college.) When we all got our jerseys on, I was struck by how great we looked. Spiffy to the max—especially with the matching Cat in the Hat socks.

We went out to the ice for the warm-up and ran into the other team... who were also wearing white. We were the home team, but the other team didn't have dark jerseys, so the refs sent us back to the locker room to change. Meanwhile, they let our opponents on the ice for some extra warm-up time. Grrrrr. When we finally got out there ourselves, we skated around for a little bit and then did the figure 8 shooting drill to warm up the goalie. It was during that drill that my knee started to burn, and I thought, "oh shit, I can't do this." I went to sit on the bench to rest while the team did the modified horseshoe and the semi-circle shooting drills, and it didn't get any better, so I told Trevor to start Shauna at my position.

Michele proposed that Shauna play Center, and that she play LW, so that's how the second line started. At first I tried to sit in the middle of the bench, where I thought I'd be out of the way, but with no one to open the doors, people were flying over the middle of the boards. For my safety and theirs, I decided to stand at the end of the bench and open the door for our D. It actually felt more comfortable for my knee to stand up, so that turned out to be a good choice. Plus, I felt like I was participating more. I yelled and clapped and shrieked and peeked around the glass, being careful not to get my head in the way of the play. It was SO exciting... and it really made me want to skate.

At the beginning of the second period I told Trevor that I thought I might be able to skate the third. He suggested that I go out and skate around during the two-minute break between periods to see how it went. I did, and it felt fine, so we agreed to have Shauna float through our line during the third period, starting from RW, so I'd get an extra break. It worked great, and I was so thrilled to be out there working for the team. I said after my first shift, "I can take these girls."

I didn't do anything spectacular, but I felt like I skated fairly well (if conservatively), and I had a good time. The refereeing was a little weird—Lisa K. got clotheslined once and didn't get up, and the refs said it was "a collision, pure and clean." Several of us witnessed the hit from the bench, however, and we disagreed. There was another time at the beginning that one of the Royal Pains got a penalty, and when we went to face off after it, they had 5 players on the ice. While they tried to sort out what was going on, the clock—including the penalty clock, which had been set as soon as the penalty was called—was running. (The regular clock should have been because we're playing 18 minutes running time for the periods, but the penalty clock shouldn't have started until the puck dropped, or at *least* until the player was in the box.) It turned out that the player was not only not in the box, but was *at Center*. DUH! Whose job was it to escort her to the box, anyway? Meanwhile, we only got 2:30 on the power play instead of 3:00, and as soon as she got back on the ice they scored on us.

Luckily, by the time it was all over we were up 3-1—luckily not just because we won, but because the last two minutes weren't run as stop time as they were supposed to be. If we'd have been down, I would have been pissed.

...and Pauline and Lisa pay attention.

Karen and the other Lisa learn about Plan B while Cara gets dressed too fast for my camera to catch.

Owen surveys the landscape of smelly gear after the game.

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