24 May 2002
As predicted, I spent most of yesterday walking around Vancouver in a zombielike state. I did manage to buy Al a new Easton Synergy 85 Flex Left Curve stick, though. The Mondano curve he wanted is sold out for the *year*, and the Sakic that was his second choice is almost equally hard to come by, but the guy at Larry's Sports convinced me that the newly-released Shanahan curve was somewhere between the Mondano and the Sakic, so I got him that. Since we couldn't find a ring that suited him, the stick will be my engagement gift to him. (Yep, we got engaged recently.)

us in Las Vegas.
that's me in the back row (as usual), second from the left.

everybody's got one these days...

I managed to get about 9 hours of sleep last night (yay!), but I'm still a bit behind. I'm trying to take it easy until our first game tonight at 8:30, so I'll probably stay in and watch TV/nap until it's time to go to the rink. I kinda want to take a swim, but I'm not very interested in showering, etc. afterwards. Too much trouble. I've already done all my shopping for the day—I picked up my skates from Cyclone Taylor (where I'd left them yesterday for a sharpening), bought a new hockey bag with wheels from Source for Sports in North Van, got a book for Al and a new pair of sunglasses for myself from the mall at 41st & Cambie, and picked some the almond biscuits I got hooked on during the Calgary trip.

We just played our first game of the tournament, against the Sechelt Spiders. We lost 3-1, but I can't say I have anything to complain about; I thought we acquitted ourselves quite well. I think I bunched up a bit too much with the Wings when we were in the neutral zone (I was playing Center), but otherwise, I feel pretty good about how I did. I had two shots on goal; that neither of them went in didn't make them any less exciting for me. :) Would have been nice to score a goal, but I was just happy to play against a team that was at our level and have fun.

After the last couple tournaments, I was starting to wonder if being on a traveling team was such a good idea. We'd formed this team after going to Vancouver last year, and it was the high from that tournament (my first) that made we want to travel more. I was just starting to think that maybe it was like heroin—you spend your whole life chasing the amazing high you got the first time, and you never quite achieve it. Las Vegas and Airdrie were OK, but not nearly as fun as I'd remembered Vancouver being.

Well, it turns out that this is just a really fun tournament. It's perfect for us, with teams at or around our level (some a bit above, some a bit below), nice rinks, good location, great hotel, good refereeing, you name it. Even the lounge above the ice surfaces is cool, with a good view of each rink and quite decent food. It's reminded me why I joined a traveling team in the first place. Now the only question is... do I just want to come to Vancouver every year? Theoretically, probably. But I think it'll be hard to keep me away from any other opportunity to play 4 games in 3 days.

Tomorrow's first game is at 8am, so I'd better go to bed. I haven't paid attention to which team we're playing, or what time our second game of the day is; I figure someone will give me the 411 when I get up. :)

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