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Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

Naches

Hockey Montreal held this year’s Novice B all-star game at Rodrigue Gilbert Arena in Pointe aux Trembles. That’s so far east (northeast for non-Montrealers) that every highway exit has a sign for a bridge. It was more than a half-hour drive from our home in the west-central region of the city/island.

I woke at 8:00 a.m., showered and fed Child Three, and we loaded his goalie equipment in the car. We set out at 9:15, given the light snow and threat of more. We got to the arena by 10:00 a.m., the time we were told to show up. We were among the first to appear, but soon everyone else filtered in. The two NDG head coaches didn’t make it. Neither had a child in the game and the drive was long, although both were invited to coach in the game. Our head coach designated me his proxy.

I brought a video camera and filmed a bit in the dressing room. The first part of the morning was a skills competition. I was, of course, mostly interested in the goalies, one in particular, and I focused my filming on that – when I could focus. At one point the camera would no longer auto-focus or even manually focus, although it would still zoom in and out. The problem went away after I turned the camera off and back on, but I’d already spent some anxiety. I was able to to get some footage of the two NDG goalies chatting during a break – maybe discussing what they’ll name their little goalie children after they hook up.

I filmed the skills competition from the bench, but there were four coaches back there and I could get a better angle on the game from higher up, so I left the kids and raced up into the stands.

Last year, I was head coach at this all-star game, which is divided into the East division against the West (we only play inside our division during the season). We got shellacked, something like 8-3. This year the game was much more even. The change in player age classification from one that matches the school-year date of October to the end of the chronological year seems to have affected the eastern half of the city as much as it did us.

There are three goalies on each team and one plays each period. The other NDG goalie, started and had only three shots, although she had to make three great saves. Child Three grabbed the second period and wrung its neck. He played superbly as the East team came on more strongly. He was so impressive, other parents looked envious as they asked if he were my son.

The third goalie came into the third period with a 2-0 lead, but let in a weak goal among some good saves. A short time into the third period, though, he pulled something in his hip or groin and left the game. The head coach tapped Child Three to go back in net.

If that kid put on a show in the second, he raised the roof in the third. Wow, did he play great. The crowd roared after some of his stops, particularly one in which he stretched and reached and deflected a sure goal headed into the top left corner. He didn’t let anything past him and the West team won 2-1.

The organizers handed out awards for the skills competition following the game. Child Three won for best goalie, and you can click that image for a close-up of his medal. (I don’t think his game performance entered into this decision, but it would have seemed odd to see any other goalie win that after his game.) Player of the game for the West was #40 on the Ahuntsic Bruins, who we saw in that game, and who turns out to be still six years old. I suspect that had Child Three not won the best goalie award, he would have won that award as well.

(I do feel badly for the other NDG goalie, who in a fair universe would have spent some time in goal in the third period, too.)

Most of my footage is still in the editing suite, but I did slap together a film of the skills competition. I’m not happy with the Google Video compression of the MPEG/MP4 (for some reason much worse than the conversion of the earlier QuickTime .mov files), so I will redo it once I get the game films online. In the meantime, here’s the initial version.

Once the all-star game ended, we came home, relaxed for an hour plus, and headed out to play a game at the NDG Novice/Atom tournament. We played a hard-fought game against the Boisbriand Laser B2 and won 1-0 as our boys played their hearts out and butts off. Not bad, eh? An all-star game, an award for best goalie, and a shutout all in the same day.

And today, in league play, we took a convincing 3-2 win over the team that completely outplayed us to a 2- tie last week. Last week, we had four shots; this week, the skate was on the other foot.

Bonus Diddy:

Someone from Seanjohn.com visited 101 after a Google search for “”misunderstood artist” – for which thus humble blog ranks fourth in the known universe.

If I knew what I’m doing right with respect to Google Pagerank, I’d bottle and sell it and make a fortune.

Cougars on tape

Thanks to Tom, Sony, Naila, FireWire, iMovie HD, and Google, I present to you last Sunday’s Novice B game. Child Three is the goalie with the leaping-monkey style in the white sweater.

First period:

Second period:

Third period:

If you want a larger video with better resolution, I can burn this for you on a DVD. Awesome footage, Naila.

Ice, ice, baby

Child three is a star, an all star! He was selected to be a goalie for the Hockey Montreal Novice B all-star game to take place December 20. If the selection criteria are the same as last year, the team’s being in second place last week has a lot to do with it, but I think he’s deserving regardless.

After a day of snow yesterday, traffic was ludicrous. It’s like this city’s drivers – and municipal workers – don’t know how to deal with snow. Because the going was slow, drivers would grab every idiotic advantage they could and create gridlock as they invaded intersections. It took me an hour to drive home from Child Three’s hockey practice last night, normally a ten-minute drive that time of day.


We had freezing rain overnight. Our front walk and driveway are still under snow and ice because the guy we pay in advance to shovel probably shouldn’t be paid in advance.

Elvi has some photos she took this morning. We kept Children Two and Three home from school because we didn’t want to drive in the mess for a scheduled half day of school. We have to get Child Two out to a theatre near Papineau by 5:00 p.m. for a play rehearsal. I’m not looking forward to that, and I’m not even going to be making the trip. Elvi should leave within the hour in order to get there on time.

$203 later


Freakin’ goalies….

Season underway

Our first hockey game of the official season was a face-off against our fellow NDGers Friday night. We took the first period with some good skating and hard work and started the second with a 2-0 lead.

We slowed a little in the second, but potted a goal to get back a two-goal margin headed into the third, 3-1. I wish that last period had been skipped, though, as our team just stopped. They watched the play go on around them and just couldn’t muster whatever it was that needed mustering. We lost the game 5-3, managing only two shots in the period.

Nevertheless, Child Three played the greatest game of his short life. His legs were flying out to make toe saves, he was always in position, and he stopped his share of breakaways. Even on the five goals he let in, he was doing the right thing. It was a joy to watch – and coming from me, that means a lot.

We played our second game today, against another team, and went into the third ahead 4-1. I counseled the kids, specifically the forwards I had responsibility for, that keeping the other team from scoring was more important than running up the score. The other team, though, suffered the same kind of lapse we had in our first game and we won 8-1 at the final buzzer. As you might expect, Child Three didn’t have much to do. I missed the goal he gave up because I was talking to the kids on the bench, but I’m told it was a quick pass from behind the net to the shooter planted in front of the net. There’s not much you can do about that other than hope you get in the way of the puck.

I can’t yet judge if the quality of Novice B had dropped all over the city as much as it has for NDG, but so far it seems to have.

Bonus evidence that I’m a bio geek:

Child Two asked me if there are any words that end with a “K” sound made by a K but not by the CK letter combo. I thought of “ink”, but then she stipulated that there has to be a vowel before the K.

The first word to come to my mind? Lek.

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