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#1 lightsout

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:04 PM

My personal story playing hockey for the first time. If you don't care for it, then cool. If you do, enjoy.

Played hockey for the first time this past weekend. Actually, first time I've been on the ice in about 5 years. Fell almost immediately. Once I got my bearings, I was able to skate decently. By skate, I mean casual, non-hockey skating. Could back-skate a good bit, but pivoting sharply (like you have to in hockey) was nonexistent and my crossovers were "meh" at best.

Anyway, it was much harder than it looks. I went out in full pads at the Wilmington Icehouse on Friday for a stick and puck period (an hour long period where hockey players are allowed in exclusively. Pucks are provided, and there are plenty, and they are scattered across the ice. Pick up a puck and do what you want. There are two adult goals and one or two youth goals, and the 8 year old that was there made me feel absolutely stupid (he was way too good). I went out in full pads for the first time with my buddy who plays in a summer league there. He showed me the ins and outs of basic passing and a basic wrist shot/snap shot. My passing was crisp and on point. I can one-time my wrister pretty well, but as green as I was to it all, I was barely passable. We fooled around a bit, I practiced a lot, and had a lot of fun.

Went back later for a pick-up game. Only about 20 spots open, so the odds of you just showing up and signing up for it are very slim. We signed up during the stick and puck. Walked into the locker room to get changed and realized how in over my head I was. These guys (and girls) clearly knew their poo far better than I did. Luckily, I already knew how to put on my gear, so I didn't feel stupid. Got geared up and hit the ice with everybody else. I was told that everybody was pretty cool and easy going and that everybody knows that first timers show up to these things, so they're encouraging and helpful (and they absolutely were). I got my confidence up just by seeing 2 guys who never even held a stick before and by making a couple shots at least in the open net. Felt good.


Basically, the games are setup like this for pickup. If you have a white jersey (you bring your own), you are on white team. If you have ANY colored jersey, you are on colors team. 5 players start, and everybody else goes to the bench (obviously). One gate on the bench is for coming off the ice, the other is for going on. End of the bench person is the first on for the first player off, so everybody rotates in, and you come off whenever you're tired or just want off. My first shift lasted about 3 or 4 minutes, but my subsequent shifts only lasted about 2 minutes a piece, because even with short shifting a deep bench, it gets tiring quickly.

Game started...and hooooly poo. I've watched Canes games both on TV and in person, but you can't appreciate the speed of the game (even from just hobby players who play because they enjoy it, and so they aren't very good) until you are actually IN the game. It took a minute to adjust, but I was able to keep up with the play and get a shot or two off (also had 2 blocked shots, and since I was playing d-man, I felt like I did my part for my team). Had one breakaway where a quick turnover by the opposing team, with my trailing behind the d-men entering the zone, turned into a pass into the neutral zone that i picked up. I made it just over the blue line while entering and lost the handle a bit. Puck went behind me, and when I tried to corral it and savor my opportunity for a lone chance at the goalie, I fell helplessly as I watched the other team get the puck back.

More importantly, for somebody who was only in pads with stick and puck for the first time, and for somebody playing their first game ever, I felt like I did a pretty decent job and had a fuging blast. I HIGHLY recommend anybody who is in any kind of shape and can skate to try it out. It's my understanding that basically all rinks have these things, so try to find some cheap gear and give it a shot. I was playing with gear lent to me that was almost too small, and with rental skates, and absolutely loved it.

Anybody else ever played in any form or fashion?

#2 Corporal Casto

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:25 AM

I used to go out and jam with my buddy when I lived in that area. His name is Miles, and he is a goalie.. You'll know when you see him.

#3 iamcline

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

An aspiration of mine is to go and play hockey recreationally here at the Greensboro Ice House, but I'm so raw with even ice skating I am pretty intimidated. I go out every once in a while and rent some skates for free skate. I need to plug myself into the local hockey community, perhaps that would push me over the edge.

#4 Hawk

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

didn't play until I was an adult...too many brothers and sisters and not enough household income back in the day...and it's an expensive sport to play!

I never played any contact hockey, just gentlemen's leagues...but it was always lots of fun. Was never a really strong skater but I could hold my own. I'd score the majority of my goals from plugging away in front of the net!

I blew my back out really bad about 3 years ago while playing hockey...L4/L5 and L5/S1...that ended my career.

I miss it alot and I also miss the intense workout out it would give me 2 or 3 nights a week!!!

#5 iamcline

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

Another problem I face, is that there really is no times available at the local rink to go and practice/skate within my schedule. Need to find me a place I can go on the weekends for stick/puck and/or pickup games.

#6 Hawk

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:48 AM

come on over...we build a nice rink on the lake every winter. no boards, but there's lights!


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