Thursday, November 3, 2016

Solihull Grizzlies

When I got back from ice hockey the other night I couldn't and didn't try to get through the house and head into the locked shed to air out my gear so when I woke up I took my gear outside to hang dry and then I decided to do some laundry :) I know most people travelling take a full luggage with clothes to last weeks sometimes it seems those luggages are so big that you can live for months out of them . Unfortunately for me my luggage is my ice hockey gear ... Yup ! And my clothes end up in a carry on , so basically I head off on these journies with a weeks worth of undies and socks with about 4 tshirts and a hoodie with 2 pairs of pants . I mean over the trip I will pick up a tshirt here and there but for the most part I have to travel light which means I need to do laundry once a week . It's a blessing at times because laundry day ends up being chill out day and boy oh boy did I need a chill day . Well with this hectic schedule , I really haven't had the time to just relax even for a minute and I don't see much relaxation over next few days so laundry day is always nice ... Besides I had to dry my gear to skate again tonight with the Grizzlies . 

So really my day consisted of laundry , took a walk to get food then waited until 9:45 to meet Karl for some puck . Very chill :) I got the rundown from Karl , what I was to expect was a lower level of puck with this club consisting of some beginner skaters . When I arrived at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Solihull I knew I should do my all to help instead of just trying to compete and the first person I met in the room was sitting right beside me was Harry Minns who is a goalie that right off the bat asked me how long I have been playing ice hockey , seemed to be a formal question with all the guys last night :) Harry has been playing for a short time ... I think he said 2 years or something like that , excuse me if I'm wrong :) then I was asked by the team leader who is another goalie named Peter Dolaghan and he made a bit nervous asking me to register for the club since I know there are some stipulations here I place which would have me paying to register and all but was assured it was just for insurance reasons , can't argue with that . There were 4 goalies in total for the skate , wish I knew the older chaps name as he was a good chap also ! 

We took to the ice and did our stretching all together then I watched them set up to be the puck stoppers that they are and tried to notice where I could help each of them as they are all eager to be the best they can . It's always pleasing to see people having fun playing this beautiful game and if I can ever help then it is more then my pleasure . I took to the crease and made a few stops then I switched ends to share goal with the older fella and noticed he was getting beat low so I began shouting encouraging things to hopefully help . He really needed to keep his stick on the ice and lean in more on it , he listened and tried it and it helped a bit :) then I crossed ice for next drill and saw that Peter had troubles playing the puck so we passed the puck to each other and I let him try my twig to see if it was just his stick ? His stick was just fine , he just needed to use his glove more to help push the puck .... We worked on it for a bit and by the end I could see improvement ... If you are reading this I would suggest shooting the puck around while the others do skating drills in the future ! Having that puck handling is always a good option to help your defense men , it can also lead to nightmares ... I for one know first hand LOL ... Don't ask ! YIKES :p then I wanted to focus and see if I could help Harry ... He was making some really nice saves and he seemed comfortable in his position , not bad for a beginner . No offense to the other guys but he might have been the better of the bunch on this night . I never really gave him any pointers aside from our stretches we did and when I mentioned he did well he was very humble about it . All you guys were a pleasure to meet and I hope you all do
well this season . 

As usual I really wished these ice times that that rec teams end up with were earlier ! Getting off the ice and rushing home after midnight is a bit of a wank but I have to admit that it doesn't seem to be a deterrent to this lot . I mentioned on more then one occasion how guys on my team back home complain about games after 9 pm that seem to ruin their lives ! Maybe they should move here and try skating at 11 pm weekly ? Dressing room always seems to be bursting at the seams and I never hear any of the guys whining like my team mates do at home . 
Just before I left I had a guy complain that we have had too many games after 9 ... Boy oh boy I couldn't imagine how these guys here would feel if they were in your shoes getting 6 pm games here and there .... Maybe someday the rinks here will have a change of heart and let you guys have earlier ice times ? Until then I'm sure you all will keep on truckin . Thank you Solihull Grizzlies for allowing me to skate with you last night , I wish you all the best of luck and whoever took those photos last night when my phone froze and shut off :( please send them my way !!!! Thanks .

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