Monday, February 28, 2011

Squirt International and the Hornet's nest...

Hockey is a game filled with cycles.  Sometimes the disappointments stack up to a staggering amount.  And because of these low points?  The highs are truly worth celebrating!

What an intense, emotion filled, exciting and fun hockey weekend we all had.  We had no expectation of how we might do this weekend.  We were one in a field of 64 teams from across the country.  We knew we were in one of the toughest brackets and would face stiff competition.  So we tried to instill as much confidence in our kids as possible.

But we started off the day early Friday morning with the news that one of our players, had a fever of 102 and would not be able to play.  We only have 14 players on our team to begin with, so we would be playing short right off the start.  Fortunately, our kids had some jump in their stride and didn't miss a beat even with messed up line rotations.  We beat St. Paul, 5-2.  Our next game was at 2 at the Scheels arena against another Minnesota team, Mankato. Amazing facility and fun to see our kids play in such an exceptional venue.


 
Photobucket

Photobucket


The team didn't pose near the problem the "big" ice did for our kids.  They played a close gut wrenching game and managed to come away with a 2-1 win.  Whew.  We were just happy to get out of that game. 

It was later that night that we discovered our two wins had put us in the Championship bracket! 





Nolan almost scoring against Mankato...


The puck is under the goalie stick on the goal line...






Great save by our goalie to keep us in the game... one of many he would make!  See the puck tucked inside his leg pad by his skate?  




Our next game was an early 7 am game against... (insert ominous sounding music here) Eden Prairie- the defending Squirt International Champions!!  Oh boy, how would we do?  I was so excited and nervous I couldn't shoot a single picture.  

We got an early lead, but they quickly answered to tie the game.  Then before we knew it, they had scored 2 more goals and suddenly we were down 3-1.  My gut was in a knot!  The goals had been weak and one of our players was hurt during one of them.  Now we are skating two players short.

And here is where I crossed over into being a total Hockey Mom... I went and yelled, screamed, jumped up and down and tried to boost the kids.  I wasn't alone.  We told them they could do it, we told them to keep working and not get down on themselves... and they scored, and the crowd exploded.  When we scored the third time, tying the game up at 3, we pounded the glass and yelled some more.  

We were headed into overtime!  I can't even in my mind tell you when.  But as I stood watching, we peppered the goalie with shots.  He saved it once, then gave up a rebound.  Another shot, another rebound and then I look to see Nolan in the corner reach with his stick and ...

HE SCORES!!  

Nolan received a special medal and NeckLace for scoring the winning goal.


 
Photobucket

Parker won the other medal for his hustle in the game...
Photobucket



And then we got down to the serious business of trading pins! 
Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

But we didn't stay long... we had another game to play... and it wasn't going to be an easy one, we had earned a one way ticket straight into the heart of the Hornet's nest, otherwise known as Edina.  Edina has quite the reputation.  Edina happens to have a 30-0 record having not lost a game all season.  In fact their scores were all 10-0, 18-0, 13-0, etc.  Nobody could come close.


So we brought all the team spirit and pride we could muster.  The texts and fb messages went out to our hockey loving friends.  We filled the rink with black, orange and white.  We donned hockey jerseys and prepared for battle... and 

Photobucket

we got killed- just like everyone said we would.  They were amazing.  We are still asking ourselves, "What was that we all witnessed?"  They won easily, 12-0... but nobody could feel all that bad.  


We were still 3 and 1 and in the top 8 of 64 teams!  To our knowledge its one of the highest finishes of a Moorhead team in the recent past.  


Sunday morning we played Eagan for our final game.  While we looked a little tired and took a lot of penalties, we won the game 5-1 and finished our year with great pride.  We ended up in the top five tied with several other teams- but we'll take it. 



Way to go Moorhead Squirt A's!!! 
Photobucket

Nolan receiving his medal at the end of the game.
Photobucket

The last official shot of jersey #25.  
Photobucket


One more week and then Nolan will officially be a Peewee.  Checking school- here we come!
Photobucket


Our coaches who worked tirelessly with our boys, encouraging them, instructing them, and helping instill character in them.  Well done! We can't thank you enough for all you do...
Photobucket


Photobucket


The pin collection...
Photobucket


The pins of the teams we beat, and the only one we lost to...
Photobucket

Photobucket


So proud to see our name amongst all the top teams!  
Photobucket


We of course went to the championship game at the Scheels Arena. 
Photobucket



Ironically, the other team facing Edina for the championship was Minnetonka... the team we beat earlier in the season.  Oh what could have been... smiles...


Edina won, 7-0.  Its the 6th time they have won the championship.  But thats okay.  We're only Squirts.  Edina, we'll see you at the State tournament when we are in high school- we're coming for you! 



Photobucket





Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spark plugs

It seems that I blinked and its Wednesday already. We've had some days off from school. We filled our time with:

letting the boys learn how to make pancakes for lunch and destroying the kitchen all at once
buying (with our Christmas gift cards) and building two new lego projects
playing lots of knee hockey
squabbling over lots of knee hockey
watching movies- Secretariat- we all loved
planning end of hockey season celebrations- yes really- the end-for now


Nolan's team plays in the Fargo Flyer Squirt International Tournament this Friday through Sunday to cap off their travel season.  128 A and B level Squirt teams from across the United States attend this event each year.  One of the highlights is the pins that are traded by the teams.  Nolan was so excited to get his pin book and pins.  The pins our team is going to trade are the 2011 Hockey Day Minnesota pins.  All the teams vie to have "the pin" that  everyone wants to collect.  We're hoping it may be our pin.


 

Photobucket

Photobucket

But this pin symbolizes a lot more than just the event of Hockey Day for me...

For awhile now, the rest of my words haven been stuck.  They're paralyzed, frozen in some cranny of a brain sustained only by hockey, ice, snow, winter, grey, and cold.  Thats why I didn't expect to reach into a box of hockey memorabilia and pull out an emotional spark plug.  I was simply asked to sift through a box of hockey history and memories, and piece the stories together for a book.  But my own memory kept getting in my way.  My own stories.  The ones I still have stuck in my head.

Like the last real conversation I had with my Dad, the day Hockey Day Minnesota was announced, last June.

I was excited when I called him.  Thrilled really.  Dad would love this!  He'd go, he'd watch and cheer from the stands.  Or he could watch on television from the comfort of his home.  My excitement escaped into my words pressuring them to trip over one another on their way out of my mouth.  But as I paused for a breath, I heard it.  The shallow and weak breathing from my Dad.  The faltering voice.  The thinly disguised enthusiasm.  My voice trailed off as I tried to reign it back in.  What had I been thinking?  He wouldn't be able to go.  He wouldn't even see it on television.  I was asking him to be excited for a day we both knew he would never see.  And there is was, hanging in the space of our words stretched across the telephone wire, the unstated acknowledgement that he really was leaving us soon. 

 It changed that day, the way we talked to each other.  The things we said.  The things we didn't say anymore...  


 












Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hockey Day Minnesota 2011

By all accounts, Hockey Day Minnesota 2011, hosted by our hockey community of Moorhead Minnesota, was a HUGE success.  The sun shone brightly and made it warm for the fans enjoying a full day of outdoor hockey.  But the warmth created a challenge for the players trying to play on ice that was a sloppy, mushy mess. 



  This is the official game program that my hubby and his uber talented graphic designer, Jena, created for the day.  Between her eye for design, and Rick's photos, I have to brag on them and say they created a beautiful commemorative piece.

Photobucket

My job was to sift through the boxes, and boxes of history and memorabilia to piece together a comprehensive story of the history of hockey in Moorhead.  It took numerous hours, lots of editing and piecing time lines together, and the use of my good friend google when I got stuck.  

Photobucket


We arrived at the rink early Saturday morning.
Photobucket


Colton's team was the first to take the ice at 8:00 am.  It was chilly and we had to break out the hand warmers, but the air was electric with excitement for the events of the day.
Photobucket


Rick took these photos of Colton and his team in dark blue.

Colton with the puck...


and he scores...

Photobucket

Fox Sports North, or FSN broadcast the two high school games played.  Dick Bremer and Kevin Gorg were the announcers.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


At first I thought this was a replica of the rink- but duh, no, its a cake!  
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket






Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, with the ceremonial puck drop for the face-off. 
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Science lesson for you- did you know that ice painted blue melts faster than red or plain ice?  It wreaked much havoc around the goalie crease, and the blue line.  Co2 was brought out to try and "freeze" it but by this time not much could be done.  

Photobucket



Our high school team, the Spuds, ranked number 15 were playing, Hill Murray, the number 1 ranked team in the state of Minnesota currently.  We were very pleased with how evenly the teams played, even though we lost 3-2.  

 We were so honored as a community to have been chosen to host this annual event in only its 5th year.    After taking in the whole experience you realize that your one piece in the puzzle, was just a fraction of the huge collaborative effort it took to make the day a great success.  It took thousands of volunteer hours, and hundreds of volunteers to make this day such a success, and we all felt really lucky to be a part of it.  



When you get lucky

When you get lucky

Popular Posts

Minnesota.com

Minnesota.com - MN Weather, Map, Businesses and Blogs