I finally played in my first official hockey league game yesterday -- along with seven other guys also making their debut and a handful of teammates with a range of experience.
It could have gone better.
After a rough start and falling behind 4 to 0 early, we scratched back to trail 4 to 2 early in the third period but couldn't get it any closer. Final score: 6 to 3. Hardly an embarrassment but clearly we are better than that.
I was wired before the game. I think everyone was wired before the game -- some early game yips is what did us in. I might have well as played the first 10 minutes with my stick up my ass as I clearly wasn't using it for anything else. It took everyone a few minutes to realize the puck is not a hot potato and, in fact, can be a friend if utilized correctly.
It also seemed to take us a few minutes to remember that Mr. Puck wasn't just going to jump up and leap into the other team's net. Someone was gonna have to give it a nudge.
My own personal lowlight -- which I pondered while laying in bed last night: I was playing defense. The other team tries to clear it, I step up to keep it in and in the process knock over our center who is also trying to grab the puck and do something with it.
Result: Other team grabs loose puck, takes it down the ice on a breakaway and scores. I told The Domestic Partner last night that if I wake up screaming around 4 a.m., that play is the reason why. No wonder The Domestic Partner wants to put me in adult diapers.
All that said, I wish we could play again today. Like right fucking now. I knew hockey was addictive, but I didn't realize it was like having crystal meth shot straight into your veins while washing down uppers with shots of vodka.
I will say the entire afternoon was really, for lack of a better term, a "holy shit" kind of moment. When I was 41 years old, I never thought about playing hockey -- it just never occurred to me. When I was 42 I started skating. When I was 43, I helped put together a team for a league and there I was yesterday in a real jersey, with two refs, a scoreboard and actual spectators. Me? Seriously? In a hockey game?
Well maybe that moron Forrest Gump was right: life is a box of chocolates.
Only six days and 21 minutes until next week's faceoff.