Blades Earn Tie in Rematch

Blades Skate to 2-2 Tie Against Rival Hurricanes
By L. Hayes

Sunday was a rematch against the LI Hurricanes. As usual, people leaped hurdles to be on the ice. Our two centers made their travel plans around the game. Sarah drove straight from New Hampshire, while Kelly – just a couple of days past a bad round of stomach flu, as if there’s such a thing as a good round – flew in from Florida, getting an airport pick up from Deb, who was playing her first game since her knee injury.

We all do so much to get on the ice every week. That’s probably why Taylor Swift wrote that song about it – the one she retitled Shake It Off, probably to give it more commercial appeal. Luckily, we have the original!

Skate It Off (Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”)
Ankle’s got a sprain, Just got off the plane
That’s how people play, mmm-mmm
That’s how people play, mmm-mmm

Work’s stretched me out too thin
My femur’s got a pin
That’s how people play, mmm-mmm
That’s how people play, mmm-mmm

We might keep bruising.
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got Wayne Gretzky
In my mind saying
All you gotta do is skate!.

Hips are gonna ache, ache, ache, ache, ache
Quads are gonna quake, quake, quake, quake, quake
I’m just gonna skate skate skate skate skate
Skate it off, skate it off

Cause break outs gonna break, break, break, break, break
Contacts turn opaque, paque paque paque pague
I’m just gonna skate skate skate skate skate
Skate it off, skate it off

You just knew this was going to be a high energy game. The Hurricanes were still smarting from a 6-5 loss on home ice, and they came out swinging.

Deb made an immediate impact in her first shift back, showing no hesitation as she stepped up to challenge the puck carrier and perform a poke check she was probably practicing in her kitchen with a mop and a can of tuna while she was off the ice.

The puck went end to end as each team tried to get traction. Just two minutes in, LI was in our zone and a point lofted one from just inside the blue line. It seemed to float in the air for a moment, then landed with a bounce and a twist right over Dawn’s shoulder. Nothing to be done about it – it was just one of those unlucky deflections. So it was 0-1, but even as LI slapped each other’s backs, the Blades were settling in for the battle.

Kind of like that song, from that hockey movie – Frozen?

Let It Go (Idina Menzel, Frozen, “Let it Go”)
The ice glows white on Bayonne’s rink tonight,
Not a blade mark to be seen
A kingdom of blue lines and netting, and in the crease I’m the Queen
Inside my thoughts are howling, but no nerves allowed
It’s time to make Henrik Lundqvist proud
Don’t let them near, don’t give them space,
Don’t let them find you out of place
No weaknesses, don’t let them show,
It’s time to go!

Let me go, let me go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let me go, let me go!
Jump the boards or slam the door.
I don’t care how they’re going to play.
Let the Hurricanes rage…
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everyone look small
With my skates and battle gear, I feel like I’m 6 feet tall.
Its time to face the hardest shot,
Test my limits, break it out,
The pads are strapped, the mask is on,
It’s time for Dawn!

Let it go, let it go!
I’ll fight with heart and soul
Let it go, let it go!
Here I’ll stand, or Hasek Roll,
I don’t care how rough they play.
Let the Hurricanes storm…
One goal never bothered me anyway!

If the Blades were intent on business as usual, the Canes were in for a big shock. Karyn has been having a terrific season, because she’s determined to get to the right spot, and she doesn’t get intimidated by a little thing like a body in her way. Halfway through the first, an LI player knocked Karyn over. Whatever soreness Karyn felt the next day was surely worth it for the pleasure of hearing the ref calmly explain that checking is not actually allowed in our game, to an astonished Cane, as he pointed her to the box!

The Blades had a powerplay, and took control of the action. Ali got the puck and ran it up the ice smoothly, crossing the blue line where she threw it toward the net in one of her trademark lofting shots – and scored! Ali’s tied the game 1-1 with her very first goal for the Blades!

Like A Virgin (Madonna, “Like a Virgin”
I made it through the neutral zone,
Somehow I made it through
Didn’t know how close I was
Until I found a view

I play defense.
I’ve been checked, I‘ve gone black and blue
But you made me feel, yeah you made me feel
Shiny and new

Like a virgin,
Scoring for the very first time
Like a virgin
When the puck goes
O’er the line!

The Hurricanes were now mad as the proverbial nest of hornets.

Unable to stop Alyssa, one of them tripped her. The Cane player went to the box waving her arms in disbelief, and the Blades had another power play.
LI came out aggressively, and banged the puck toward our zone. Laurie stepped up for a poke and a pass that got the puck to Kelly. Jumping on a rebound, a LI player tried to skate it out but threw the puck away when Kelly challenged her.

The PP ended with no ground gained on either side, but LI was treating it like a playoff game, ratcheting up the intensity. A scramble in front of the net ended when Meredith scooped up the puck, and got it away and up to Kelly. Kelly made a beautiful pass from our zone, right up to Alyssa already on the move, streaking through the neutral zone. She sailed in for a shot that would have eluded a lesser goalie.

The last minute of the period was marked by a frantic flurry in our zone. Dawn made no fewer than three saves in a row, and in the final seconds got the puck behind the net, away from the four Canes parked in front, and Meredith was able to clear it.

The second period started with a tie, but that didn’t last long. Kelly took the face off, and won it over to Alyssa. The Canes collapsed around the two of them, but they managed to exchange passes with a little fancy footwork and a lot of finesse. Kelly actually kicked the puck past nimbly her attackers’ sticks, and Alyssa jetted off, zigging when they zagged, around the corner and to the net. She reminds of someone – who could it be…?

Moves Like Jagr (Maroon 5, “Moves Like Jagger”)
Just shoot from the line
If it feels right
Or run it in deep
If you feel like
Break it away, it’s all okay
We’ll back you all day

You called for the puck
So we sent it
You put on a show
Like you meant it
They double team
A useless scheme
You skate like a dream
And it goes like this

Scoop it up like you
Rehearsed it
Go behind the net
Reverse it
You got the moves like Jagr
Got the moves like Jagr
The moooves like Jagr!

Keep their forward line all busy
Skate in circles till they’re dizzy
With the moves like Jagr
You’ve got the moves like Jagr
You’ve got the moves like Jagr
The moooves like Jagr!

And before the first minute was up, Alyssa scored to put the Blades ahead 2-1!

Kelly’s face off wins continued. She won the draw back to Meredith, who threw it into the Canes zone. It came up but Laurie kept it in.  When puck came out it was Karyn who kicked it loose along the boards.

LI was frantic to tie the game. Crashing the net, they tried to screen Dawn and hide the puck under the forest of skates. Meredith made a tremendous clear after the puck skipped across the top of the crease; she thwacked it to the boards before the Canes got to it, eliciting a loud and disappointed roar from their bench!

Then – drama! Ali was called for tripping. The Hurricanes were invigorated by their PP but the Blades kept it tight. Coming toward our blue line, Kim stepped up, swung her stick and knocked the back back and away! Kelly, always so fleet of foot, was hit by a LI player carrying the puck and they both came crashing down.

The PK ended harmlessly. Both teams dug in for the remainder of the period, trying to win every race to the puck and push every advantage. Everyone on the Blades stepped up. Nina consistently drove to the net when her line had the puck, moving between the high slot and the crease and taking the defense with her, to clear a space. Laurie continued to poke check like a champ, and skated the puck up the boards when she didn’t have a good pass. Carol Anne was always on her point when they invaded our zone, never getting pulled out of position, and foiling their attempts to set up for a slap shot.

No goal, though, and the period ended with the Blades still leading by a tenuous 2-1.

Normally in the third, people might start slowing down. Not this game. Deb warned us between periods that we couldn’t hold back – we had to try to win, not protect our one goal lead.

Meredith stepped up in a literal fashion when she blocked a slap shot dead on. It bounced off her, and LI tried to pick it up and bury it again. Their concerted fury netted them another goal, and now the game was tied.

LI attacked, and the Blade answered. Kim and Carol Anne had a great shift with Sarah, playing keep away in our zone as the Canes tried to press to the net.

Dawn made a save, pouncing on the puck like a cat. Laurie got the puck out of there after the face off in our zone, battling up the boards against pressure. The Canes came back but Meredith stripped the puck away and passed it crisply to Kelly. Karyn continued to confound her opponents, stifling them on the boards!

They tried to barrel through the middle of the neutral zone with the puck, but Ali deftly deflected her and took it away while angling her to the side.

Deb called a time out to let us catch our collective breath and get back on track. With just a few minutes left, she again told us not to let them make us play defensively – it was anyone’s game, and we could out skate them! It was still our game to win or lose.

On the face off Kelly tied her opponent up tight as a tourniquet. Kim rushed in to pick up the puck, then send it to Kelly when she cut loose.

The Canes rushed into our zone for an uncomfortably long period. Kelly circled and circled but couldn’t quite get it past them. Meredith finally broke it free and headed up the boards, when one of their players ran into her, and we started shouting!

There’s only one way to describe this:

Bench Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”)
You’re such a beast by the net
You get hurt, we’ll call the vet
You haven’t gotten one yet
I’m always in your way

You took your time with that fall
Ref took no time with his call
I should get nothin’ at all
I’m only in your way

Your crime was punchin’
Next time bring your truncheon
Ref is out to lunch and
Where you think you goin’ lady?

Hey, I defend you
And you go crazy
So here’s my number
Bench me maybe

It’s hard to stop you
But I’m not lazy
So here’s my number
Bench me maybe

Hey you just hit me
Think you went crazy
So here’s my number
Bench me maybe!

The ref threw both players in the box, Meredith for two minutes and their player in for four. Since there were less than four minutes left, she was effectively out of the game and I imagine her attitude is a little something like this:

I Love It! (Icona Pop, “I Love It!”
I grabbed your stick behind the net and then I tripped you up
I crashed you up into the boards I watched I let you fall
I punched your face off in the face off while the ref was there
I smashed you up into the boards

I don’t care, I love it!
I don’t care, I love it!

You’re on a different team,
I’m like a Hanson bro
I want some knuckle foil
So I can break your nose

You’re playing by the rules
but I don’t feel the same
Go win the Lady Byng,
I want to take this game

I don’t care, I love it!
I don’t care I love it!

There was still time for a final plot twist! With 23 sec left, a bit of confusion during a change winds up with a penalty for too many women on the ice, and Karyn goes to the box. Deb went down hard in the corner fending off a rally by LI, and Dawn locked it down to keep the game at a well-earned 2-2 tie!

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About the Blades

The Brooklyn Blades Ice Hockey Club is a volunteer-run program that has been running community ice hockey programs in the NYC area since 1992.The Women’s program consists of a National D Level Travel Team. We play approximately 16 games against local women’s teams located in Long Island, Westchester County and northern New Jersey, with our home ice located at the Richard L. Korpi rink at the Bayonne High School, in Bayonne NJ.