Brooklyn Blades NYC Women's Ice Hockey Club Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:51:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blades Earn Tie in Rematch Mon, 02 Feb 2015 07:48:18 +0000 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!

]]> 0
Blades Best Hurricanes, 3-2 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:51:06 +0000 Blades Defeat LI Hurricanes in Close Game (The Musical)
By L. Hayes

Sunday night the Blades took on the LI Hurricanes at home. Even before we got on the ice, the Blades had a lot to celebrate, as all our injured players were back! But wait – what’s that I hear? Is it … the sound of music…? That’s right, Blades – it’s time for a musical recap!!!

(So Long, Farewell Welcome Back)

There’s a loud sort of banging at the locker room door,
And clatter in the hallway too,
As oversized bags try to fit through once more
And sticks in the corner fall (They do! They do!)

Happily the noises
Tell us you’ve rejoined us
We say welcome back
To you!

Cheers! Hello! Greeting, and Shalom!
We’re so glad you’re healed, so welcome home!

Hello! Ola! (that last one was in Spanish!)
We’re so glad your injuries have vanished!

Yassas! Bonjour! (Hello in Greek & French!)
It’s time to sit your butts back on the bench!

Now you’ve healed your shoulders, hips & brains
Let’s hit the ice and beat those Hurricanes!

Of course, not everyone was 100%, as many of us carry signs of the rigors of the season – the stresses and pressures of work and weather and holiday shopping, too little time, and too many parties.

(The Sound Of Music Hockey)

The rink is alive with the sound of swearing
And groaning and coughs we’ve all heard before
The rink fills my ears with complaints despairing
As we work out the kinks that we all abhore

My feet want to soar like the wings of the birds that fly
(but this pain in my knees!)
My heart wants to beat like a bongo drum
(but this cold makes me wheeze!)
To laugh like a brook when I block a shot
(To my rotator cuff’s dismay)
To skate through the night, like a cougar that’s learning to prey!

The rink is alive with the sound of hockey
I know that I’ll hear what I hear before
I know that I’ll thrive (and if not, there’s saki)
When I skate once more.

This is always a fun match up. The Hurricanes are a fast and smart team, with exemplary passing skills, born of long hours in a rink the size of a pool table. But the Blades came out fighting. The puck went up and down the ice like blips on an EKG.

Clare, in her first shift back on the ice, looked as if she hadn’t lost a step, chasing and easily catching the puck in our zone, and clearing it cleanly up the ice. Wendy, Sarah and Nina pressed hard in the offensive zone. Sarah was playing smart heads-up hockey, traveling to the open spots, creating space to make plays. When the puck threatened to squeak out of the zone, Nina kept it in, with a mighty swope at the blue line.

When the Canes managed to break the puck out, they never had a clear run. Laurie trapped a player on the boards, threatening to corkscrew her with a carefully placed blade! Sorry, Cane – no puck for you!

Our forwards back-checked like they were getting paid for it.
Meredith practically rode an attacker out of the lane and into the corner as if she was steering a horse around the Grand National course. And Karyn continued her string of ferocious play, chasing and clearing the puck with speed and determination, and attacking in the offensive zone, the same way.

(Sixteen Going On Skating With Seventeen)

You wait, Brooklyn Blade, in an empty slot
While people try to sass you
Your stick, Brooklyn Blade, has an empty spot
That people want to pass to
To pass to…

Karyn’s 16, Meredith’s17
Two of you right in synch
Both quite a pair, Rogers and Astaire
Swirling around the rink!

You are 16
Skating with 17
Together you’re hard to beat
No one can bait you, slash or outskate you,
Triathletes are pretty fleet!

Totally unprepared are they
To face your feisty line
Tied up on the boards again and again
Frustrated and resigned

You’ve got Laurie
Crashing nets solidly
You three know what to do!
Karyn’s 16, Meredith’s17
We’re all counting on you!

Even if they got into our zone, the Canes never had a clean shot.

(The Lonely Goatherd Goalie)

Back in the net is a lonely goalie
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Waiting for shots whether high or lowly
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

When she’s got time (if they’re moving slowly)
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
She’s dreaming of chips and of guacamole
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Flurries of shots, she rejects them wholly
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Or stops them short (Cause that’s her role, see?)
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Might I suggest post game ravioli?
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Watch out for the burger (it might have e. coli)
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo!

When called to action, Steph answered the first shot on goal with a spectacular glove save. Sophie brought the puck back up the ice, while Karyn dropped back to cover the blue line as she went in. Jackie plunged in to take a shot as well.

When the puck came back, Clare was in exactly the right place, reading the play, and intercepting the puck in the neutral zone. She sent it up to Alyssa, who made a beautiful run to the net, with Deb trailing, to pounce on the rebound.

Wendy used a deft poke check to pick a pocket in the neutral zone. Sarah circled wide for the pass, while Nina the Screena went straight to the net to block and outrage the goalie.

Despite strong shots, great passing and excellent chances, the first period ended scoreless.

In the 2nd, the smart play continued and the tempo increased. The Hurricanes were fired up, and broke into our zone. Clare cleared the crease, then passed up to Alyssa. She tapped it over to Meredith, who sent the puck to Deb. Deb carried the puck in and fired a backhand shot. Blocked by the goalie, Alyssa scooped up the rebound, aimed high and GOAL! 1-0!

But in scoring, we poked the bear and it woke up mad! The Hurricanes came back quickly, scoring twice in a matter of minutes. The first came off a bad clear; the second came from a weird, unpredictable bounce. 1-2 Canes.

Enjoy the lead, Canes – it won’t last! The Blades pressed the puck down the ice, and fired until we got a face off in the Canes zone. Meredith won the puck back to Sophie, who unleashed a powerful wrist shot that arced straight into the net! The score was tied, 2-2!

(My Favorite Things)

Refs who call tripping and holding and slashes
Pads that protect us from bruises and gashes
Trawling the pro shop for more hockey bling
These are a few of my favorite things

The perfect poke check that boosts my self-image,
Peeling off sweaty stuff after a scrimmage
Watching the waltz of two well-seasoned wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the puck’s gone,
When my flip flops,
When the refs just blow,
I simply remember my favorite things
And let the endorphins flow!

Now it became pure grinder hockey: a series of small, intense battles for the puck. Two tough teams, equally determined to prevail, neither able to edge ahead. Wendy drove to the net, made a great shot – was it in? No! Meredith, so strong on her feet, pushed through the defense to take the puck away, and chase down the rebound for another chance at the net. Denied!
Sophie fired another wrister from the blue line, right to Laurie waiting in the perfect place at the corner of the net. So close!!!

(Climb Every Mountain Find Every Five Hole)

Win every face off!
Search high and low
Follow into corners
Every where pucks go

Win every battle
Find every hole
Follow every rebound
Till you get your goal!

The 3rd period battle was epic. Both sides hit the ice knowing that the next goal could decide the game. The Hurricanes kept bringing the puck into our zone. Steph made save after save, stopping the puck after face-offs, giving us much needed moments to breathe.

The fastest of the Canes got the puck on her stick and headed straight to our net, till Jackie stopped her short!

(Do- D’oh!-Re-Mi)

D’oh! I fear I lost the puck
Ra-cing backwards toward the net
Me me me I stretched my stick
Fa- r ahead between those skates!
So – I maybe corkscrewed them,
La di da di da di da
T- Two minutes in the box!
And that brings us back to 

The penalty kill was a thing of beauty. Any presumption on the Canes’ part was wiped away instantly when Alyssa seized the puck for a breakaway that had all five players trying to chase her down. When they did manage to get back to our zone, they lost the puck – whereupon Sophie singlehandedly killed off almost a quarter of the penalty, taking the puck behind the net, reversing and faking for almost 30 seconds (yup, I was watching the clock during that remarkable performance!)

Finally one of the Canes launched herself at Sophie, resulting in a penalty of her own and a 4-on-4. Wendy won the face off right outside our zone, and took it away. She shot, then caught then caught her own rebound, and scored! GOAL! 3-2!

With minutes to go, it was all about not making mistakes on our part and preserving the lead, while the Hurricanes poured it on. They called a time out (obviously not realizing that timeouts just energize the Blades!)

With a minute and a half left, and the puck in our end, they probably pulled the goalie, but truthfully, I couldn’t tell you if they did – all I could see were the players in front of the net who needed to be bulldozed away. Bodies were flying, people were shouting, and any bounce could decide the game.

(How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria On Our Back Door)

How do you solve a problem on our back door
While holding off the player parked in front?
How do you make them pay
For standing in Steph’s way
How do you hold two players off at once??
How do you solve a problem on our back door?
With a running commentary and some luck!

With seconds to go, the puck went into the corner and a Cane got the last shot, rocketing the puck straight across the crease! If anyone had so much as breathed on it, it would have gone it – but it didn’t!

A thrilling and well deserved 3-2 victory for the Blades!

]]> 0
Blades Redeem Loss to Wings Fri, 08 Mar 2013 06:24:49 +0000 Blades Get Revenge in Best Fashion: On the Ice
By L. Hayes

Last Sunday’s game was a nail biter, but a joy to skate. We had a full bench, three lines of forwards and three lines of D, ready to take on Bridgewater. The last meeting between the teams resulted in a 5-4 loss for the Blades, so we were ready for a different outcome, on our home ice.

The game was fast and furious from the first puck drop. The Wings were aggressive, racing to the puck and pushing down the ice, three across. But the Blades back checked like crazy, and spread out to play the whole ice.

Our centers skated like they had tracker jackers breathing down their necks. Meredith pounced and loose pucks and showcased a mighty backhand and a GPS-like accuracy finding Tanya and Laurie for cross ice passes. Katie dropped low to scoop up pucks in our zone, and dodged defenders to shoot on their goalie. Kelly was always two steps ahead, anticipating the bounce of the puck would go and her teammates’ intent.

Our wings played tough and smart. Laurie continued her aggressive play, making crisp passes even after getting knocked to her knees. Sue found open spaces and had give and go’s with Katie. Nina held the puck against the board resisting all attempts to dislodge her until another Blade could rescue the puck.

A few minutes in, the Wings got a goal, when the Blades all got stuck on the ice for far too long. But Bridgewater’s happiness had a shorter lifespan than a mayfly. Halfway through the period, Alyssa sent the puck to Kelly, who took a shot that rebounded to Karyn, who sent it up and over to tie the game!

Just like last time, the two teams were fairly even and the action moved quickly. The defense had many great plays. Sophie and Hutch both took the puck end to end, Sophie in a flat out sprint that would have left the Wings in the dust, if ice had dust, and Hutch with quick, dizzying twists and dodges. When Deb wasn’t coaching on the bench, she was thwarting forwards; she made one of the prettiest poke checks I’ve seen all season.

In the second period, the KAK line scored again when Alyssa passed to Kelly, and Kelly buried it to put us ahead 2-1! That score held for another period. In the third, they pulled their goalie at the end, as expected, but even a sixth player couldn’t help them beat a unified Blades team.

As for Steph, she was awesome as usual, ensuring the victory with a string of excellent saves, including several point blank attempts that she stopped with a magician’s hand. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t!

Another in a series of hard fought and well-deserved victories!

]]> 0
Blades Play Up and Play Hard Sun, 20 Jan 2013 05:04:42 +0000 Blades Fight Hard Against Cat’s C/D Team
By L. Hayes

Sometimes when you’re playing a team that’s just faster
The final score looks like your players were plastered.
While they whiz about, taking shots as they please
You chase behind, mad, like a pissed swarm of bees

They scored twice in the first, and the same in the second
Could it get any worse? Martini dreams beckoned!
But the gin had to wait: for the whole second half
The Blades started shining like Edith Piaf

Like a Mafia accountant who skims off the top,
Sooner or later the bleeding must stop
While Alyssa and Sue kept them running like crazy,
Kelly set shots up like Martin Scorcese

The Cats found that Meredith, Nina and Tanya
Could shake ‘em and bake ‘em like uncooked lasagna
Together Laurie, Sarah and Hutch on
Offense cleaned the blots off our Blades escutcheon

Laura and Jackie cleared goons from the crease
With smarts and with sass (and of course elbow grease)
Sophie and Deb played like Lidstrom or Orr
They covered both ends, while still guarding the door

Steph played like an All Star, save after save
The net as off-limit as Genghis Khan’s grave
Their forwards thought rebounds would pay dividends
But Steph dove so fast she came up with the bends

Like Piaf, the end was not technically glorious,
We never scored, and the Cats were victorious
But no one shone as bright as our star in the net.
We regret nothing, and we’ll get them yet!

]]> 0
Blades Repeat Against Westchester Wed, 09 Jan 2013 08:40:52 +0000 Blades Prove Last Win Was No Fluke
By L. Hayes

Our last game against Westchester was a one-goal nail-biter, and we were starting out with a few handicaps this time, with people like Cherry and Duffy and Herlihy out on the DL, Jackie playing with a fever, and Sophie rocking a new pair of Christmas skates that, regrettably, had never touched ice before, causing her to splay out and skitter like Bambi sailing across a frozen pond.

Luckily we had a full bench. With so many teams, a full roster means you might as well bring a magazine because you’re gonna sit so long between shifts. But the Blades have been doing a great job keeping shifts short and action-packed, rolling the lines quickly so there are always fresh legs on the ice.

This game was another nailbiter. Overall we looked a little rusty for the first half of the first period, not surprising for our first game of the year after a long layoff. We had a powerplay and failed to convert. But we didn’t make any major mistakes while we were getting our legs back under us, and slowly the Blades began to get an edge. On one pivotal play, the Wildcats had a breakaway, and it was looking like a three on one till Sophie came from behind, stole the puck, and sent it to Meredith behind her, who took it into their zone and got off a fine shot.

Every line had great chances for the rest of the game. Meredith, Tanya and Karyn took so many shots on net that they may have spent as much time on the resulting faceoffs as they did skating. In one shift, the desperate Wildcats almost the puck out of their zone, until Deb stopped it, made a sweet wrist shot to the high slot, straight to Meredith. Three face-offs in a row followed, and Meredith won every one!

Kelly and her line were robbed three, maybe four times – I’d like to see the video review of at least one of those close calls! Katie’s line, with Laurie and Sarah, also should have had a couple on the scoreboard. Katie won faceoff after faceoff. She also raced across the ice like a greyhound, swift and seemingly effortless. In one crucial moment in the second period, it looked as if the Wildcats were going to settle in and keep the puck by our net for an extended time. But Katie swooped in, grabbing the puck and executing a graceful U-turn to turn the tide of pressure away from us and onto them. Sarah’s not afraid to get physical – she broke up so many shots up the boards that she’ll probably be picking splinters out of her jersey all week. Laurie was beautifully positioned at every turn, always open for a pass. Under pressure in the neutral zone, Deb caught a cross ice pass and quickly and calmly sent it across the ice to Laurie, who was already making tracks to the blue line in anticipation.

Two factors kept the game from ever breaking open for the Wildcats: the forwards backchecked like champions, and the defense never let the WCats control the puck for long. Hutch sparkled on D, playing like a latter day Bobby Orr, aggressive on offense as well as defense. Laura played tough and smart, facing down breakaway attempts and clearing the front of the net. Deb controlled the tempo every time she got the puck, playing several moves ahead of the opposition around her. And as for Jackie and her fever? Clearly, she’s got hockey fever, and the only answer for that is more ice!

What turned out to be the play of the game came with just four minutes left in the first. Kelly, Sue and Nina were in the offensive zone, pressuring the Wildcats. The Cats got the puck and sent a clearing pass up the ice. But they didn’t count on Nina, playing what might have been her best game yet. She intercepted the puck before it got over the blue line, passing it to Kelly. Kelly took it behind the net then sent it to Sue on the side. Nina went to the front of the net and tied up one of their defenders, while Sue who took a shot that Jackie deflected into the net for a goal! This win was a total team effort but if Nina didn’t reach that puck first, the play didn’t happen and the Blades didn’t score!

The Blades held on to that slender one goal lead for the entire game, with smart play and a strong team effort. Time after time, the D pushed puck carriers to the side before plucking the pucks away. And when the WC broke through – there was Steph. Steph had too many amazing saves to count, including one in the second where the shooter had a clear breakaway and a straight line into an empty corner of the net, until Steph seemed to stretch across the crease like Gumby. Late in the third, a fast moving player broke away and got a powerful shot off, that rocketed high, wide – and straight into Steph’s glove hand. Stamp that shot Denied!

In the final minute the WCats threw everything they had on the ice, including pulling their goalie. They threw everything they had down on the ice, but no one could break through, and that one goal lead held up. The Blades started the new year in style, winning the second game in a row against Westchester! Well done, everyone!

]]> 0
Blades Weather the Storm Tue, 18 Dec 2012 06:24:03 +0000 Blades Snap Back Against Hurricanes for Win
By L. Hayes

The LI Hurricanes, in their new home (a rink about twice the size of the ping pong table where they used to play) were true to their name; they came out storming, and at the end of the first we were down 0-2.

They might have been ahead, but they weren’t confident, because despite the score, the Blades were keeping pace with them. It was almost as though the first period was about taking their measure and settling down, getting into synch with each other. And right at the start of the second period, not a minute passed before the first line scored. Kelly, Alyssa and Sarah were on the ice, swapping passes and moving the puck steadily forward. Kelly had the puck to the right of the net, saw Alyssa heading toward the front, and threaded the puck through two sets of legs right onto Alyssa’s stick! She sent it to the back of the net, and just like that, the deficit was cut in half.

Just a few minutes later, the puck was back in our end, with Sophie and Jackie defending, and the forward line of Nina, Sue and Hutch on the ice. The Hurricanes were trying to set themselves up around the net, but like a magician working a sleight of hand trick, suddenly Hutch had the puck and was pushing it up the ice at top speed while the Canes were standing flatfooted behind her. Score! And a tie game!

The first period was well played by both teams, and the second tilted in our favor. But the third was when the Blades brought the hammer down. The play was thoughtful, fluid, physical. Players circled, found open spaces, pushed hard, improvised, and got results. Of course, it helped that our goalie decided to shut the door. The only way to describe Steph’s game was that it was the opposite of an out of body experience: she used everything she had and the results were out of this world. Puck in the air? She snapped it up like a frog snicking a fly with its tongue. Down low? She snaked across the ice like a concertina, condensing, expanding, and trapping it in her gloves. The Hurricanes never scored again.

The Blades, on the other hand, had plenty more to give. Meredith’s line of Tania and Karyn were heartbreakers, stopping the Canes every time they thought they had momentum. Meredith tied up the other center on faceoffs, letting us slip in to steal the puck away. All three had give and goes around the net, and plenty of chances that would have gone home, against lesser opponents. Hutch’s line, with Sue and Nina, used speed, space and solid persistence to work the puck around the ice. It was great seeing Sue back on the ice – she showed she hadn’t missed a step, always finding the open ice and putting herself in the play. Nina, steady and sure, managed to reach the puck at key moments, blocking a player on the boards, or flying under the radar to center ice to poke the puck up to Hutch. Kelly was superb at getting to the puck and finding Alyssa and Sarah, setting up triangles around the net. The Hurricanes simply couldn’t dislodge them, and it was deja vue all over again when Sarah passed to Kelly who passed to Alyssa who scored and broke the tie!

Now halfway through the third, the D worked on preserving the one goal lead – well, except for Sophie, who decided it would be safer simply to extend it! She scored and gave the Blades some breathing room, as well as our fourth unanswered goal.

With about a minute left, LI pulled their goalie and sent a sixth player onto the ice. But so late in the game, they simply had no traction. The Blades controlled the puck easily. They got it into our end, but with five seconds to go, Jackie picked it up and cleared it easily down the ice. The whistle blew, and the first game of our doubleheader weekend was a decisive victory!

]]> 0
Blades Strong in Season Opener Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:06:20 +0000 Blades Come Back from Behind to Beat Quarry Cats
By L. Hayes

If the NHL lockout wipes out a whole season, never fear – Blades hockey is here! Our first game of the season started with Deb’s locker room chalk talk. With fourteen skaters on the bench – some new, and some returning after long absences – there was plenty of potential for chaos. Instead, we got chemistry.

First and foremost, our goalie Steph rocked the house! She missed a lot of games last season due to injuries, and to make things more interesting, she suited up after spending the day driving back from Rochester. But any doubts that she wasn’t rested or ready vanished faster than Lance Armstrong’s endorsement deals. Steph was on fire! She caught ‘em high, she stopped ‘em low. It’s hard to pick out the best moment but one pivotal stop may have been when a Quarry Cat found herself alone in front of the net, dead center, puck on her stick, easy shot to the back of the net, or so she thought. Steph used her blocker to stamp that application DENIED!

Meanwhile Kelly got the party started in the first period when she swooped in for her first goal of the season. Centering Karyn and Tanya, then Karyn and Jackie, the first line kept the pressure on and found themselves in front of the net time and again. Karyn was in great position throughout the game, and kept the puck moving, with such verve that she broke her stick. Someone’s been working out! Tanya was her usual relentless self, making crisp passes and sprinting to catch the puck in return. She always find the open ice, always knows where her center is headed!

Steph noted that she heard a lot of talking on the ice. (And she did a lot of it herself, always letting the D know where the attackers were.) Meredith was one of those chatting it up with her line, and they swooped and circled as if they’d worked out the choreography in advance. Meredith also centered the comeback line, with Laurie and Sarah. Laurie, returning after a broken toe, compensated for a weak foot with careful and precise puck handling, including one superb deke deep in the enemy zone. Sarah, playing her first game in several years, never stopped smiling (and neither did we, watching her play!) Early on she showed her fighting spirit when she tangled with a QC on the boards and refused to leave without the puck. By the end of the game she was carrying the puck up the ice with confidence.

The third line had Hutch centering Nina and Jackie, then Nina and Tanya. Hutch proved a master strategist, quickly analyzing the dynamics of the opposition and setting up plays. (She also brought fans along – her parents – who must have been proud to see their pride and joy dominating the ice with her speed and quick hands.) Nina sailed straight to the net, pulling attention from defense and the goalie, while her line mates got set up. Jackie had played street hockey earlier in the day, but still managed to eke out the energy for powerful shot. She also covered the point whenever the D carried the puck in.

And that happened pretty often, when Sophie got the puck! Her speed and energy were spectacular to watch, which is pretty much all the Quarry Cats could do while she wove around them until she could dump the puck deep into their zone. All the D worked the whole ice, not just clearing the net but carrying the puck out whenever a regular breakout wouldn’t work. Deb would disappear behind the net, spin a quick reverse then head up the boards. Laura showed her running career has worked as dry land training – she never let a cherry picker sneak behind her. Clare held the blue line in the offensive zone, and blocked shots in ours.

The first period ended with the Blades up 1-0. But the game was so evenly matched that you just knew the Quarry Cats were waiting for any chance to even up the score. They got it midway through the second period, when the QC got a power play with Kelly off for hooking. About a minute in to the penalty kill, the Quarry Cats caught a break, lifting the puck up just as Steph was going down. Even so, she almost got a piece of it.

Less than a minute later, they scored again. But before panic set in, Laurie, who’s a judge in real life, proved why she’s so valuable no matter what kind of bench she’s sitting on, when she suggested to Deb that this might be a good time for time out. Deb called it, settled everyone down, and instead of falling apart, the Blades hit the ice running. And Kelly scored again!

The game was tied at the end of the second. The Blades and the Cats were evenly matched, spending time in each zone. But many little things the Blades did right began to add up to something big. Everyone was communicating. Everyone was looking for the open player or finding open ice, sending and catching smart passes. Forwards were back checking, defenders were challenging and forcing turnovers. Everyone kept moving. The shifts were short, fast and hard – no one sat cooling their heels on the bench too long. The breakouts looked amazingly like what we’d been practicing – and they worked! Everyone had great opportunities, and just as important, great passion!

The Quarry Cats never gave up. Halfway through the third, they came down the ice like the Mongol hordes storming the Russia empire. They sent the puck in deep, but Deb outraced the forwards and sent it all the way around to Karyn, already moving up the boards. She skated several steps, looked up and found Kelly. Kelly sprinted up the ice and found the back of the net. 3-2 Blades!

Tension was high. Separated by a single goal, there was only one question – who wanted it more? The QC tried to flood the crease, sending all three forwards down low. But each time their blockade was broken. Sophie took matters into her own hands, when she moved the puck out herself when she couldn’t find an outlet pass, then recovered the puck three times in a row. The QC tried putting two players on her, but even that wasn’t enough! Hutch had several great runs down the ice, sometimes solo and sometimes with Tanya keeping pace. So many shots, so very close! Meredith, Laurie and Sarah kept the pressure on, shift after shift. The QC tried to send cherry pickers back, but the D caught them every time.

Two turning points came in the last few minutes. One came after the Quarry Cats finally broke out of their zone and came barreling into ours. A player wound up, took a shot – and had it blocked by Clare, completely deflating their momentum. The next came with three minutes to go. The Quarry Cats were watching the clock, waiting to pull their goalie, but they couldn’t get the puck. Shift after shift, it stayed in their end. When they finally broke it out, pulled their goalie and sent a sixth skater out, there was less than a minute left.

Those of us on the bench were yelling as we watched the QC swarm and the Blades repel. Steph was like an octopus – no matter how they tried to get around her, she was always there. Laura and Clare dug deep and seemed to keep circling the net, one in front, one behind, chasing and disrupting the attackers. The final twenty seconds felt like an hour. But when the buzzer rang, the game was ours! A fantastic first game to start the Blades season!

]]> 0
Christine Overbye Fri, 07 Sep 2012 02:33:31 +0000 I am saddened to pass along the news to current and former Blades that Christine Overbye, who played in net for several years with the Blades, passed away on August 10, 2012.

Christine, who also played with many of you at Chelsea Piers, will be remembered for her strong spirit, and upbeat personality. Always unique, Christine was fierce in the net and in life, and she will be missed.

I have included a link below with her obituary, which has a secondary link to a guestbook where you can post thoughts for her family to read.

Deborah Glazer

]]> 0
Blades Defy the Odds, Win 5-3 Sun, 29 Jan 2012 08:39:16 +0000 Blades Blow Through Long Island
By D. Glazer

In a game where we were only 8 skaters, the Blades took the Hurricanes by surprise and took the game in hand early.

We had only 4 Blades (Meredith, Clare, Liz and myself) and 4 subs (former Blade Niamh, plus Lisa, Wendy and Melissa) but it didn’t matter because Lisa came out hard and skated fast and gave us the early lead, 1-0, in the first couple of minutes.

The ‘Canes came back with spirit, and managed to get two goals before we got ourselves collected and Wendy got a shot off to make it 2-2.

After that, we had some scrappy moments in both ends. They got a bouncing goal past Steph and took the lead back to make it 3-2. Then the ref called a tripping penalty – which was of course, on me – but the team stepped up and killed it beautifully. Steph stood on her head and made save after save, including a really amazing sliding stop – and one with her glove that was so unbelievable that the Hurricanes were actually celebrating it as a goal until she stood up and it was clear that it was in her mitt!

In the third, Lisa and Niamh pressured up front, while Wendy skated out of our end and tied it up with her second of the night to make it 3-3. Then it was their turn to play short-handed as they took a tripping penalty and we went on the best power play we’ve had this year. Liz and Meredith had a terrific give and go down low, which ended up as a shot on net that flipped up off the goalie and Liz popped it in to give us the lead, 4-3.

We sat on that lead, skating hard for every loose puck, until Melissa, swooping out of our end, brought that puck down and roofed it over their goalie for a decisive 5-3 lead.

With two minutes to go, the ‘Canes tried to pull their goalie. But our forwards were relentless and both Clare and Wendy on D stepped it up, and they couldn’t control the puck to bring it into our zone. Their goalie was caught out, halfway to the bench, and forced to freeze the puck – and thereby took a costly penalty as she was out of her crease. We forced them back into their end for the rest of the game, and came away with an exhausting, exciting and exhilarating win!

]]> 0
Blades Storm Long Island 5-2 Tue, 17 Jan 2012 05:23:21 +0000 Empty Netter Sweetens the Trip in Blades Win Over the Lipstix
By D. Glazer

The rain may have stopped but that meant nothing as the “Wild Blade Cats” brought a torrent of offense to Long Island last night.

With visiting players from both the Wildcats and the Quarry Cats, our mashed-up team came out ready to play, even if we couldn’t get the names quite right. It wasn’t really our fault: we had QC Karen (not to be confused with our Karyn), wearing Laurie’s old jerseys, so we had Woods and Woods on the opening face-up. On D, we had Glazer (me) with Glazer (Cassidy) and Duffy (Clare) playing with Duffy (Laura A.) Take into account that we had brought Lora D, Laura A. and Laurie with us, and really it was amazing we could figure out who anyone was! Plus they had us playing three 15 minute, mostly running-time periods and we were pretty lost before we started.

But that didn’t matter once the puck dropped, as Clare found QC Karen on a nifty outlet pass and Karen put us up 1-0. The Lipstix Ms. Dizzy came right back, out-racing all into our zone and feeding one of her wingers to put the score back even at 1-1. As the first period wound down, we played hard and skated fast, and Lora D. skated her pretty little circles in their end, feeding Cassidy for some nice on- timers, with Nina poised for the rebounds but their goalie stood up to all.

In the 2nd period, we caught a break as WC Aveline got the loose puck to QC Karen once more, and she put in her 2nd of the night – and we had taken the lead once more. We held tight to that lead going into the third, confident that a little defensive play would hold us. However, at the opening face-off, Ms. Dizzy, moved from D to center, “lost” the face-off, scooped up the puck from behind our center, split the D and headed in 1-on-1 on Steph. Steph got a good piece of it but it just squipped through, and they had tied it, 2-2.

Their celebration was short-lived, however, because they hadn’t counted on Lora D, who wasn’t about to let some Quarry Cat do all the scoring. Paired with QC Claudia at center, she moved the puck smoothly up the ice, and got one of her quick shots off – and we had the lead 3-2. We played tough after that, with both our Karyn and Laurie holding down the center positions, and keeping the puck in the other zone (hey, the best defense? a good offense…), while Cassidy skated up, down, sideways, longways, back ways until the other team really was “Dizzy.” Finally, Lora intercepted a pass, took off on got a break-a-way and beat the goalie cleanly to give us the two goal cushion we needed!

With two minutes left, they pulled the goalie and put Ms. Dizzy out front on wing. It was a good strategy and they held the puck in our end for a bit but we were tough in our end and Steph was perfect in net. In the end, QC Karen caught a bouncing puck, raced away with it down the ice – and put her third of the night into the empty net for a lovely hat-trick.

With the win firmly in our pocket, we lined up for the post-game photo and headed off to the lodge for some champagne, sushi and chatting. All in all, a perfect night of hockey!

]]> 0