Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Joys of...Losing????

Well, another several weeks have gone by and another several hockey games and practices as well. The holidays are upon us and I am taking this time to reflect on the joys of hockey-mom-dom.

It's so nice to see my child playing well with others on his team. It's not so nice to see him playing not so nice with opposing teams! Example: This week at practice they ran some drills with the other house league team at our rink. When my son couldn't catch the kid (who happens to be the son of a current NHLer), he threw his stick at him. The other kid's dad, who happened to be at practice laughed and said, "gee, I wonder where he gets that?" I replied, "watching Scott Hartnell."

It's also nice to see my son still enjoy playing the game despite his team's record. They haven't won a game in weeks and weeks. But the kids don't seem to mind too much. They are a young and small sized team; mostly 6 or young 7 year olds. They are improving every week. In fact, teams that have beaten them by double digits are now only beating us by a goal or three. I know the kids would like to see a win now and then though, but they don't let us parents see it. Good boys.

I'm so thankful that my husband has been able to assist with coaching the team. He loves being involved with his son's sports activities and is thrilled to have those boys call him "Coach". I can see it in his eyes that he is loving every minute of it and is disappointed when he can't make it to a game or practice. I send him text updates though so it's almost like being there...sort of.

I'm so glad to be a hockey mom. It takes a special kind of parent to be a hockey mom. We don't mind the cold. We always have a blanket and gloves in the car even in the heat of the summer. We sip gallons of coffee trying to warm up and wake up at 7 am hockey games. We heave large bags of equipment into the back of our all of a sudden too small minivans. We know the best ways to get odors out of hockey pads and we aren't afraid to assist our young sons in the adjustment of the cup.

These are just some of the things I've learned and enjoyed this far...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Road Trip!

Sean's team (Orange Crush, as they call themselves) had their first full ice game with refs and no coaches on the ice this past Sunday. We had to make it a whole experience. I can't tell you how fun it was for the boys.

The parents wore orange shirts and had signs and cowbells. It was so fun! We still lost but here's the funny part. The score was 7-2. Sounds bad BUT, we played this team early in the season and they beat us 17-3! Thankfully, the scorekeeper stopped putting it up after 5 but we parents keep track.

Our boys ARE improving. They are getting better every week. They are playing as a team. They are passing the puck, ON PURPOSE! They are blocking shots. Playing in their positions. AND they are learning ALL the positions.

The team we played this week obviously has a full time netminder. Our goalie-of-the-week was wearing the pads for the first time ever. But that's ok. The boys gave him a cheer anyway for giving it a good try!

Home game coming up this week. They'll be better this week than last week, I'm sure! ;-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Not Always About a Winning Record

Well, after a brief (sort of) hiatus that included a hard drive crash and inconsistent wireless internet access, I'm back.

Sean's hockey season is well underway and luckily for me, there are NO seven o'clock game times! Yay!!!! Unfortunately for me, his team is 0-3.

It's heartbreaking to watch your child attempt something and fail numerous times, especially when it's something he loves so much. I sit there in the stands shouting encouragement to him and his team mates to no avail. I watch in horror with the other parents as the opposing team opens up and shooting gallery that ends with a score of 17-3. Mercifully, there was no score keeper that game and generally, they stop putting it up on the scoreboard after 6 or so goals. I feel very sad for my son to not know the feeling of victory. I feel like the coaches (including my own husband) should be doing a better job of preparing the boys for their games. I feel like I need to be the biggest cheerleader in the world to keep him excited about the game.

Then...I ask my son how he feels about it. He doesn't even notice the score. He noticed how his buddy passed the puck to him and he almost scored. He sees how good he's playing defensively. He knows how fun it is to get dressed in the locker room with his team and how they talk about hitting the arcade afterwards. He sees that his coaches are doing the best job they know how and making it fun for them to learn the game of hockey. AND he says, "maybe we'll win the next one."

Man, have I got a lot to learn about life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hockey Rides Again

It's in the inbox. The roster for Limited Travel Mites. Sean has been assigned to Voorhees Team Orange! He's thrilled!

I am a bit less than thrilled with the evaluation process and the distribution of the 'talent' on the teams. Voorhees Black team has the sons of two two professional NHL players on their roster. That's THREE Canadians on one team! How fair is that???? Sean is looking at this and finding an upside, as he always does. He's just excited enough to be playing opposite those kids and the prospect of playing in front of their dads is awesome to him!

Luckily, my worst fear wasn't realized. We will NOT be having a 7 am game 50 miles away! Whew! Dodged a bullet there. AND most of our games are at home since we have two teams and a majority of the remaining games are at the rink very close to my house, again because they have two teams. Yay!

Practice starts Wednesday. First game on Saturday.

Onto NHL action, the Flyers have won three of their first four preseason games in a shootout. And only lost one game in a shootout. Four more games to come and then the real deal starts. I'll be glad to go to some games. We dropped our season ticket package back down to two seats so we'll be going to fewer games but that's ok. I'm still looking forward to it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

And Away We Go!

We're opening a new chapter in the little guy's hockey life...Limited Travel Hockey!!!! It's basically what some might call a "house league" in that we only play teams from our rink system. It includes five different rinks and we'll travel as far as 50 miles from home. The closest rink is actually 5 minutes from my house! Looking forward to those games!

Sean is absolutely thrilled with the prospect of playing in different "cities". He may be on a road trip "just like the big guys" he says. He also reported that he'll need to "listen to music to get pumped up for the games...just like the big guys do." We've decided to make a mix CD for this purpose. I only hope it lasts as long as the trip to Atlantic City.

I'm also getting "pumped up" for this new experience. I've heard these games are a whole different ballgame so to speak. One of our team mates last season got picked up to play a game with the house team (he's a goalie and they needed one badly). His mom said that the other mom's actually WATCH the game! LoL! I watch the games too but it's far less competitive at the mini mite level apparently. These moms were yelling, cheering and shouting when there was a bad call. I can hardly wait!

Jack is thrilled to be able to take his place with the other hockey dads standing on the top row of bleachers at the rink. That way he shout encouragement (I hope) to our boy and get a really good view of the action.

The down side to this will be my schedule. I work every other weekend and I HATE to miss a game! The 50 mile travel will also be pretty yucky when you consider a 7 am start time. Ugh! But there's always the LARGE travel mug of coffee to get me through.

I took Sean to the rink for stick time this week to shake the cobwebs off his skates and he looked like he never left the ice. He hasn't skated in about 2 months and really had no problem picking up where he left off.

This is going to be a great season for him and for me. It will be a growing experience for both of us. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer is Over for Hockey

Sean had his last summer 3 on 3 game last night. I can't believe how great he's playing! I can only imagine how good he's going to play when he gets some real coaching in the fall. I'm even thinking of some additional private coaching for him. We'll see.

Fall Limited Travel evaluations are in September so Sean will have no hockey between now and then. I might try to get him to the rink a couple more times before then. I'm thinking of even hitting one of the other rinks like Atlantic City, which is where he'll probably play his summer hockey next year since we'll be spending more time there with the new boat.

Friday, July 30, 2010


It's always amazing to watch your child. To see them learn and grow. To master a skill.

Let me tell you, watching Sean play hockey the other night was truly amazing to me. I can't believe this is the same little boy we put on the ice a year and a half ago in a Learn-to-Skate program. He's not only grown taller but he's growing as a hockey player.

Sounds funny to say but it's true. He's learning the very important skills of teamwork and leadership. I never realized it until I saw him the other night. He made it a point to pass to the open man instead of taking the shot. That's HUGE!!!! He was also the most vocal player on the bench. He was chattering to his team mates the whole time when he wasn't on the ice.

It's definitely a type of maturity that you don't see in a lot of other 6 year olds. I'm not sure if you see this with other 6 year olds in other sports. Again, that's something special about hockey.

I'll be interested to see what he does in the fall. Limited Travel here we come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And now it's summer...

The summer cross-ice 3 on 3 has begun. My little guy had an amazing game! I'm so proud of him! He scored at least 3 goals and was skating all over the place! I loved watching him doing some backward crossovers!

Now, that being said I'd like to comment on listening to the professionals. At the end of the last cross ice season I was a little ticked that Coach wanted to keep Sean back in cross ice until the fall. I felt like he was ready to move to full ice hockey and didn't understand why Coach didn't want to move him up. After tonight I totally understand and will listen to the experts on this since I am just a MOM and know very little about youth hockey!

One of the parents in our group felt that her son was ready to be moved to the next level. From mini mites to mites/squirts. After his first game tonight he said he didn't like it. The other kids were definitely bigger than him. They were faster than him and have more experience on the ice. Sean, on the other hand, was kept back in mini mites for another round of cross ice and let me tell you, he did wonderful! It's giving him confidence to play with kids that have a little less skill than he does. He's getting more time on the ice. He's the senior guy on the team! His skills have improved and I'm glad Jack didn't listen to me when I said he needs to move up!

Always listen to the professionals when it comes to youth sports! That's my words of wisdom today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer Season Starts Tuesday

Sean has his first Summer 3 on 3 Cross Ice game on Tuesday. He'll be on Team White. There are 3 teams in his division. It goes pretty quickly since there's only 8 weeks of games and some weeks we have two this week!

Ironically, Flyers Rookie camp also starts this week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another Hockey Break

Sean will be taking a brief break from hockey for the occasion of his sisters' graduations from high school! Yay! Of course that means college. It's times like this that I wish I had encouraged more sports activities with my daughter. Can you say scholarship?

I know, realistically the chances of a child getting a sports scholarship are small but it certainly can't hurt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer for the Hockey Mom

Now that the Stanley Cup finals are over (what a heartbreaker) it's time for me to focus on my own little hockey star.

We're finishing up the spring mini-season and will be starting the summer 3 on 3 cross ice season. That should take us into August and finish up just in time for fall limited travel evaluations.

Now, I've been thinking about this quite a bit. The whole limited travel business. That's what it is, a business. We knew going in that hockey is an expensive sport for both watching and playing. Here's a bit of math. In our limited travel we will be required to travel as far as 45 miles to the farthest rink in our system. Not too bad. That's about an hour each way. Add that to a seven o'clock game time (potentially) and we're looking at leaving the house as early as just a shade before six AM. Ugh! Little did I know that this youth hockey was not just going to cost me a lot of money but a lot of sleep as well! That's still a little way off though for me to worry about it yet.

The rewards are huge though. The sense of team that my child and I will experience will far outweigh the slight inconvenience of losing sleep. I am reminded of an article I read in a hockey magazine. It was about the village that raises a hockey team. The parents of all the kids join together to cheer the team on, watch the siblings, make the game and the whole experience enjoyable for everyone! I can't wait to learn this first hand.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Well, it's over. The Flyers season ended Wednesday night in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a sad day in Mudville. Well, not exactly. Our team gave us an amazing ride. By most accounts we should never have even made it this far. Some even said we shouldn't have made it INTO the playoffs! Do I think they are right? Heck no! The Flyers are full of drive and passion. That's something I hope I can instill in my son. Professional sports do have a place in child-rearing, I believe.

I don't have anything more to say except, "there's always next season."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nailbiting, Flyers pizza and..Identity Theft...???

Aside from being busy canceling credit and debit cards due to identity theft (don't get me started on THAT whole thing), I've been making a weekly appointment with my manicurist. Doesn't sound very hockey-ish. Oh, but it is. If you're a Flyers fan, you'll understand.

We've been biting our nails since the last game of the regular season. As I've previously stated, it's been an absolutely insane ride to get to this point. But here we are preparing for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals! Game 1 should have been thrown out since it was basically a track meet followed by a shooting gallery. Both teams admitted they didn't play their best hockey. Game 2 was tighter although it didn't have the outcome I wanted. Now Game 3? THAT was a hockey game! Both teams fought hard but MY team (and dare I say, the better team?) won! I can't wait to see what's on tap for Game 4.

Julie, our hostess for all the games this playoffs, is working midnight shifts for Games 4 and 5 of this series. She will go without sleep before she'd go without hockey! Henrik the Swede, wakes up at two in the morning his time to watch the games with us via internet! THAT'S a real hockey fan! And about that Flyers pizza. We order from the same place every game. The thing is, the scoring doesn't begin until the pizza is delivered. Superstition? Well, call it what you will but we're not messing with a good thing!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eastern Conference Champions!

Another series done. Another nailbiting series. The FlyGuys have silienced the Ole's of the storied Montreal Canadiens! What a wild ride it's been! The Philadelphia Flyers are going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997 with a chance to win a Cup for the first time since 1975!

Captain Mike Richards took hold of the Prince of Wales trophy and had his picture taken with it and then...superstition or no he grabbed that trophy and took it to the dressing room! So amazing! Team of Destiny! Who cares about the superstitions! Crosby touched it last season and ended up hoisting the Cup a couple weeks later!

Jack was jumping around like a little kid! Sean had his first taste of beer (shh...don't tell anyone). A champagne cork was popped and we celebrated!!!! I had tears in my eyes just taking it all in. It was amazing. But just like the team, we put the celebrating behind us and look forward to the next series.

Now for the downside, if there is one. Chicago's Cup drought has been longer than that of the Flyers. They haven't won a Cup since 1961. This was the one reason I was hoping to not face them.

In the meantime, we bought our EC Champion tshirts and hats. We watched the replay of the game a few times and now we focus on winning the next period. And the one after that. And the one after that. Until we stand victorious. Now, I'm not being cocky or over confident. I said weeks ago that the stars were aligning and whatever was going to happen, it was going to be big. This...THIS is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!

In mini-mite news, Sean's been cleared for light, no contact activity. That means he can ride his bike and skate, but no hockey or karate for another three weeks! We took him right to the SkateZone in NE Philly for public skate and he looked like he hadn't missed a minute on the ice. He'll make the last two weeks of the spring season before the summer season starts. Then we watched the Philadelphia PD deliver a crushing defeat to the Pittsburgh PD on the ice. It was great! Thanks for the invite, JB!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Heartfelt Sentiment From My Husband

My husband posted this on facebook about This Team! I have nothing more to add.

"So I said I was going to post something heartfelt before Game 1. I think that it is appropriate to write a bit about this team. Not because I know they are going to win the Cup, I don't. And not because I think that they aren't going to get out of this round, because if any team can, this one can. But because I think that the time period from about 5:35pm on April 11, 2010 (the moment the the New York Rangers decided not to participate in a clutch, season saving overtime period to guarantee themselves a shootout win) until 9:34pm on May 15, 2010 (the precise moment that our team matched and made history following an epic comeback) I, and many of you, witnessed the most improbable and impressive display of relentless hockey this town has seen in a long, long time. It is when Peter Laviolette, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and Brian Boucher said loud and clear..."We will not die."

I have been watching the Flyers my entire life. A life that is the length of the team's existence. The team and I, and many of my friends, grew up together. My life is defined by the eras of Flyers hockey. I remember the Cups. I remember 1980 like it was yesterday, spinning around in my basement listening to the "Flyers Fight Song" over and over and over again and then watching my Dad and Frank flip out over the botched offsides (I learned many new words that day). I remember Gene Hart's "ala Bjore Salming" and his joking with Chief about his playing days, Mike Emrick and Prism, staying up "late" and "drinking" with my Dad during the games. I remember Clarkie's bloodied face, MacLeish's hair, blade measurements, the "H" in Behn Wilson's name and Propper's guffaw. I can still see the LCB line crossing the blue paint, Hexy tapping his stick on the pipes, the orange and black room in our house and the serene look on Pelle's face as he lay in the ICU at Kennedy. I remember cheering for the '85 and '87 Wales Conference Champions, being let down time and time again by the early 90's teams, and riding high and crashing with the '97 team. Years, decades and scores of mostly highs and a few lows. Wonderful memories, nonetheless.

So thank you Dad and Frank for teaching me how to watch the game. I hope I am passing that on to my son in a similar way. And Clarkie, Reg, Rick, Moose, Hammer, Hound, Bernie, Dorny, Donny and the Watsons for teaching me how to love the game.

Thanks, Homer, Propper, Ben with an H, Timmy, Glen and the Rat. Pelle, Hexy, Poulin, Tocchet, Zezel, Brownie, Howe, Marsh and the Sutter Brutters. You are the guys we talked about in school the day after a game and the guys we wanted to be.

And hats off to Brindy, Johnny, Jonesy, Prims, Eric (s), Rex, Bundy and Gags. I will NEVER forget May 4 (and 5), 2000 and jumping around like a madman at 2:35am. I was so exhausted. You might have thought I was actuall playing!

So why is THIS team so special. I mean, after all of those names and all of those memories I don't ever remember having this kind of feeling about a team. Maybe I'm getting old and sentimental. Maybe it's my desire for the underdog to do the impossible. Maybe it's that I see myself in my boy and his love for the game. Or maybe it is just the right time, right place and right group of people. Think about it. Briere, Richie, Prongs always shwoing heart and never sitting back. Lappy risking his life to prevent a goal. That's why he's Sean's hero...and in a way, mine too. Gags, barely able to skate, orchestrating one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports history. Clood, Carbomb, Reemer, Carle, Ville Mays, Scotty and Kimmo getting the job done. Leighton getting us close, Boosh getting us there, Leighton getting us closer. And Lavvy, knowing exactly what to say, exactly when it needs to be said. If any fan thinks that this team doesn't have the heart, they need to be institutionalized.

And it's not just the players, either. I am enjoying this with old friends (John, Scott, Doug, Paul, Mike) and family (Colleen, Kim, Sean, Roman and Dad). Relatively new friends (Julie and Vern, Cool C, Ed, Kat, Chris, Jimmy, Henirk and Mark) and Facebook friends (too many of you!). And these are fans with heart. Fans who live and die and with the team.

I've tried to analyze it. I treid to figure out why this team is doing what they're doing and why I'm delighting in it so much. I've looked at stats, player bios, history and all of the hard evidence to find the answer. All I can come up with is that it's the right place, the right time and the right group of people...on all fronts.

Win or lose, I am having the time of my life!

Good night and good hockey."

Courtesy of Jack Manning

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Somethin's Bruin in Philly!

Here I am sitting at my local bookstore (since my wireless network is down at home and I can't even get internet access on my desktop). My mouth is STILL hanging open at this point. Could this be happenning? Is it really true? The Flyers have forced a Game 6 when NO ONE (including my diehard Flyers fan husband) thought we had a chance to come back from a three games to none deficit! I feel like someone needs to pinch me. I still can't quite comprehend.

It would seem that the Flyers should have been counted out yet here we are preparing for a Game 6. The boys in black and orange have been faced with nothing but adversity since the slide they took back in November. A sudden coaching change. The loss of our star goalie to a potentially career ending injury. Our second string goalie coming back to Philly after ten years. Our third string goalie getting picked up off waivers and starting the Winter Classic after injuries to our second goalie and then facing a possible season ending injury himself. BARELY making the playoffs when it came down to the last shooter in a shootout on the last day of the regular season. Eliminating the number 2 seed in 5 games of the first round. Losing two of the top goal scorers in that series guessed it, injury. This is the stuff of Hollywood.

Now facing elimination in the second round. Backs against the wall. They win game four in overtime with the game winner coming from a player who was thought to be done for the season! Game 5 brings us injury again, losing our newest number one netminder, who was our second stringer earlier in the season and is destined to change his past by redeeming himself after ten years.

What can I say? This team is making me believe in hockey miracles. This Hockey Mom is definitely saying prayers to the hockey gods at our hockey altar (my son's unused hockey equipment in the livingroom) and hoping for a Game 7!

In mini-mite cross-ice news: Sean goes back to ortho on the 24th to see if he'll be playing the rest of the season. He's suffering from hockey withdrawl and has resorted to playing video hockey on the big screen to get the feel of playing on the ice. It's not the same but it's all he's got for now. Poor Kid. I will say this. He put on his brand spankin' new Ian LaPerriere jersey and the team started winning. He's really feeling like part of the team. As we all are!

Do YOU believe in miracles??????

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Second Season

Well, it's been quite a while since I posted anything on this blog. I've been super busy with Sean's season and have been without a desktop/modem for about two weeks now too. But I'm sitting in a bookstore that has free wifi and figured I should update!

So, here we are. In the midst of the Playoffs. They call this hockey's "second season". I have wondered why that is. Now I know. The Flyers were unsure of the their playoff status until the last game on the last day of the regular season. It came down to a shoot out. Lundqvist versus Boucher. One goalie, one shooter. Boucher bested the Rangers on the third shooter and the Wach went nuts!!!!!

Then we faced the NJ Devils in the first round. We won the first game! WooHoo! We thought we had it locked up...we did. But it took 5 games to do it! But even still. It took 7 games to determine who we would play in the next round. Much to our surprise the 8th-seed Canadiens beat the 1st-seed Capitals and we're now playing the Bruins! That hasn't happened since 1978! I hope we have better luck that the 77-78 Flyers who lost that series in 5 games.

I guess anything can happen in the Playoffs. THAT's why it's the Second Season. It's ANYBODY's Cup!

In mini-mites news: Sean is an injured scratch for at least the next three weeks with a fractured arm.
He fell while skating and sure enough, it's broken. He went to practice/game Friday night in a show of support for his team. He even had some of his team mates sign his cast.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making a Run For It

Well, it's been a long few weeks since our hockey hiatus but we've been watching the NHL. The Flyers have been teetering on the playoff bubble for the last couple of weeks. It's been rough. We're in decent position now with only two games left. We'll see what happens next.

It's really kind of sweet to see my son really enjoy watching this playoff run! It was adorable to see him jumping up and down tonight when the Islanders beat Montreal! He doesn't understand all the points and game-in-hand lingo but he does look at the standings and wants to know where the Flyers are every day!

Sean starts back to hockey on Friday. His cross ice mini season starts. He's excited! He wants it to start tonight!

Off the ice, he's learned how to ride his two wheel! I teared up a little when I got to my room. It's kind of sad for me. He's growing so fast. Before I know it, he'll be graduating high school. That's where I am right now with my daughter. She will be finishing high school this year. Very sad for me. Ugh!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hockey Hiatus

Four weeks. Four weeks with no traveling to the rink. Ah...I can't really believe it but I miss it! I miss the chats with the other moms. I miss watching my little guy try his hand at the various positions. But, luckily, it won't be long until our cross-ice mini season starts. April 9th!

We had a hockey party at an indoor playplace this past Friday night. Sean was so excited but he didn't know why there was going to be a party. I told him it was to celebrate the end of the hockey season. He got pretty upset and said, "but I don't want my hockey seasons to end. I want to keep playing!"

In the NHL we've made some impressive moves in the standings. We've moved into 5th in the East. Wow! Emery's out for the season with his hip injury. Leighton, our waiver-wire wonder, is out for 8-10 weeks with an ankle sprain. Boucher started twice this week. He had a very impressive game against Dallas but had a pretty poor showing in Atlanta in the first of a home and home series, giving up five goals. Not sure who's going to get the start tonight in Flyers vs Atlanta part II.

As any hockey fan knows this is a very precarious time in hockey. Every game, every win, every point can make the difference of being in the playoffs or not making the cut. It will also make the difference for those teams in the playoffs to determine their opening round.

For the Fly Guys, fifth is actually a pretty good spot for us to be in. It's an intense rivalry but not nearly as intense as say, Pittsburgh. New Jersey is a team we can beat but not without consistant goaltending! This has been our problem all season. It's our problem EVERY season!

I, along with the rest of Flyers Nation, will be watching this game very closely!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

American Pride

Entering the final day of Olympic competition there's only two events left. One of them is Men's Ice Hockey. How would have thought that the US team would have made it this far? Not many. In fact, a few newspapers felt that the US team would make a good showing in the opening games and then go home early. Well, not so!

As any member of HockeyNation we've been following this tourney very closely. Women's Hockey was not as exciting a tournament but the final was both exhilirating and heartbreaking. The women faced many opponents that were no competition whatsoever and to make it to the gold medal game was almost a given for the women. They lost but won a silver medal. It's sad to think about the process. When you win a bronze medal, your last game was a win. When you win a gold medal, your last game is a win. When you "win" a silver medal, your last game is a loss. It's almost sad to think of that huge accomplishment in terms of defeat but I'm sure that's how the US Women's Ice Hockey Team felt. Almost like, "it's great to be here but we still lost." I feel badly for them. I know I shouldn't but I still do.

During this tournament the Men's US team has been undefeated. That's a good sign. They are the underdogs. Another good sign. They beat Canada once during these Olympic Games in a game that was viewed by more people than any Stanley Cup Final...EVER!!!! I think that's a good sign!

Men's Hockey gold medal game is today. We will play Canada for the gold. Since we were the number one seed we, technically, will be the home team. I'm sure it won't feel like a home game for our boys though! The Canada Hockey Place will be a sea of red for sure. Here's an interesting Olympic hockey fact. The US team has won gold in the last two Winter Games ending with a zero (there have only been three). 1960 and 1980. Coincidence? I think not. Both of those were won over teams wearing red. Coincidence? I think not. The US won the 17-U and World Juniors gold medals this year...both over Canada. Coincidence? I think not.

So today, we will gather in front of the big TV along with the rest of HockeyNation with our Buffalo (Sabre) Wings and our American Lager and cheer USA!!!! USA!!!! USA!!!! Except for my son, who is convinced that one day he will play in the Olympics for Team Canada. Ah, the innocence of a six year old!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweets for the Sweet

In the midst of the festivities of the Olympics and Sean's hockey game and Olympic Open House was a special moment only the mother of a hockey player can appreciate.

At the end of the game, Sean all garbed up in the goalie pads (again) held the game puck in his catching glove and tossed it into the air a couple of times to shake off the melted ice. He called me over to the door and handed me the puck. Not sure what I was supposed to do with it, I tucked it into my purse along with the puck the ref from the Rowan game gave him last night.

When he came off the ice and got undressed he said to me, "Mom, did you like your Valentine?" I looked at him with that I-have-no-idea-what-you're-talking-about look. He said, "the puck. Remember, I told you I was going to give you the game puck for Valentine's Day." sweet...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let The Games Begin!

Well, after back to back home & home sweeps of the division-leading Devils and the just-ahead-of-us Canadiens the Olympic opening ceremonies began.

Sean was so excited about the Games that he stayed up to watch the Opening Ceremony. He fell asleep just short of seeing The Great One light the cauldron along with three other Canadian athletes. He wasn't disappointed in the least.

Today, he was in net for his game. Following his game we had lunch with two of our other hockey families. I have to say this is probably my favorite part of Sean playing hockey. The close knit fabric of being a hockey parent. The kids had such fun playing games while we parents kept an eye on them and enjoyed our own kind of fun! We laughed and joked and ate. Can't wait for the next get together!

Later on at the rink, there was an Olympic Open House. There were demonstrations of all the learn to skate programs and then several figure skaters showed off some of their talents. Then the hockey kids took the ice. They had some of the learn to play hockey kids passing with some of our cross-ice kids. Then they had a short exhibition game. Sean had his first shut out! He was making some incredible saves. He really thinks he wants to be a goalie. I'm hoping not.

After the cross-ice kids played, the big guys came out and did their demo. It's hard to imagine Sean playing hockey at that age still. It's hard for me to imagine Sean being any other age but 6. I know he'll get big one day but not too soon, I hope.

Then they had a variety of other events. There was a luge demo where the kids were pushed across the ice on sleds. Then they had a slalom. Kids had to slalom skate the cones. Sean was pretty quick even in the goalie pads.

At the end they had a medals ceremony and even a podium for the winners! So fun! I'm looking for ward to watching some of the the Games. We like hockey, obviously, but I find curling to be an interesting game. I wouldn't necessarily call it a sport but it looks like something you could play while drinking a few beers. Hmmm....

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Think I See a Fat Lady

I usually consider myself an optimist. But in the case of our playoff hopes I think it's almost over. We're hanging on to the eighth spot by our fingernails and we have a tough schedule coming up.

A Home and Home with the Devils and newly acquired Kovalchuk followed by a Home and Home with Montreal right before the Olympic break.

We'll have to see what happens with our new acquisitions over the next week and just wait and see what happens after the break.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hangin' On By a Thread

Our playoff hopes, that is. We're hanging on to the 8th spot as we speak but some key wins by other teams and losses by us (since we play NJ twice this week) and we could be out of the playoffs.

In other news, Sean decided to skate this week and not stay in net. Good. He scored two goals! I love it when he scores. I noticed another boy collided with him on the ice. THREE TIMES!!!! Jack doesn't think it was intentional but I'm not so sure. This kid is bigger than Sean, a little older than Sean and definitely plays more aggressive than Sean.

Oh, and there was a hockey fight in today's game. NOT GOOD! One of the kids involved was the coach's son, who also played the entire game while two other kids sat on the bench. Anyway, the coach separated the boys and sent them both to the bench. They were, however, allowed to come back into the game. If it were my son, he would not be allowed to return to the game. I would bench him myself!

There is no place for fighting in youth hockey. None. It's a delicate balance to cheer for the NHL teams, who fight but explain to your young hockey player that it's not ok for them to follow their hero's example. I hope we never have to deal with that although I'm sure we will at some point.

Sean just kept saying, "I didn't think it was funny." I'm glad of that.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gold Rush

Sean is really looking forward to the Olympics. Not the Games in Vancouver (well, them too). His rink is doing some demonstrations of Winter Games and he was selected to demonstrate hockey. He will be joining 5 other skaters and two goalies in a cross-ice demo.

The really great thing about this is that the event will also feature info and demos from other winter sports including figure skating, curling and luge! I think it really fits in with USA Hockey's ADM. Their tagline is "I am Potential." It also fits with their current ad campaign that features kids playing all kids of sports like soccer and baseball with the workind "I am Hockey." It's trying to emphasize that while developing a love of hockey, kids should also experience other sports and should take their time to specialize in one sport or one position within that sport.

I think that's a great model for kids. Sean unfortunately would disagree with me since his singular love is hockey. In all it's forms. Just today he was watching Women's Team USA playing Finland. He is learning all the penalties and the refs hand gestures for each.

I'm hoping he expands his horizons soon but like I told Coach Jeremy. This isn't something we're forcing on him...HE'S forcing it on US!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keeping It Secret

Well, it's getting to be about that time. My son is finally going to be part of a limited travel team. Not like the alleged limited travel we're part of right now, where two teams of boys play each other over and over and over and over and...well, you get the point. It's a REAL limited travel team.

We'll be traveling between five rinks that farthest of which is just a shade over 40 miles from home. Not bad to get our feet wet.

Anyway, my husband in his hasty enthusiasm, felt that it was important to educated the boy on what it means to be part of a travel team. Keep in mind my husband has never played organized hockey AND it's been a very long time since he was a six year old boy.

Imagine how difficult it was for me to explain to Sean that he WOULD NOT be going to play the Penguins in Pittsburgh in March!

Next time, Honey, let's keep it a secret until it's closer!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


One of the best part of being a Flyers season ticket holder is the opportunity to partake in many of the activities during the game. Riding the zamboni, pre-game bench warm ups, pre-game tour or meet and greet are a few of them. The one we've been dying for is the High-5. That's when they take your kid, bring them to the ice and they get to high 5 the team when they make their way to the ice.

AND they get to stand with the players during the singing of the National Anthem. WOW!!!!!!

Sean did just that last week at the Columbus game. He was the smallest kid on the ice so I thought for sure they'd put him next to gigantic Chris Pronger, but he stood between Richards and Gagne. how exciting for him! He talked to the players the entire time! He even got an extra fist bump from Simon! Sean hasn't told me what they were talking about. I imagine it's some kind of hockey-man-secrets that I'll never be privy to, but whatever was said, it made his night!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Climbing the Ladder

How did our team climb out of the basement and into the playoffs? I'm amazed. So are many of the sports writers who counted us out after a very promising start and then a major slide. A few weeks ago the Flyers were near the bottom of the standings in the Conference! Yes, LAST in our division! And now we're making a move!

Coach Peter Laviolette, at the post game press conference following the FlyGuys defeat of the Dallas Stars said that the team is playing for home ice advantage. What an encouraging snipet for the Flyers Fan! Not playing for a playoff spot, but for home ice advantage. Makes me wonder if Laviolette has some crystal ball that he can see the future. Hey, Pete, is there a really big cup in there?

Flyers netminder Michael Leighton has the hot hand right now and is 9-0-1 in his last eleven starts with one no decision. When we were at the Classic, Bruins fans were asking who our goaltender is. Who is this guy blocking all the B's attempts at finding the net? We replied, "Michael Leighton" and they said "Who?" That's what we were thinking! He was released by Carolina, a backup goalie and we picked him up on waivers. Two weeks later, he's starting the Winter Classic. What an incredible piece of luck for him! Now with Emery back and ready for action it seems strange that the third stringer is getting the start! Boucher was a healthy scratch in the Dallas game with Emery riding the pine. He looked good skating during warmups but Leighton was HOT!!!!

It'll be interesting to see what happens with that situation. how long with the FlyGuys carry three goalies? Which goaltender will get sent down? I'm thinking Boosh goes to the Phantoms and we keep Leighton. I'm also thinking Emery will get the start against Columbus, providing Leighton doesn't start to slide.

On the defense and offense side, all the lines are performing. That crushing defeat in Pittsburgh was just the win they needed! Beating the Stanley Cup champions (gag) Pittsburgh Penguins in their own house was HUGE!!!!!! The string of wins is getting quite impressive, but ever the cautious Philadelphia sports fan, I'm thinking it's just a question of time. Not that I'm wishing the Flyers a loss but we've been beating lesser teams. With exception of the Pens this schedule has been pretty light. We have the Capitals coming up and tonight the Maple Leafs will seek revenge for the 2-6 loss they suffered last week. Not to mention the insane Dan Carcillo, who was exhibiting some major hockey skills when he scored on the Leafs and then, showing his badboy side, gave them a throat-cutting gesture as he skated past their bench afterwards. He was fined $2500 for that taunt! He's really becoming one of my favorite players!

In the Dallas game 14 players contributed points and we sent another goalie packing! A Gordy Howe Hat trick for Ian Laperriere was also a feature of the game. These guys are playing aggressive but disciplined. It's hard to explain. Can't wait to see what's in store tonight in TO!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fenway Follies

A trip to Boston. A trip to the most coveted ticket in all of professional sports. WE WERE THERE!!!!!

It started off the right way. I woke up Thursday morning to three inches of snow on the ground! Great! Perfect to put me in the mood for hockey, except I still had to drive to Marlton to drop of the little guy and then to the rink to get on the bus. The drive was quite slippy but we made it safely to the bus and almost on time.

The buses were already mostly full and unfortunately there was only one pair of seats together and our friends got it. Jack got to sit next to the self-proclaimed SuperFan. You've seen him. He's the guy with the orange and black mohawk. Yeah, that guy! Anyway, the buses were very cramped and it was not a fun 8-hour trip!

The weekend was awesome! We got a surprise visit from Henrik, our favorite Swede! He came over to the US for an extended trip and several Flyers games including the Classic! We spent our New Year's Eve at Bleacher Bar inside Fenway Park, just feet from the rink! How awesome! The waitress there, Emma, really made our night by reserving us a table to come back after some RSVP only party! It was great! I highly recommend this bar! ;-) We met some great Bruins fans and hung out with them all night! So much fun! Me, Jack, the Swede, the Bruins fans, Julie, Vern, Ed and our new friend, season ticket holder in section 205, Kat. Awesome!!!!

The next morning we were so excited for this game. We got all geared up in our many layers to prepare for the cold. The temp was expected to be about 30 degrees with a slight breeze. Perfect! At least it wasn't going to rain, which was the fear during our weeklong weather watch. We took a taxi to Fenway. Jack was NOT getting on that bus again! In fact, during the ride to Boston from Philly he was already researching car rentals and train tickets!

Fenway! What a sight! I'm not a big baseball fan at all. Well, ok, I'm not a baseball fan at all, but I could just feel the significance of being there. The Green Monster. That red seat in right field. The history. The legacy. It was all palpable.

It was nice to see the different ways that sports are experienced in different areas of the country. One major way you can see that is in the concession stands. Yes, food. At our ballpark we have Geno's steaks. If you're from the Philly area you know what a Geno's is. At Fenway, they had Fenway franks (which were actually amazing since the dog and the bun are separate until they are purchased) and they had roaming Chowda vendors. Yes, that's right. The same people who bring you peanuts and overpriced beers in the stands, were selling cups of New England Chowder. We asked if this was something they were just doing for the Classic. The guy said they sell it at colder baseball games too. We saw one gal balancing her tray of chowder on her head!

There was an auxilliary rink, more of a small pond really, in center field where many of the youth hockey organizations each had a chance to play hockey. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. You'd see the little guys come out to the rink and skate their little hearts out. How exciting to be a little guy and be able to say that you played hockey at the Winter Classic! There was no play during the big guys game though.

The game went back and forth but the Flyers lost in the third period when they took "another stupid penalty" (according to Jack) and the Bruins scored knotting the game at one goal apiece. Overtime came and went with the Flyers falling apart and the B's won it. A disappointing loss but I still enjoyed the game. The experience on the whole was amazing and if I had to do it again, knowing the outcome of the game, I would have still been there. Where else would ANY hockey fan want to be on New Year's Day than AT the Winter Classic. It's become quite the tradition. Many of our professional hockey players learned the game on backyard ponds and frozen lakes, rivers or canals. It truly was an awesome experience to be there. Freezing cold and all! My only wish is that my son can feel what it's like to play hockey outdoors just once in his childhood.

The next day we went to the Bruins Legends game at Fenway and we were quite possibly, the only Flyers fans there. It was still fun and our seats were WAY better! Bruins alumni, celebrities and our own Dave Schultz played hockey on the makeshift outdoor pond. Lots of fun especially since we didn't care who won the game!

By the way...we took a train home....