Yes, sorry, more Wildcats talk. Arty farty stuff will be back soon, straight after this post in fact. But I need to get my thoughts about the weekend's hockey out of my head first.
First of all, Saturday - what a GREAT day. The weather was amazing, and there was a funfair in the rink carpark - I love it when the fair comes to town :)
Connor and I got up to the Link about an hour before the game (first "proper" match of the season, vs Sheffield Scims) and went on the rides for a bit. We had particular fun with the hall of mirrors, as you can see :) And the pic of Cons on the little roller coaster models his new gap perfectly - he lost his first milk tooth the day before.
We played until the last possible second and got to our seats within seconds of the puck drop. The first period was worrying - we seemed to be almost permanently down a man with powerplay after powerplay for Sheffield. I started muttering about lack of discipline. With good reason, it turns out, but let's stay on Saturday for the moment. Thanks mainly to Kudrna, we got to the end of the period with no score, and Connor and I headed back to the fair for the break, collecting Ben and Michelle along the way.
Michelle then proceeded to make my day BIG time. You remember the BBQ? And Jon Sitko's fetching pinny? Well - Connor and I had to leave said BBQ early, but Michelle and Ben had stuck around to the end - when the Wildcats pinnies that had been in active service were auctioned off. You know where this is going :) She only went and outbid all comers and won the pinny as a pressie for me! :D :D :D
Sits had already signed it, but he added a little dedication for me too, it's very cool indeed :) Totally unexpected - I was, and am still, so chuffed!!!
Anyway - back to the game - we finished the second period a goal down, but I actually think we played better in that period than the first. There were plenty of chances we just didn't get lucky on any of them. I know I'm biased but Sitko had an amazing game, doing everything he should do, using his size, lining up a few great slaps from the blue line, and generally making his presence felt. Lee Richardson was on fire too.
The one decidedly dodgy piece of the puzzle was still Racek. When is this guy going to wake up and start delivering on all the promises? The easy answer to that one is "about 8 mins before the final horn" as he does seem to have an uncanny knack of getting his act together in the final minutes of the game - and indeed he did it again in this game - Ivan the Equaliser evened it up for us in the last half of the last period - and set us up nicely to clinch the game with a second goal from Watt the Elder shortly after. But for the first 50 minutes he is all over the place. I know it's early days but he really needs to start playing a full 60 minutes, because underperforming imports don't stick around for long in this league.
But - yes - the gist is - thorouhgly enjoyable game - our goalie is like a less good looking Luongo and will be saving much Swindon bacon this year - everyone made a lot of noise - everyone looked good out there except Racek - and, most importantly WE WON!!!!!!
oh - and Ryan Watt and Jon Sitko were on autograph duty after the game - and Michelle was kind enough to tell Sits that I was the crazy-fangirl-lady she had bought the pinny for - at which point I blushed beetroot. So there you go - it took Janak almost the whole season to realise he had a stalker - #24 has got it sussed one game in :)
So there I was last night - celebrating, buzzing with the victory.
Tonight? Whole different story.
We lost away 4-0 to the Telford Tigers - and by all acounts it was a sorry old state of a game. A ref who wouldn't put a single decision our way. A ten minute misconduct for our goalie for pointing out that fact. A HUGE brawl that got FIVE of our boys removed from the game. And allegations of Crawford/Bertuzzi proportions against our Pete.
We can't afford this lads. There is a line between being hot headed and being stupid. If the ref is already against us, don't wind him up even more, ffs!!!
And how exactly does a player help his team by leaving the bench to fight and getting sent on the long walk?
Sore losers? you bet. Well, so am I. Nothing can build up my mood and then batter it back down to earth like this beautiful game.
A 4-0 shut out is hard to take.
Early days, early days.
Playing with Fire
4 days ago