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Tonight was the first game of the season! It’s always good to be back at home at the rink even if it took over three hours to get there. In spite of the drive, the voyage is worth its weight in gold. We’ve been coming to the Orlando Labor Tournament for over a decade and it’s always been a good time.

Unfortunately, tonight’s game didn’t end how we wanted to, but it’s not the first game of the season that matters. In fact, it’s the last game of the season that matters most. As expected, the squad was a bit rusty. Moreover, with a couple of new players it will take a couple games for the boys to find their rhythm and chemistry.

Here are my big takeaways from tonight’s first game of the season:

  1. USA Hockey rule changes for 21-25 are glaringly awful.
  2. I hate the change in the offsides rule. To take away delayed offsides from kids playing midget is absolutely nonsensical. I get the intent at the younger age groups, however for the bantam kids and older it does nothing but disrupt the game. Honestly, I’m dreading watching the u18 game tomorrow night. Those players have now played four years with delayed offsides. This is a huge and awful change for them.
  3. Taking away icing on the penalty kill for the older kids is just as bad as the offsides. Again this makes sense for the younger kids (sort of) but not for the older players. Truly, it sucks the life out of the game.
  4. Penalties will kill you everything. We had a lot of player’s in the box tonight making it difficult to win. The game was called tighter than it needed to be, but I don’t know if it’s because the rule changes or because the ref’s style.
  5. Watching my kid play hockey, stupid new rules or not, is still one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I will always look back fondly on these hockey mom days.

Tomorrow the action doesn’t start until the late afternoon. Consequently, I intend to sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning in the sauna or pool. As always, I will be live for both boys’ games tomorrow on Facebook at 3:45 and 10:45 pm.

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