Champions in Chicago

Our Panthers’ left Chicago late yesterday as champions.  I guess the winter storm, which was initially cumbersome was a harbinger of our team’s success. By Sunday the roads were nice and dry for our two games out in Geneva.   The rink was a beautiful facility with a great bar (thank you Chelios Pub and Grill,) but was quite far from civilization.  It took an arduous forty-five minutes to get there the first night on questionable roads.  The commutes Sunday and Monday were better, but still long.  Thankfully, our games took place after the storm had stop and the roads were largely cleared.

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Goalielocks played both games Saturday against local teams.  I was happy to have remembered my beta blockers for the game.  He played awesome game 1 and so did his team.  They came away with a 6-1 victory.  Fortunately, the victory was even sweeter for me.  I was blessed to be able to watch the game with my dearest friend Jenny and her kids, who are Chicagoland residents.  They’re awesome people and clearly good luck.  It was quickly agreed upon that they would need to be present at the rest of the games as our good luck charm.

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In between games some of the kids opted for White Castle. We, however, opted for something with less of a laxative effect.  Surprisingly, our hotel had a fabulous restaurant downstairs.  Goalielocks scarfed down a burger, while I enjoyed their yummy chili.  This was also the day I discovered the awesomeness of Adidas joggers and their zipper pockets.  Immediately, after dinner and the conclusion of the Rams/Saints game, Goalielocks and I headed to Dick’s in hope of finding another pair of joggers.  I had given up hope, when Goalielocks discovered a pocket of fancier Adidas at the back of the store. They had more joggers!   I quickly bought a nice pair in black and we headed back to the hotel to prepare for game two.

John, TK, Goalielocks headed back to the rink for game two.  John and I immediately headed to the bar, so we could grab a quick drink before the game and watch the Chiefs/Patriots game.  Sunday night it was Stella Cidre instead of beta blockers.   The cider was quite yummy.

Unlike the morning game, game two on Sunday got off to a much slower and arduous start.  We simply didn’t look good. There weren’t many shots against either goalie in that game with my goalie seeing around 12-15 shots.  Our opponents scored late in the first on a deflection to make it a 1-0 game.  Throughout the second and third period, Goalielocks made some huge saves to keep the team in it.   Unfortunately, it was looking like we were going to end up in the consolation game.  Then we got to less than 5:00 minutes left in the third.  After the referee gave their player a major penalty, we ended up on the power play.  In short order, our squad put in three goals.  Where was this the rest of the game?  It was an awesome end to a solid day of hockey for the team.   The best part of course was the post game celebration as they realized they were championship bound.

We ended our evening and started our Monday morning at the Ale House where it took twice as long to get our bill as it did to get our food.  I don’t for the life of me understand restaurants that won’t let teams order by jersey number.  They always insist it’s easier to do it their way.  Ultimately, they find that their way wasn’t the best way.  At 1:00 am in the morning it’s a bit aggravating to watch them enter and re-enter food trying to figure out what check the meal should be on.  We didn’t get back to the hotel until after 1:00 and were absolutely fried.

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I got up for breakfast, but Goalielocks was fried so he stayed in bed.  They had amazing pancakes with  white chocolate cream sauce and berries that had become his favorite.  Fortunately, the restaurant was able to make and pack up his meal as I finished mine.  By the time I returned from breakfast, Goalielocks was up and ready to eat.  We didn’t have a ton of time, so I finished packing while he ate. 

By 12:00 pm we were back at the rink for the 1:20 pm championship game.  We booked our flight out of O’Hare for 5:00 pm, so I knew it was going to be tight getting out there.  We were also meeting the hubby and my Mayor in Atlanta, so rescheduling was really out of the question.  Especially since I had my hubby’s truck keys.  The game itself was a complete gong show.  The other team started head hunting early and we fed into it.  By the end of the second period, more than an hour had elapsed.  Our games Sunday were relatively clean and quick.  This one was not.  In the end, we had to leave early in order to get to O’Hare on time.  Fortunately, we were able to beat the team we lost to on Saturday night, so our squad left Chicago as champions!

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We raced to the airport literally and figuratively.   Fortunately, the lines at security were not too bad.  We ended up having to wait longer for the shuttle from the rental car center than for TSA.  By the time we got to our gate, our flight was starting to board.  It was complete relief once we made it on board.  I texted the hubby our food order from the plane, since he’d be landing in Atlanta about an hour before us.

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We finally started to push back and then we sat.  Apparently, the tarmac was a bit icy, so our bird slid a bit out of position.  Consequently, we had to wait for the ground crew to come back and push us out further.  This was a first for us as travelers.  As a result, we ended up with a ten minute delay, which wasn’t bad.  Our flight was quick and fun.  Goalielocks and I enjoyed dipping our Biscoff cookies in our drinks (coffee with Bailey’s and coke respectively) and playing a word puzzle game on my phone.  The landing into Atlanta was hard and we took a bounce, but the flight was otherwise uneventful.

Thankfully, I had upgraded to comfort seats, so we were just behind first class.  If we had been at the back of the plane, we may have had issues making our connecting flight.  Our plane from Chicago arrived at gate C26 and our flight to Fort Lauderdale was departing from A2.  We booked (don’t worry I didn’t run) as fast as we could through the C terminal and to the tram.   After the tram, we were dodging obliviots that kept stopping in the walk-way to get to our gate quickly.  It was well worth the effort as we were rewarded with familiar faces and some grub.

The flight from ATL to Fort Lauderdale is pretty quick and was uneventful.  We were relieved that all of our luggage arrived in one piece quickly after we had gotten off the plane.  After a forty minute drive, we were home.  It felt amazing to sleep in my own bed.    Meanwhile, Chicago got hit by freezing rain today with over 800 flights cancelled.  We’re glad to be home and in the warmth.    Overall, our weekend was amazing and one that we’ll always look back on fondly!

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Champions

Champions!!!

After 10 games in 4 days for two kids, two teams, at two rinks, tonight both Goalielocks’ and the Mayor’s teams are champions!!!!  It was a rough start for both teams.  Goalielocks’ team won Thursday night, but one of our stars was taken down in a nasty hit.  There was some concern that he would miss some games due to a concussion, but fortunately the hit looked far nastier than the outcome suggested.  Thankfully, he was absolutely fine with no headaches or any concussion symptoms post-game.  Hallelujah!  The Mayor’s team got a slow start Friday losing to a team they beat the previous weekend.

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Additionally, what is fun to watch as a hockey parent is when a team starts working together.  The focus shifts from trying to score a goal yourself to trying to setup your teammate.  In the Saturday’s second game, I really noticed this shift in the Mayor’s team.  Here’s hoping it bleeds over in league play next weekend!

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Goalielocks’ team went 5-0 on the weekend and was fairly dominant.  We got into some penalty trouble, which is pretty normal for U14AA.  The talk of the U14AA tournament was crazy megaphone mom, who makes the rest of us hockey moms look sane and normal.  I assure we’re not.   She proudly shared with one of my fellow hockey parents that the megaphone has gotten her kicked out of countless baseball, lacrosse and hockey games.  Consequently, I’m going to go out on a limb here.   I am going to assume she’s either certifiable or she’s a bit slow.  Now she is blonde, so either assumptions is equally plausible.

Undoubtedly, hockey tournaments are exhausting, but exhilarating as well.  For the hockey family, tournaments serve as reunions.  A wonderful opportunity to see all the friends you’ve made throughout the years that are no playing across the state of Florida.   I should clarify that Megaphone Mom is not from Florida.  Even us Florida hockey parents are’t that crazy.   Our level of crazy is purely superficial when compared to the likes of Megaphone Mom.

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The Mayor and hubby have been sleeping for two hours already. Apparently, there 4:45 am wake up call left them exhausted.  As a public service, I skipped the early morning game.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, should have to deal with me on that little sleep. There’s not enough caffeine in the world to make me palatable in that situation.  Moreover  I’ve been rocking a sinus headache since my migraine abated.  Sadly, it feels like a sinus infection is trying to take hold, but I’m not going down without a fight.  Overall, we had a fantastic weekend with our hockey family.   

Caffeine Drip

Caffeine Drip

I’m in serious need of a caffeine drip for tomorrow after the craziness of today’s hockey schedule.  The Mayor’s team was at the rink by 7:30 am for their 8:30 game.   My hubby, who is a saint, took the Mayor for warm-ups, so  I could sleep in.   7:30 am isn’t really my idea of sleeping in, but it was far better than the alternative.  The Mayor’s squad got the win, which started off our day of 4 hockey games perfectly.

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Post-game I headed to Burn Fitness, an awesome locally owned fitness studio, for my first aerial yoga experience.  Admittedly, I was a bit concerned about the inversions and the potential for nausea, so  I skipped my early morning coffee and breakfast.  Pre-class I had a GU gel for energy that wouldn’t upset my stomach during class.  I have to say I was a bit relieved to hear that the other newcomers to aerial yoga were just as nervous as me.

 

Once in the studio, we picked our swings that were best matched to our height and then setup our yoga mats under them.  We took to our swings to start working our core and open our shoulders.  The core work in aerial yoga is quite similar to working on the TRX, so it is intense and efficient.  Surprisingly, the inversions didn’t bother my stomach and didn’t make me dizzy.  I quickly learned that if I was swinging too much while upside down,  I could put my hand down to stop the swinging motion.  The warrior poses and half moons poses  felt incredible in the swing.  I could feel myself getting more elastic as the class progressed.  Unequivocally, the best part of class was the shavasana in the swing that quickly became cocoon-like.  It was absolutely heavenly.

After yoga, I was finally able to enjoy my morning Dunkin and some solid food.  I made myself some Gardein Schezuan Beef and broccoli ,which was super tasty.  No sooner had I finished my lunch, when we had to head back to the rink for the Mayor’s 2nd game and Goalielock’s first game.   Of course, I had to stop and get another coffee lest I get cold at the rink.

The Mayor was on fire during his second game.  He scored a hat-trick and had several assists.  It was incredible to see the kids moving the puck.  I loved seeing them work so hard to setup their teammate for a goal.  Undoubtedly, their teamwork today is what led to their success as a team.  Honestly, I just love watching my Mayor play.  He’s the smallest on the ice, but he plays and runs his mouth likes he’s six feet tall.  He works hard and is always giving 100%.   I love his commitment to his team and his game.

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As soon as the Mayor’s team left the ice, the Zamboni started cleaning the ice for Goalielock’s game.  I spent a lot of quality time with the scorekeeper today.   In an effort to contain my crazy, I ran the music during the games today, which put me in the sin bin where I belong.  Goalielock’s had the first game off, but his goalie buddy Brian was lights out that game.

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Unfortunately, someone probably should have called a 5250 for the megaphone mom from the opposing team.  We’ve been in travel hockey for many years and we’ve seen a lot things, but this woman took the cake.  She put the craz in crazy.  Keep in mind, these kids are either freshmen in high school or 8th graders not little kids.  Imagine, if you will, a mom screaming directions and commentary via a megaphone from the stands.   My favorite part, is when she chirped our player, #4, and he took the puck and went and scored.  Thankfully, the goal was enough to shut her up for a couple of minutes.  I did my best to drown her out with the music, while my better half drowned out the megaphone with a fog horn.  Instant karma was served to megaphone mom as we beat the team 7-1.

Between Goalielocks’ two games, we headed to pick up the Mayor from dinner and pick up some grub.   Unsurprisingly, we didn’t have a ton of time between games, so there was no trip home between them.  After taking Goalielocks’ to Publix for a sub, we headed back to Hurricanes to get hubby and the Mayor.  While we waited for the check,  I acquired a nice, new sexy tattoo.  You’ll love it, but don’t worry mom it’s only temporary.

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In the end, the Mayor decided to go to a teammate’s house during Goalielocks’ game, so we headed back to the rink without him.  I took my position in the sin bin, where I belong, ready to blare the music as the boys took the ice.  The game got a little chippy, but we were all relieved that there was no megaphone mom on this team.  By the end of the 1st period, we were up 5-0.

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Goalielocks’ wasn’t seeing a lot of work, which stinks for a goalie because you don’t have the opportunity to get into a rhythm.  Nevertheless, he was playing well when his team needed him. I was busy in the box with a couple 10-2 and repeat visitors.   Nonetheless, the boys won 9-2.  Goalielocks’ played well, but as always was quite critical of his performance.