December 19, 2017

Grateful for it All

Another calender year has come to a close and I am grateful for hockey.

In a few weeks, I will have been back playing for four years and hockey has changed so many things about my life. Sure it's still just a diversion from the everyday struggles of work and family but the influence is long-reaching and has been nothing but positive – if you don't count the injuries, aches and pains. It's a good trade-off.

Puck Hawgs Fall '17 Champs
In my travels through the local hockey community I've met so many good people. The good outweigh the bad by a huge margin and so many of them I get to see week after week at the rink and some have become "outside hockey" friends too. Never before have I had the support and friendship of so many.

Puck Hawgs Too Game Award
The year has resulted in a few league championships, some personal achievements and some setbacks but most of those are just like fireworks in the sky. The constant through the year is the joy and satisfaction of spending time with terrific friends and teammates.

The year concluded with another championship win for the first team I started. This was our 4th in 7 seasons and our second since moving to the Upper 'B' division. It also marks the end of our time with several players. Life still happens. Life takes people to different places and it always hurts a little when someone you spend time with each week won't be there next season.

This year was the first for another Puck Hawgs team that I started to bring back many of the players we started with three years ago. We managed our first league championship but more importantly, it was the chance to reconnect with just a few more of the friends made in my hockey journey.

Amy's Hat Trick with the Nordiques
There was the second annual Al Star Game- a birthday celebration which is just one more excuse to gather together some of the great people we know and love. Any excuse to share time is a good one.

Even more importantly, I continue to share my journey with family. I play alongside my beautiful wife twice a week and my cheerleading daughters come to cold rinks- often late at night to see their old dad play.

I could fill this blog with the details of gear I buy, aching losses and occasional highlights from an old goalie but this entry is a reminder to myself about just what hockey has brought me and it's a lot more than wins and losses. It's also a message to all those people who I get to share it with.

Thank you for hockey.