JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: March, 2010

JMS tournament registration

by barbaragarn

Registration for the Spring Fever Face Off tournament will open on March 31 at 6 p.m.

Cost is $80, which covers four 90-minute stop time games with two USA Hockey refs and a scorekeeper, as well as an event t-shirt and individual trophies for the winning team in each tier.

Each skater is guaranteed four games at the Bloomington Ice Garden facility on Memorial Weekend at the end of May.

Tournament rules (involving tiebreakers, etc.) will be posted closer to the tourney date.

Ready to register? Click [url=]here or paste the link into your browser:

Skaters: you MUST have funds on your account to sign up for the tourney. Put them on NOW so you won’t be scrambling at registration time. Each team is limited to 15 skaters and one goalie, with four teams in each tier for a total of 8 in the tourney.

Goalies: due to the special position and small number of goalie spots available, goalie registration will be processed manually. We will contact you as soon as possible to discuss registration. If you don’t get in, know that we’ll maintain a goalie sub list to use if schedule or injury prevents another netminder from playing. Goalies, you MUST have $80 to cover the tournament registration on your account WITHIN 24 HOURS of being notified that you’re in.

As stated previously, tournament participants must have played one JMS session already.

Any cancellations will be dealt with on an individual basis.

I will assign teams and put you in touch with your teammates, and also indicate which games are dark (navy or black jerseys for everyone, please) and which games are white. Teams will determine if they’re playing positions or rolling the benches pick-up style. I think it’s probably best to play set positions to cut down on bench confusion.

I hope you’re excited! Post here with questions and we’ll hopefully have answers for you.

JMS spring tournament

by barbaragarn

Breaking news!

JMS Hockey will host a tournament on Memorial Weekend: the Spring Fever Face Off!

Games will be on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30 (that’s the only time we could get the ice). The tourney will be at Bloomington Ice Gardens. There will be two tiers with four teams each. Every team will play four games round-robin. All participants will get a nifty t-shirt and the winning team in each tier will also get trophies.

Tournament registration will open on March 31. Individual signups only: you will be placed on a team assembled for best parity. Due to skater numbers and parity concerns, this tournament is for levels 1-4 only. Registrants must have played at least one JMS game to ensure correct parity assessment, though if necessary we may require a second game.

Cost? We don’t know yet–still assembling all that data. Cost will be posted by registration time (March 31) and will be as rock-bottom as we can make it. We want everyone to have the chance to play in a quality, adult novice parity-managed tournament.

I hope you’re excited! Post questions here and we’ll answer them as we can.

Meet Dan

by barbaragarn

Who is this Dan person, e-mailing you???

Well, I needed help. I spend about six hours every night (after my “real job” editing law enforcement magazines) just answering JMS mail–not even planning sessions, booking with the rinks or other admin stuff. I realized recently that I had to 1. quit replying to every e-mail or 2. get help.

JMS isn’t just about JMS, it’s a Twin Cities adult newbie hockey clearinghouse, and I try to answer all the questions about hockey in general, website support, JMS policies, etc. There are a lot (about 100) e-mails every day from folks asking about

–a level change
–if someone picked up a piece of gear after a session
–more info about local leagues
–when I will put Level X in City Y
–how to be a captain
–why a session wasn’t even last night
–best rinks in the Twin Cities
–why they can’t log into the site
–if their wife/neighbor/buddy can come play
–what happened with a cancellation
–coaching opportunities
–Wild ticket deals

and more.

Enter Dan Ginter, goalie (and sometimes skater, or so he says), hockey enthusiast and all-round clever fellow. Dan will help with some of the lower level admin functions, mostly e-mails to start (“Why don’t you have a level 1 skate in Isanti?” or “I played for the Gophers but I’d like to skate Level 2.”) and then branching into other areas.

Pic at left is what Dan actually looks like, while e-mailing you.

Dan is from White Bear and lives there now; he graduated from SCSU (I am told to write GO HUSKIES! here) in 2008 and also likes the Minnesota Wild. He played organized hockey as a kid for about three years but didn’t pick it up again until well into college… when he wasn’t able to devote full attention. Finally, in winter 2010, Dan says he wanted exercise but hated the thought of joining a gym. His thoughts returned to hockey–but to the netminder position this time: “Once the notion of playing goalie got into my head I possessed an obsessive, unstoppable conviction to realize that goal,” he said.

“I don’t like to settle. When I become this involved in something, I want to be the best at it. So… once all my gear was collected, I threw myself to the dogs. I was playing twice a week, as a goalie with NO EXPERIENCE, with a bunch of tight-knit strangers, at open hockey we would consider Level 4 or 5. Sometimes fun, but not so welcoming… The whole time I was chronicling my adventure on facebook when my High School friend, Eric Jorgensen suggested I look into JMS.”

“The supportive attitudes I witnessed out on the ice sold me on this experience completely. It was the first night and I was already hooked. I loved the rapping of sticks against the boards for fellow players, I loved how skaters helped each other up, and I loved the locker room conversations. Everyone seemed to be so excited just to be learning, and I wanted to be a regular part of that excitement.”

“It’s months later, and I just finished my 20th game. I’ve made some great friends, shared some good laughs, and surprised myself more than a few times. I can sense myself improving, and I feel very much a part of a community. These effects are the products of a clear vision and very deliberate design which makes JMS unique. I am proud to be a contributing member of the team both on and off the ice!”

We are very glad Dan came to JMS!

You’ll probably be hearing from him soon. The message is still “from JMS” and is still in accordance with JMS policies, has the right JMS information, and will be given proper JMS attention–it’s just from Dan, not me. Please join me in celebrating this expansion and welcoming Dan and his energy to our team!

Hockey saved my life

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by [url=]Terry Olson

As I write this, I sit in limbo–stuck somewhere between my professional identity, police officer, and one of my greatest passions, hockey.

At this moment I am neither cop nor hockey player because [url=]I broke my ankle at a JMS skate recently.

This isn’t the first time that hockey has led to injury for me, yet at 43 years of age I still play. On some level, I feel guilt because on several occasions hockey has cost me the ability to meet the very serious obligations of my most important identities: father and husband.

If you’re a middle-aged hobby athlete like me, particularly one whose sport has caused injury, I am certain that you’ve run the cost-benefit analysis a time or two. I am tempted to make that calculation on every so often but there is one factor in my personal history that makes that calculation pointless: It wasn’t long ago when hockey literally saved my life.

As a kid I never played organized hockey. The neighborhood rink was it for me. I maintained a casual interest in hockey and other athletic activities until the demands of self-funded college consumed most of my time. As a 20-something rookie cop, I didn’t need to work out to stay in shape, but when I was 30, I could no longer deny that I actually had to work at it.

I picked up some used gear and played a couple of open hockey sessions. I was thoroughly outclassed by guys with formal hockey backgrounds who were also 10 years younger than I was. I gave it up, but a few years later I skated with some cops from another department. These are guys who are about my age–guys with families, jobs and mortgages.

I saw that there was a place for the adult hockey player but I’d have look harder to find the proper venue. I eventually worked in with a couple of groups and I was playing weekly. I attended a couple of hockey clinics and schools and before I knew it I’d reached the level where I felt competent to be on the ice with them.

On April 30, 2006, I was skating with a group I’d worked my way in with, mostly firefighters, cops, and paramedics. I was fore checking when I was able to tip the puck loose and skate on a breakaway. One of the backcheckers pulled me from behind, spinning me to the right. My left tibia broke, also breaking my left fibula in the process.

I had noticed a bit of a lump on my left shin before this and it had recently become sensitive, but being a typical guy I hadn’t worried about it. I should have. In the process of treating the break, I learned that the cause of the fracture was a cancerous tumor, which was the lump I’d been feeling for some time on my left shin.

How long would it have taken for me to break my leg without hockey?
How long would I have continued to ignore the problem if I hadn’t broken my leg?

Who can say, but with cancer early detection is everything in terms of treatment and survivability. In my case, the cancer hadn’t spread anywhere else. It would have, ultimately killing me, if given enough time.

Luckily, the fracture healed, which was necessary if the cancerous portion of my tibia was to be removed surgically. If it hadn’t, I would have lost my leg from the knee down as the only viable means by which to remove the tumor completely.

I spent the next 18 months on crutches, having surgeries and enduring a variety of chemotherapy regimens. Today, five inches of my left tibia is comprised of donor material and the leg from the knee to the ankle is held in place by a rod and screws. Add to that the skin grafts and muscle deformities and I am easily mistaken as a shark bite survivor.

Now you know in part how hockey saved my life, but the benefits of hockey didn’t end with the cancer diagnosis.

Because I’d been playing regularly and striving to improve my game, I’d also been working out at the health club two days a week. The strength and conditioning that I had developed made it possible for me to endure the demanding medical regimen that was necessary for survival and recovery.

When it became apparent that I’d be able to return to my career it also became apparent that I could use hockey as the cornerstone of my physical rehabilitation effort. It was at that time that a good friend, [url=]John Blasingame, introduced me to JMS.

I started at level 2, eventually working my way to level 4, which is comparable to the level I was accustomed to playing before the injury. To this day, my left leg isn’t as big as the right and my stride is a bit lopsided, but I’ve recovered more than I had thought was possible and I’m still making gains.

While I was in the hospital last week with the newest injury (the other leg this time), I couldn’t help but run the cost-benefit analysis over and over again. It was easy to conclude that my responsibilities make it too selfish for me to return to risky activities like hockey. I’m the only skater that I have ever personally known to leave the ice arena in an ambulance–and I’ve done it twice. Beyond this, I once tore up my shoulder at a hockey school and on another occasion I spent most of a night in the emergency room having my nose stitched up, all courtesy of my old friend hockey.

This is a lot of “cost” to overcome in the calculation, but the “benefit” I’ve derived from hockey is just too great, even if you don’t factor in the fun and camaraderie that hockey has provided to me.

I owe it to myself–to hockey–to continue to play, even if my mother does think I’m crazy.