JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: October, 2010

Enter Your Emergency Contact

by barbaragarn

We have a new feature that should be useful on the rare occasions when something happens at the rink. 

Please enter your emergency contact information on your profile– log in, click “Manage Your Account” (from the link under HOME, or at the bottom of the home page) and then “Edit Your Profile.” Scroll down to the emergency contact section, right above Account Information.

Longtime hockey players know how rarely we need this kind of information… and how very needed it is when something does happen. We want to keep you safe, always, but when those odd collisions happen and someone at home needs to know what’s up, having an emergency contact on file will help us help you.

And remember, please always skate with your head UP!

All Newbie Night

by barbaragarn

No more excuses. 

You know you know someone who says they’re interested in starting hockey but worried that “everyone else will be faster.”

Fears, begone! November 12 is ALL NEWBIE NIGHT. Every single person on the ice will be 100% brand new to hockey.

I will vet each skater to make sure we have no ringers, just 22 excited brand-newbies to share the ice together… for the very first time.

We will provide loaner gear (with advance notice) and hockey buddies to help the newbies get in their gear. I’m sure the stands will be packed with excited fans.

Is it time to get Mom on skates? How about Uncle Bob? Your little sister or your neighbor? That colleague who knows Wild stats backwards and upside-down, but can’t skate forwards?

For everyone in your life who has been wanting to skate, but fearful, now is the time. Save the date and send an e-mail to support at jmshockey to be added to the information list.

JMS is fun, friendly, safe. Isn’t it time they stopped dreaming and started playing hockey?!?

Growing Up Goalie

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by Rob Jones

Gilles Meloche. Donny Beaupre. Watching the North Stars growing up was second nature and going to games at Met Center with my dad and brother was always a highlight of my life. I grew up in South Minneapolis and had friends who had brothers that played High School hockey for South and Roosevelt… schools that were, in the day, bitter turf rivals in pretty much everything in our neighborhood. 

We happened to live right on the school zoning border, so my best friends ended up being split between the two schools. In the winters, we’d always walk down to Longfellow or Brackett Park for ice time. At night, a neighborhood game of boot hockey in the street or alley would be a given. From the age of 6 or so, we’d all be playing… even my brother and his friends who were 7 years older. I was always drawn to play goalie…for whatever reason I just liked the flashiness of it. The padding. The equipment. And then I saw Pelle Lindbergh in about 1980. That mask!!! I was completely hooked. He had been playing in the Olympics. The way he moved on the ice and being relatively smallish in stature… I was going to be a goalie!

And so it began. My friends played hockey. I did not. I would always run around on the ice, but didn’t have skates. Finally, my friends dad gave me a pair of skates and I was off. I skated and fell…a lot. But it eventually came around. I still always played goalie, but rarely on the ice. I mimicked the saves of goalies I would see on tv. I LOVED watching Greg Stefan of the Dead Wings, Mike Liut of the Blues, Murray Bannerman of the hated Black Hawks and my other all-time favorite, Grant Fuhr. Bannerman had a great mask… those masks were so great I wanted to “make” my own. (yeah, paper mache wasn’t exactly protective…even for a tennis ball). 

Our family tv was in the basement of our rambler, which also had an open layout in the basement, complete with linoleum square floors that included a shuffleboard court which was quite common in houses in Minneapolis built in the 50’s and 60’s. This enabled us to also have some great floor hockey games down there…taping off the lines and goals and using a taped and balled up pair of striped athletic socks as our puck and couch cushions as “the boards”. It was as close to playing hockey as I was going to get. Sure, I played baseball (as a pitcher, catcher and CF) and football as a DB… but my mom made one thing clear: Hockey is a) dangerous and b) expensive. With that, we moved from the city out to Eden Prairie in 1985, which, unbeknownst to me, was a hockey mecca. 

My first year of school in 6th grade at Eden Prairie made it very apparent to me how important it was to be an Eden Prairie Hockey player. By this time, I was 12-13 years old… pretty hard to play on a team with kids who’ve seemingly been playing since the womb. Also was the reiteration of cost. Equipment PLUS $800?? Sure… not gonna happen!! Nevermind how dangerous it is. So… I saved my money. And saved. And piece by piece, I bought goalie equipment. 

I bought a pair of Red, White and Blue Jayco Pro  pads with the “accordion flex” boot off a former minor league goalie from the Washington Capitals for a mere $150. Those were great pads… Pro model, same as John Vanbiesbrouck wore for the Rangers for about a year or so. Anyhow… it was starting. Of course, I was caught red handed when I ordered a pair of goalie skates and a jock from Ocean Hockey Supply and my mom signed for the delivery. She was sort of mad, but I think it made her realize how gung-ho I was to play net. The summer of 1987 also had me convincing my parents to send me to the Warren Strelow/Paul Ostby Goalie School over at BIG. What an experience!!! I was all set to go now… equipment, training… but no team. 

I played at the park in the winter and kept watching hockey on TV. We had one of those big satellite dishes so we were able to see all the games, in French even. Don Cherry became a favorite and I read and learned about the history of goalies and who they were. I’d sit in classes at school writing down as many NHL goalie names as I could remember throughout history in 2 minutes. I was addicted. I’d use our fireplace mantel in the basement to throw a racquetball against and practice making “glove-ly” saves with my all-white Vaughn T-1000 trapper. (This is probably where my overly-dramatic glove saves come from!) 

Winn-Lite goalie pads by Jim Lowson and Rejean Lemelin with the Calgary Flames put me in awe. Those raspberry colored, futuristic pads Lemelin wore were AWESOME. Then Greg Stefan with the Wings had a Heaton version of those pads which looked even more cool! Winn-Lites started showing up all over the place and I HAD to have a pair. Of course there was NO way I’d ever get the $800 to buy them, so what’s the next best thing? BUILD MY OWN! Lemelin began playing for the Bruins and Winn-Lite became Aeroflex. 

I went to a North Stars/Bruins game to look at his pads up close…took lots of pictures.  I spent hours and hours (sad, I know) building my own pads and creating a “workshop” in the garage. Drawing and designing…ending up with 2 sets and a blocker when I was done. Amazingly, they were pretty decent… nothing anyone could sell or anything…but usable nonetheless. They didn’t last too long, so I was back to my Jaycos. One summer I was at a used sporting goods store that used to be in Hopkins called Instant Replay (still have one store in Bloomington) and they had Kari Takkos old white Koho pads for sale. Again… HAD to have! Traded the Jaycos in and paid some extra money. To this day, those were the BEST pads I’ve ever owned. Still, no way I was getting on a team. 

1990 brought Eden Prairie High School hockey tryouts. I gave it a go. I failed of course because these kids were predetermined to have a spot, especially when kids are recruited in from other areas. Our big name was Bryan Schoen who ended up transferring to Minnetonka since the EP team was so bad. It was fun to try out, but, no dice. 

After graduation, I ended up attending Normandale for a year. Yay. How fun. But what’s this? They have a intramural hockey team!?!? I signed up and became part of the team which had 3 goalies. I ended up being #2, but played quite a bit since the #1 seemed to miss a lot for some reason. Anyhow, the Normandale program had a decent schedule, but played some real hockey schools in scrimmages. My first game ever was against Augsburg. Lost 10-1… not all my fault, but as a goalie, you take those things personally. Played at BIG against Drake College from Iowa and we won that game, although I gave up a goal off the opening face-off in front of my parents and about 300 spectators. And it wasn’t a breakaway…it was a shot from the RED LINE off the faceoff. 

This game gave me the team drive when it became really chippy. In the second period I went out to play the puck and was lined up by a Drake player in the corner. Luckily I saw him coming and sidestepped the check (checking was allowed), but then 3 of my teammates made that guy pay by piling in and throwing punches while yelling “YOU DON’T HIT THE GOALIE!!!” Ah, what a team!!! This showed me what it can feel like to be part of something competitive and how teammates can stick up for you…more than just Varsity baseball. I ended the season and my schooling at Normandale that spring. No team once again, so I just played random pick-up hockey for a few years.

Being at the University of Minnesota introduced me to lots of new friends, one being a guy about 5 years older than me who was Captain of a Hockey North America team called the Buccaneers. They were a successful team, but their goalie was giving up playing net and converting to defense. After talking, I was given a “tryout” and got the gig. I played 2 seasons for them and we won the League Championship both times and went to Toronto for the HNA National Tourney in 1999. The HNA endured some legal issues and somehow the AHA was born out of it. My old Bucs team split and became the Titans and Bucs teams in the current AHA.

In 2001, I moved to California and was faced with the fact that I probably had to give up hockey. I don’t like inline and the nearest ice rink in southern CA was about 85 miles away (the closest one to me collapsed from heavy snow!) All my gear was stored at my dads house and the few trips I came back to visit, I’d find the time to play a game of pickup. But low and behold, I moved back in 2004 and even had a team in the AHA before I even got here…the Admirals where I met Barb and was introduced to JMS Hockey. JMS was fledgling back then…pay as you go. Barb is at every session… I think 1-2 sessions a week on Fridays only. Amazing how far JMS has come. (Thanks Barb!) 

This will be my 10th season playing in an Adult Hockey League. The people I’ve met and played with have been great. I’ve scorekept games, reffed some scrimmages and even was the AHA Beginner School Goalie coach for 2 seasons. I have worked my way from running in shoes on the ice as a kid to playing goalie through the B1 level of the AHA. Coincidentally, both goalies I tried out against at Eden Prairie High School back in 1990 play in the AHA, one in the Elite level and one in B1. I’ve subbed for both in my years in the AHA. I think I finally made it! Sure, it’s not the NHL or a gigantic accomplishment, but I followed my dream and love for being a goalie which is now shared with my two youngest kids… aspiring goalies just as I was 30 years ago.

All Glory to the Hockey Stop

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by Mike Tibodeau

Ever since early man first talked his younger brother into rolling down the steep slope next to their cave, man has yearned for speed.  But at that very same moment, as he careened uncontrollably down the hill, the other man yearned for a way to stop.  So why does it seem that even as we hockey newbies strap steel to the bottoms of our feet in the pursuit of streaking down the ice, we neglect learning the skill of the stop?

Is it because we perceive no glory in the stop?  It has no stats column to post to our facebook wall.  Do we like to run headfirst into the boards, bowling over friends and foes alike? Do we… do we think we are too good for the stop?

The three comments I overhear the most about other skaters during a Level 1 JMS session are: 1) “That guy/gal can really skate!”, 2) “That guy/gal has a wicked shot!”, 3) “Watch out for that guy/gal, they don’t know how to stop!”.  That last comment says a lot.  It not only shows that even developing skaters know how important the stop is, but also that they are cautious of those skaters who haven’t bothered to learn the skill.

The hockey stop can take some time to learn, the biggest obstacle usually being breaking through the mental barrier (“You expect me to rush down the ice and then somehow just turn my hips and come to a complete stop in less then a second?!?”).  I remember trying repeatedly several days in a row and falling over every time.  Then, one day, while skating around an outdoor rink, it just happened.  And once I knew I could do it, I wasn’t afraid to try it again, and again, and again, till eventually I mastered it.

To learn the stop, find a friend that already knows how and ask for a little instruction.  If you don’t have that resource, there’s also a lot of useful information on the web, howtohockey has just one example.  Once you’ve got the basic idea of the stop it’s time to try it on the ice.  Find an outdoor rink or attend an open skate and start slow.  Be patient, but also be tenacious.  You will get it!

Once you’ve mastered the stop, you’ll quickly realize you use it all the time.  And in some crazy M. Night Shyamalan like twist, you’ll even find yourself going faster, knowing you can stop!

Yes, there is glory in the ol’ hockey stop.