BLOG - HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL

March 06, 2014 • 06:54 PM

HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL WEEKEND, PART 2 - THE LOS ANGELES SHARKS

Now onto the other half of a fairly epic weekend. Since the doors are temporarily closed at my “home” ice in Culver City and will likely remain closed for a little while, it was time to look for a new place to skate. And as it turned out, an opportunity came quickly in the form of being approached right after the final session at Culver about coming in as a substitute for a team that plays in a league down in Bay Harbor. In Culver City they had three adult leagues - Gold, Silver and Bronze level. My goal was to hopefully be good enough to catch on with a Bronze team this coming fall, but honestly, the switch over to a right-handed shot a few months ago set me back a bit and made that not such a great idea. But salvation arrived early, courtesy of The Skating Edge arena, who have a 4th league, a level below bronze: the Aluminum League, which sounded perfect when Devin, the league manager, told me about it. (Okay, maybe not perfect. Why someone passed up the opportunity to call it the Iron League and get the obvious Slap Shot reference in is kind of beyond me.)

But anyway, I travelled down there and watched one of their games a couple weeks ago to see what it looked like, and I felt confident enough that I could hang in there and not suck too much. Plus, the team name is the Los Angeles Sharks, and they even have red and white jerseys that closely mimic the now-defunct World Hockey Association’s Los Angeles Sharks. I have a thing for old-school jerseys, so that made it an even easier sell. So afterwards I reached out to Devin and let him know I’d be available to substitute this week if someone could not make it. Sure enough, someone couldn’t make it and waiting in my inbox at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday morning was an invite to play on Sunday. I accepted right away, and then spent the next three days getting really excited but also very nervous about it - Aluminum League or not, this was my first real game with real teams, real refs and a game clock since February of 8th grade, which was a full thirty years ago. Yeah, thirty years.

Finally Sunday morning came around and I headed for Bay Harbor at around 10:00 a.m. via the 10 and the 110, with a soundtrack of Rush’s “Grace Under Pressure” playing on a beautiful sunny day. I wanted to be there early enough to get acquainted with the rink, get my skates sharpened and pick up a couple rolls of tape, and be sure that I was actually ready to play at 12:20. I made my way to the locker room, where a couple guys recognized me from Culver and the rest of the team had been filled in on who I was. The dressing room camaraderie amongst the team was instantly obvious, and very salty, but everyone was friendly and made it a point to make me feel welcome. As it turned out, getting my gear on took a little too long, as it often does, and I was only just barely geared up and taped up by the time the game started, so I get to play without stretching or even a warmup skate. But once the puck dropped I forgot about all of that.

For the next hour, every care in the world disappeared as the sheer joy of playing hockey again, for real, took over. The Sharks skated to a very convincing 9-3 win, which definitely helped the mood. I think I may have had a second assist on one goal. There were two of us who were new and we were both righties, so they rolled four right wings instead of three, and we all got regular but shorter shifts. I did reasonably well for a first-timer, better than I thought I would do. I definitely made mistakes, but nothing that directly led to a penalty or a goal. When I’d come off the ice my teammates made it a point to tell me what I’d done right but also point out what I could or should have done differently. It was supportive, it was fun, and the last two months of training 6 days a week did wonders for getting my endurance back up. And throughout the drive back home to a soundtrack of Rush’s “A Farewell To Kings”, I was genuinely smiling at how much fun I’d had as the sun shone down on clear and unusually traffic-free Los Angeles freeways.

ARCHIVE

DEAD & COMPANY | DECEMBER 31, 2015 | LOS ANGELES FORUM | “SCARLET > TOUCH > FIRE! OH MY…OH MY GOD!”
January 1, 2016

DEAD & COMPANY - DECEMBER 30, 2015 - LOS ANGELES FORUM - I HAD A HARD RUN
December 31, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY | LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 2015 | PRELUDE: FROM THE WATTS TOWERS TO THE FABULOUS FORUM
December 30, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY - LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 28, 2015: ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT, AND PROBABLY NOT THE LAST ONE
November 28, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY - LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 27, 2015: FROM FEAR AND LOATHING TO NEARLY FLOATING
November 27, 2015

8-BITS SUMMER SEASON, GAME 6: MAYBE I SHOULD BE RUSTY MORE OFTEN
August 23, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, THE RECAP - 11 FINAL THOUGHTS
July 22, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT FIVE: ALL THE YEARS COMBINE
July 7, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT FOUR: THE NINETIES, AND A 239th BIRTHDAY
July 5th, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT THREE: THE SLAMMIN’ LATE SEVENTIES
July 4, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT TWO: THE EARLY EIGHTIES, MORE OR LESS
June 30, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT ONE: TREY SILENCES THE HATERS, AND THE SET LIST IS A DREAM MADE REAL
June 28, 2015

THIS DARKNESS
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 14: JUNE GLOOM
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 13: THEN CAME THE LAST DAYS OF MAY
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 12 - FEAR, PART IV: FREEZE
June 26, 2015

8-BITS GAME 11 - FEAR, PART III: WITCH HUNT
June 26, 2015

8-BITS GAME 10: FEAR, PART II: THE WEAPON
June 25, 2015

8-BITS GAME 9: FEAR, PART I: THE ENEMY WITHIN
June 24, 2015

RUSH - R40 OPENING NIGHT - BOK CENTER - TULSA, OK
May 9, 2015 • 2:34 AM

KYLE RAMBEAU DOMINATES THE ALUMINUM LEAGUE, AND UNFORTUNATELY THAT’S A PROBLEM
April 23, 2015 • 8:41 AM

SUBSTITUTION BLUES
March 23, 2015 • 9:15 AM

WHEN GOALIES ATTACK
March 11, 2015 • 6:46 PM

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL
March 6, 2015 • 8:33 AM

8-BITS, GAME 4: A LONG WALK ON A SHORT PIER
February 23, 2015 • 6:38 PM

8-BITS vs. THE CANADIENS: WE BLEU IT
February 13, 2015 • 3:08 PM

DRAGON SLAYER
January 20, 2015 • 07:22 PM

TOP SHELVED
January 16, 2015 • 02:28 PM

8 MONTHS GONE, 8-BITS ARRIVAL
January 09, 2015 • 05:43 PM

THE LOS ANGELES SHARKS, GAME 3: “I SCORED?”
April 11, 2014 • 08:16 AM

KISS ALIVE IV: THE KISS ARMY DEFEATS THE ROCK HALL
April 09, 2014 • 10:01 PM

KISS ALIVE III - THE LOS ANGELES KISS
April 05, 2014 • 10:37 AM

KISS ALIVE II -- THE (VERY RARE) ACOUSTIC SHOW
April 04, 2014 • 09:10 AM

KISS ALIVE
April 01, 2014 • 07:14 AM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 3 OF 3: THE FIRST CLINICAL TEST
March 28, 2014 • 06:44 AM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 2: MEET THE SFSU CREW
March 25, 2014 • 08:36 PM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 1 of 3: WELCOME TO SFSU
March 23, 2014 • 08:14 PM

CONCERT REVIEW: TOOL WITH SPECIAL GUESTS YEAHMAN & THE BRAHS
March 18, 2014 • 02:23 PM

LA SHARKS GAIN A 3-3 TIE, BUT THAT’S NOT ALRIGHT
March 12, 2014 • 07:15 PM

HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL WEEKEND, PART 2 - THE LOS ANGELES SHARKS
March 06, 2014 • 06:54 PM

HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL WEEKEND, PART 1- MANOWAR: NONE MORE METAL
March 04, 2014 • 08:38 AM

WHO NEEDS DRUGS AND ALCOHOL WHEN YOU’VE GOT SPIRITUALIZED?
February 17, 2014 • 09:16 PM

THE LAST SKATE?
February 5, 2014 • 08:10 PM

“THIS IS THE LAST SEASON...IT’LL BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW.” -Joe McGrath, GM, Charlestown Chiefs
January 14, 2014 • 07:04 AM

OUT ON A LIMB
NOVEMBER 11, 2013 • 06:47 AM

THE NEIL PEART PRACTICE PRINCIPLE
NOVEMBER 4, 2013 • 08:23 AM

RUST BUILDUP
OCTOBER 15, 2013 • 06:25 AM

PERSEVERANCE, THY NAME IS ORANGE GOBLIN
OCTOBER 10, 2013 • 08:08 PM

I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 • 05:00 AM

THE BATTLE OF SAN BERNARDINO
SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 • 08:14 PM

PUR-PAK, MACCA...AND ME? WAIT, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 • 07:48 AM

ROSALITA! SKATE A LITTLE LIGHTER!
SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 • 09:28 AM

TRUST YOUR EDGE - EVEN IF YOU CAN’T DO BACKWARDS CROSSOVERS
AUGUST 6, 2013 • 04:19 PM

THE CUTTING EDGE
JULY 23, 2013 • 05:00 AM

TAKE HOLD OF THE SKATES
JULY 17, 2013 • 09:13 AM

I WANT TO SHOW YOU ALL MY WARES
JULY 1, 2013 • 08:30 AM

IN THE HI-FIDELITY FIRST CLASS TRAVELING SET
JUNE 28, 2013 • 08:04 PM

A SUDDEN GUST OF GRAVITY
JUNE 25, 2013 • 02:25 PM

FIRST STEPS
JUNE 18, 2013 • 03:30 PM

HOCKEY REDUX
JUNE 14, 2013 • 08:00 PM

GOLDEN GODS AND HEAVY METAL
MAY 09, 2013 • 09:49 AM

SURFERS ON A TIDAL WAVE
April 29, 2013 • 10:57 AM

SEALFIT CHALLENGE: MISSION SECURED
April 22, 2013 • 08:39 AM

MODERN DAY WARRIORS
APRIL 18, 2013 • 10:15 AM