Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thanks #30 (Wife)

This is Thanks #30, the final Thanks post for November. It is certainly not the least Thanks post of November. I might say that I have saved the best for last.

Everywhere I go, there’s me and this empty space
with a simple thought, I can see her smiling face
 
In the moments when I lose my way
it’s her calming voice I hear, and all’s okay
 
When busy runs away with the time that I miss
She’s there, eye to eye, with a gentle kiss
 
Matters mount, lack of plan has me distraught
And she rescues me with words I hadn’t thought
 
Some days end and emotions scatter all about the place
Then all returns to order when I’m held in her embrace
 
Moments are held, but slip from grasp like shifting sand
The memory is saved with her, walking hand in hand
 
When the forest has me enclosed, but still too far to reach
I steal a smile as I ponder our day on Tiger Tail Beach
 
When my patience wanes and the rope I’m holding, ends,
She’s there to catch me, and seamlessly blends
 
As I look past now towards some far away day
The view is promising with her beside me, I must say
 
There are many wonderful aspects to my fortunate life
I’m one, in awesome wonder, thankful for my wife

Thanks #29 (Bible)

I am thankful for the Bible. The book of all books. I am thankful for the recorded history and the truths that forever apply in the Bible. It’s my own guide to all that matters in life. It guided my parents, and their parents. It’ll be around to guide many more. I’m thankful it’s here for me. As my daughter Jacqueline parades around singing, “the B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me”, me too, Jacqueline, me too.

Thanks #28 (Quiet)

I am thankful for quiet. I don’t get much quiet, but I am thankful for it when I do. Quiet is just a nice sound to ponder. Quiet, with no phones, no TV, no computer, no background chatter, no traffic, no hustle, no bustle, just quiet. If I’m outside, then it’s quiet but for the sounds of nature, water, and wind that I long for. Just the quiet that after a few moments, allows me a chance to let my mind focus on anything, everything, and even nothing at all if I choose. Quiet is just a clear path for the mind to safely journey from place to place and complete the trip. I miss quiet, and I am thankful for quiet when I get it.

Thanks #27 (Christmas Season)

I am thankful for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Christmas season. I enjoy the moments that allow for time when I can sneak mentally away to a slower time and pace of Christmas memories past. I’m sure I had more down time then than I do now, and I’m sure I probably complained to my parents at the time that I was bored. I certainly wish I had that time now, and I know I wouldn’t be bored for sure. Time to reflect, time to teach, time to share, time to wish Merry Christmas to others and to make new Christmas memories. I know there are people out there that cringe at the thought of the Christmas season. I say that we, people, are the reason why. We need to have everything bigger, better, and faster than it was before. I’m not knocking the thought process, there’s just something’s that need not be rushed, like time. Time to know and understand the story of Jesus’ birth, and the first Christmas, as it were. Time to remember all those people, places, moments shared, and things that made our Christmases through life so dear. Yes, I’m thankful for the Christmas season and I could do without Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In writing this, I was reminded of a piece I wrote here last year called Sunday Series – Where’s the line?. You can read that too if you would like. I know it’s early, it’s still November, but it’ll be gone quickly. Merry Christmas.

November 25: Flames 2 @ Concord 2

Flames comeback to earn a point in GSL Standings

Sunday afternoon the Flames traveled to Concord, NH to play a Granite State Hockey League game vs. the Concord Capitals. Just two weeks ago, the Flames blew a 3rd period lead on home ice in a 3-2 loss to the Capitals, after playing an otherwise solid game. Yesterday things looked like another loss might be in store for the visiting Flames. Not so fast. The Flames bounced back and earned a point in the GSL Standings, the result of a 2-2 tie.

Let me start from the beginning. That would be the 1st period, where, despite being short-handed for 6 of the 12 minutes in the period, the Flames out shot the Capitals 5-3 and had the better of the scoring chances. The first period ended scoreless, 0-0.

The 2nd period stayed largely the same as the opening stanza. The Flames took a penalty, killed it off, got good shots, and good scoring chances. But, like we see so often in sports, when teams tempt fate by playing in a manner that defies the book of how-to, and so too, the Flames started to pay for their individual driven, penalty marred style of play. Concord scored their first goal on a nice rebound goal of an even better initial save made by Keenan Alnahas. 5:16 later, the Capitals took a 2-0 lead and there were only 14-plus minutes left in the contest. Before the 2nd period ended, the Flames were able to cut the lead from 2 to a single goal. Sean Moore scored a hard-working, lunch pail carrying type of goal that was set up by Sam Hebert and Zach Bayer. The period ended with the Flames trailing 2-1.

In the 3rd period Concord, who is already a solid team defense unit, clamped down their end and as much of the neutral zone as they good, in hopes of hanging on to their 2-1 lead for 12 more minutes. The Capital all but disappeared, and maybe would not have surfaced again, were it not for additional penalties handed to the Flames in the final two minutes of play. I’m getting ahead of myself though, lest I forget the Flames game-tying goal. Zach Bayer struck for a goal, it was set up by Jackson Puzzo and Patrick Goren, and the game was tied 2-2 with 2:29 left. The Flames took penalties with 1:47 left, and with 0:39 left, allowing Concord a brief 5-on-3 power play chance. The defense held, as did, Anders Lindberg in goal, and the Flames came away with a point in the standings, earning a 2-2 tie. For the game, the Flames out shot their opponent 19-12 and really carried the offensive pressure. I did hear the coaching staff vocalizing a recurring thought through the game, and that was, “Pass the puck!!!!” I am sure that thought may come up in practice this week.

On tap:
Saturday, December 1st, 7:20pm: @ Ristuccia Arena vs. Shamrocks (Wilmington, MA)
Sunday, December 2nd, 11:30am: @ Notre Dame Arena vs. Berlin (Berlin, NH)

November 3: @ Flames 2 Raiders 3

Close call assists Raiders to 3-2 win

Saturday afternoon the Flames hosted the North Shore Raiders at West Side Arena for a 2:30 pm tilt. The Flames played well for extended periods of time, but lost 3-2, giving up goals when their play broke down.

In the first period the play was fairly even, with maybe, a small edge going to the Raiders. The Flames did get 9 shots on goal to the 8 shots taken by the Raiders, but the visitors won the period 2-0. Both Raider goals came on defensive breakdowns while the Raiders held the puck in their offensive end. The two goals were similar in execution. The puck was worked from the left-wing side of the ice with passes that found wide open players in the slot out in front of Flames goaltender, Anders Lindberg. On the first goal, Lindberg made the initial, point-blank save, but an uncovered Raider was there to put the rebound home. The second goal was of the tic-tac-goal variety. Both goals were nice hockey plays with the common denominator being the wide open player in the slot.
The second period was a case of pure domination by the Flames. They not only won the period 2-0, but they also carried play and outshot the Raiders 14-4. Sam Hebert scored both goals, the first being an unassisted rush finished with a slick move in tight to beat the goaltender. The second goal, also scored by Hebert, was a solid hard-working players goal. Zachary Bayer and Sean Moore worked the puck form one to another, getting a good shot on net. The shot was stopped initially, then Hebert jumped on the loose puck and tied the game at two apiece with the rebound goal. Flames shots continued, yet none would find the back of the net.
Then with just 2.5 seconds left in the period the Flames momentum would be lost. With the Raiders attempting to rush the puck up ice, Flames defenseman, Jackson Puzzo made a strong stick check on the Raider player, freeing the puck. The Raider forward went sliding on his knees as his path had been cut off. At the same time Sam Hebert was skating hard in his back checking role. Hebert skated past the fallen forward to retrieve the puck. Immediately the referee’s arm went up and the whistle blew. The call was signaled for checking on Hebert. The call was made, the visual proof was scarce, and the explanation was excusatory. Either way, the Flames started the 3rd period short-handed.
With just 10 seconds left on the Hebert penalty to open the period, the Raiders scored, taking a 3-2 lead. For the next 8 or 9 minutes of play neither team played well. Both teams had lost any flow they had earlier and the play was choppy at best, which favored the team holding the lead. Then in the last 4+ minutes the Flames reappeared. They reeled off six shots on goal in the last four minutes and carried the play. With 59.3 seconds to play, the Raiders were called for a cross checking penalty while the Flames were swarming the opponents net. On the power play, the Flames pulled Lindberg in favor of an extra attacker. The Flames mustered an offensive attack but were unable to tie the score. Final, Raiders 3; Flames 2.
The Flames will need to bounce back quickly as they play two road games on Sunday. First, they travel to Phillips Exeter Academy for a game vs. NH East. Then they play a late afternoon game at Hallenborg Arena vs. the Bulldogs White team.

November 11: Flames 7 @ Stars 3

Slow start, down 2-0; Strong finish, 7-3 win

The Flames quickly found themselves behind 2-0 just 7 minutes into the game. This may have been the result of back-to-back early morning (8am scrimmage yesterday) games, or maybe the team’s attendance at MRYHA Night at the Verizon Wireless Arena last night. Either way, the Stars led 2-0 early, and were carrying the play. As the period wore on, the Flames started heating up and the scoring chances opened up. First, on a clean face off win, Patrick Goren fed Sean Moore in the slot and he one-timed a shot just inside of the far post to get the Flames on the board. A few minutes later, Brendan Courtney pushed a nice pass from his defensive position up to Sam Hebert who skated up the left-wing, cut back to the net and scored a nifty goal to tie the game at 2-2. The period ended with a 2-2 score and the Flames earning a slim 7-6 edge in shots on goal.
The second period started with the Flames and Sam Hebert getting a goal in the opening 22 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. Over the next several minutes the tide turned and the NE Stars starting winning loose pucks, keeping the puck in the offensive end, and getting people in front of the net. This led to the Stars’ scoring the tying goal, and then going on successive power plays. Finally, after killing three straight minutes of penalties, the Flames started engulfing the offensive end of the ice with waves of scoring chances. Just as a Flame penalty expired, Sam Hebert struck again with an even-strength goal. It was his 3rd of the game, and the eventual game winner. Shortly thereafter, Hebert scored again on an easy put-back goal after great passing and offensive presence from Ryan Douthart and Brendan Courtney. The period ended with the Flames in front 5-3 and the momentum squarely with the visiting team.
The 3rd period saw the Flames really open up their passing game, which led to 10 shots on goal and 2 more goals. Ryan Douthart figured in both goals during the period, as did Wil and Sam Hebert. Not on the score sheet, but certainly present with strong skating, hustle, back checking, and positioning was Kyle O’Flaherty. The first goal of the period was scored by Sam Hebert, but was really created by Douthart and Wil Hebert. The final goal was scored when Douthart was rewarded for a strong game and a real nice hockey play, assisted by Wil and Sam Hebert. Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg combined to make 17 saves on 20 shots they faced, with Alnahas earning the win in net.
The Flames return to action this afternoon when they host the Concord Capitals at 12:50pm in the West Side Arena. Thank again for bearing with us through these last few months. Please enjoy the rest of the season and find fun in everything you do.