Monthly Archives: February 2013

February 17: @ Flames 3 vs. Raiders 3

Sunday afternoon the Pee Wee Major Flames returned to home ice for a game against the Raiders based out of Everett, MA. Right away it was apparent that the Flames effort level and team involvement were back, and Saturday’s game just a memory. The Flames would take a 2-1 lead half way through this game, only to lose the lead late in the 3rd period. Then the hockey gods smiled on the home team when the Flames scored with an extra attacker on the ice with less than a minute left. The game ended in a 3-3 tie.

1st Period: Just 22 seconds into the game, the Flames trailed 1-0 when play broke down in front of their own net, and the opportunistic Raider top line put them ahead. For the rest of the period the Flames dominated scoring chances and shots, getting 10 of the next 11 shots in the game. With 8:36 left in the period, Sam Hebert scored on the power play and the tied things at one apiece. The period would end with the Flames feeling like they should have scored a couple of more goals, but tied 1-1.

2nd Period: The second period started with the Flames getting the early chances but the score remained tied. Then Sam Hebert struck again, and gave the Flames a 2-1 lead. It was Hebert’s 60th goal of the season and 42nd goal in 24 Mass Select games. The Flames would retain this lead for the next 20 minutes of hockey time. The second period ended with the Flames leading 2-1, and holding a 17-6 advantage in shots. Again, they were unable to widen the lead, or put away the pesky, ever-improving Raider club.

3rd Period: The Raiders showed that they weren’t giving up, or going away in the final period as they outplayed and outworked the Flames for much of the period. Finally the lead that carried no comfort in it was gone. The Raiders top line struck for a goal with 3:16 left in the game. Then 60 seconds later they tallied again, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead with just 136 seconds left in the game. The Raiders, who had spent most of the season in last place in their division, had beaten the Flames in their only other visit to West Side Arena, and they had also moved out of the cellar in the division. It appeared as though the Flames were going to lose another home game to the Raiders despite beating them twice on their home ice. Then, with the goaltender pulled, and Sean Moore parked legally in front of the net, the Flames reached back for a little more. Sam Hebert and Patrick Goren exchanged passes before throwing the puck at the net. The Raider goaltender never reacted to the puck as Moore limited his view of anything at all, and the puck slid unimpeded to the goal mouth where Zachary Bayer slammed home the game-tying goal with just 41 seconds left to play. With the game tied, the Flames returned Anders Lindberg to their net, and held on for the tie. Although, just seconds after the center ice face-off  Bayer found himself with the puck on a clear breakaway. There was not another Raider even in the defensive zone as Bayer approached the net. Bayer let a shot go, but the Raider goal tender was squared up to the shot and made a clean save without a rebound. The game would end in a 3-3 tie.

The tie was just the third tie of the season for the Flames, bringing their overall record to 34-20-3 on the season. With just a couple of weeks left in the season, the Flames have 7 different players with 30 or more points on the season.

On Tap:

Saturday, Feb 23: @ Shamrocks, Ristuccia Arena 7:20pm

Sunday, Feb 24: @ Nashua Pee Wee 3, Skate 3 Blue 12:00pm

February 16: @ Flames 2 vs. Nashua Pee Wee III 0

In the spirit of today’s Flames home game, I am writing this while four people stand around watching me. The Pee Wee Major Flames earned a berth in the GSL playoffs by virtue of their 2-0 win over the Nashua Pee Wee 3 team. Wil Hebert scored a goal assisted by Patrick Goren in the first period, and Brendan Courtney added an unassisted, empty net goal with 27 seconds left to play in the game. Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg combined in goal for the teams’ 8th shutout of the season.

Keeping a mindful eye on my word count, as compared to the number of passes the Flames attempted today, there’s nothing else to see here.

I ask myself; overanalyze much? Sometimes.

Amaris, Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th. Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you think the day is worth celebrating, it’s still Valentine’s Day. I want my wife to know she’s special, loved, and my valentine every single day. I get that. I hear a lot of people echo that same idea. It should be an everyday thing. Agreed.

Today I don’t feel differently about you Amaris than I did yesterday, or different from how I will feel tomorrow, I just want to let you know clearly today, this February 14th, that I think the world of you. I am not the most romantic, the most sentimental (probably close on this one), or the best communicator. I am not the most patient, observant, attentive listener, or a lot of things. I do know that life would be lacking, somehow empty, and a little less exciting without you.

You mean the world to me. You are a tremendous wife. You are an amazing talent in anything you try to do. You will try almost anything, and I love it. You think so far outside the box at times that I just stare in amazement when you come up with pertinent ideas when I thought all was lost. You amaze me almost daily. Your spirit is only less beautiful than the smile I get to see every single day. You are strong and so capable of being the ‘go to’ person in every aspect of your life. You pick me, us, up when we slip and fall or lose our way. You are forever a kid in some ways, and I hope you never change, and never lose sight of that precious kid in you. This I have told you a thousand times, and I pray to God I never deter you from being the you I met in Sturbridge, Massachusetts at a work event that summer day. You are warm. You give everyone a chance. You are a wonderful mother. You are a big sister anyone would want to have. You are a prize to have for a wife. I love you Amaris.

I know the days add up, the hours go by, sometimes in a blinding blur. With schedules that have us running constantly, I know we don’t always get those moments together, just us, that we once had, but I am certain that you are every bit my love as you ever have been. That is not measured in time, but in the effects your voice, your smile, your pure laughter, and your loving, gentle, touch have on my heart.

I remember how we came to meet. It wasn’t a road that either one of us would have ever planned for, dreamed of, or even remotely thought about. Heck, we were nowhere near a road, as it were, as we covered the distances in our lives that brought us together. As it turned out, we were both looking for each other, and happened to be in the same place at the same time when those wandering glances connected. I am so glad we met. I am so happy that I found you. I am so glad that you smiled and said “Hi” back to me. So glad.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Amaris, I am glad you are my valentine. No matter what today brings, I wouldn’t want to start this, or any day, without you. And tonight, when all is said and done, I don’t want to end this day unless you’re at my side. Happy Valentine’s Day Amaris! I know I have let a lot of people know how I feel here. I am just hoping you feel this every moment of every day. Not just today. This could be written, spoken, or shared on any day. But, that’s not to take anything away from these words which are written here, for you, today. I am grateful for you. I thank God for you every day. And I am sure that when you have lived many years beyond my time, that your legacy will be greater than even I could imagine. You are a special person. I am so happy that I am the one you chose. I love you.

This passage is truly beautiful. This is love. Perfect love. This is the New International Version of 1st Corinthians 13:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The quality of my writing may not reflect it, but these thoughts and feelings are near and dear to me. I hope and I pray that I love you in the ways defined by this passage of scripture I have shared. Love. Pure, love. I love God. I love my family. I love my country. I love wildlife, nature, weather, the spontaneous uniqueness of athletic greatness, and just about everything God created. And similar to the greatest thing you ever saw, the most awe-inspiring event your heart skipped a beat through, the thrill that left you wondering if anyone else was also grasping for their next breath, or even the most uplifting, life-changing words your ears were ever privileged to hear; I too struggle for words to capture the absolute Amaris, my love, my wife. Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart.


Amaris with the twins this past November.

God Made a Farmer

Inspired by the Super Bowl ad, I am sharing this quick note.

This commercial was not only my favorite ad from the advertising blitz that is the Super Bowl, but it may also have been my favorite part of the entire game.

See, to me it wasn’t an ad about a company, but a cognitive visit to times and places I don’t visit often enough.

Paul Harvey was a standard at my grandparents home. Breakfast, lunch and Saturday’s always were accompanied by the sound of Paul Harvey’s voice booming over the radio. Continue reading

February 2: Flames 3 @ Raiders 0

The Flames returned to the States, and also resumed playing league games after playing in 8 tournament games over the past two weekends, including the visit to Ottawa, ON. In, normal, road game, fashion, the Flames made the trip to Everett, MA for an 8am showdown against the Raiders. Although the Flames never really seemed to click into gear as a cohesive unit this morning, they played well enough to win 3-0. The goaltending tandem of Anders Lindberg and Keenan Alnahas stayed red-hot, earning their 7th shutout of the season, stopping all 16 shots.


1st Period: It was apparent to me early on that this Raider team has improved. They were much more structured in their movement of the puck, and their methodical approach to working the puck up ice gained them more scoring opportunities. Even so, the Flames struck early with a goal in the first three minutes. Zachary Bayer rushed up the left-wing and beat the Raiders to their own net and scored by beating the goaltender up high. Patrick Goren and Sam Hebert made passes out of their own end in order to spring Bayer on his rush up ice. After one period, the Flames led 1-0 and held a slight 7-6 advantage in shots. The shots on net totals were somewhat misleading, as the Raiders piled up five shots on one power play.


2nd Period: In the second period, the Flames came together a little bit better, and really pressed the Raider players coming out of their own end. This created two things; for one thing, the Flames caused turnovers by pressuring the puck carrier. The second thing that came from the pressure was scoring chances. The Flames outshot the Raiders 10-3 in the period and doubled their lead on the scoreboard at 2-0. Wil Hebert scored an unassisted goal when he took over a shift as a one-man forechecking force. He picked off a puck at center ice, curled around a defender, and beat a couple of stick checks from retreating Raiders en route to the front of the net, where he buried his shot.


3rd Period: The Flames killed an early penalty in the final period, holding a two-goal lead while looking for some insurance. Insurance came when the Flames, after cycling the puck through a line change, scored a nice goal, set up by teamwork. Zachary Bayer got the goal, but the puck could have easily been pushed into the net by Kyle O’Flaherty, who was in the right place at the right time. Brendan Courtney had made a nice pass to set the whole thing up, and got the only assist on the goal. The score remained 3-0 through the final buzzer, and the Flames earned their 32nd win of the season.


On Tap: Sunday, Feb. 3: @ Nashua Pee Wee 2 – Skate 3 Blue – 10:50am. This is an important GSL game tomorrow morning. The Flames need points in the standings to solidify a playoff spot.

I said please already

Theodore and Jacqueline asked me for a snack. In this case they wanted some fruit snacks. Or as Theodore says, “fruit nacks”.

As I rose to get them their snacks, I asked, “What do you say?”

Theodore: “Pleeeeaaaase?” Then he asked me to bend down so he could give me a hug.

Jacqueline: “I said please already.”

Me: “We need to say please every time, right?”

Jacqueline: “I know. Please? I have to say it to you and Grammy.”

I guess she has figured out who the real sticklers are in regard to her saying please and thank you.

As I handed them their snacks, they both yelled, “Thank you Daddy!”