I probably won’t be playing hockey on a team this year. Here’s how it goes down.
Last year I played for the Waterloo Eagles. They’re an AA team in the OWHA. I think we ended up finishing 3rd overall in our league (of 15 teams). Last year I was the only goalie. The goalie that played on the team the previous year was pregnant — something that happens quite often in women’s sports. This year, however, there have been 3 goalies showing up to the “tryouts”. I use the term loosely, you’ll see why in a minute.
The unofficial tryouts, which was a few weeks ago, consisted of an hour of ice time two days in a row. They were “unofficial”, I came to find out later, and I was the only goalie to show up. I was confident that I’d be on the team.
The next week, the “official” tryouts took place. Again, an hour of ice time two days in a row. This time another goalie showed up the first day (the goalie that was on the team the year before), and a third goalie showed up the second day. On the first day, the coach told me that his method of dividing ice time during the season between the goalies is a 2:1 ratio. The primary goalie plays two games out of three and the secondary goalie plays one out of three. Also, both goalies are expected to show up at every game. If we’re playing in Sarnia (2 hour drive from our home ice) then the goalie that is NOT playing is still expected to go.
Now, this is all well and good, I mean, it IS competitive hockey, but most of the women on the team are making time for hockey out of their busy lives. Not everyone has 5 hours to spare to sit on a bench. I like to play competitive because I feel Rec Hockey doesn’t challenge me enough, even though playing competitive requires more commitment.
After the next two tryouts, he tells me he’s extending the tryouts into the next week because he wants to get a feel for the goalies that he doesn’t know. Ok, fair enough I guess.
We go to the tryout on Sunday, all three of us show up. I was talking to him at center ice about the lack of players (there were SIX on the ice) and abundance of goalies and he mentions to me that he had another goalie call him that day about trying out for the team and she was a starting goalie for Wilfrid Laurier University last year.
Then, later, I find out he’s extending the tryouts yet again. Obviously so this other goalie can come try out.
Now, on top of all this, I know I’m not going to make the team. One of the goalies trying out is as good as me or better (from my estimation) so I’m thinking she’ll get first string if the Wilfrid Laurier goalie doesn’t come out. If the WL does come out on Sunday, then it will be between the two of them and I’m out of the picture.
I’ve never felt so unwanted and felt like such a crappy goalie in my LIFE. I couldn’t have been that bad if we finished in the top 5, right?
Now, I’ve been scouring my resources to try to find a halfway-decent team/league for me to be on.
– I’ve sent an e-mail to my buddy that ran the Three Gut Feelings for the Exclaim Hockey League last year, which I played on sporadically, but I haven’t heard back.
– I went down to the University of Waterloo to sign up for their competitive league, but they’re no longer allowing community members to join.
– I’ve sent an e-mail to the team captain for my husband’s team in the HTHL, which I’ve subbed for for the last few years. I can probably sub again, but that’s obviously dependent on goalies not being available.
– My only hope left is that the league at RIM park lets me sign up late for a league there, since the deadline for registration was this Monday.
Oh, well, I guess I can hope I make at least second string for the Eagles so I can travel around Ontario every weekend and sit on a bench while only half my team shows up to play.
At least I’m in good company with the NHLers out there.