Calder's Hockey

Calder started minor hockey this fall. He was excited and not so excited. New things are hard for Calder. He is our introvert and being on a team with new kids and new coaches was challenging (especially since Hugh had to miss the first couple of skates because of other obligations). Calder loves skating and for the first few practices announced he didn't want to play hockey that he just wanted to skate. We actually had to pull the "You wanted us to sign you up for this" card and with a little pep talk and reminder of what he loved about hockey, we managed to get him to the rink. He always told us he had fun after practice, so as it turned out getting him to the rink was the hard part.

Calder still will sometimes say he doesn't want to go to hockey. I honestly don't think it is because he doesn't have fun there. Sometimes it is because he is tired and just wants to stay home. Full days of school tire our boy out! We have also had the odd week of hockey with 3 or 4 skates and that has been really wearing on our 5 year old.

Calder is competitive. Hugh says he gets it from me, which may be true. I am competitive. But, Hugh forgets that his favorite part about hockey is winning and if you ask him, he will be quick to tell you that his favorite way to win is to "crush" teams. Let's just say that Calder comes by his competitiveness quite honestly. Not shockingly, Calder is competitive at the rink. When his team does laps to warm up, he will speed his way right to the front of the group. When it is time to grab water, he will race to the boards to grab his water bottle first. For the first month Calder couldn't stop, but this did not prevent him from going full tilt. He would just purposely fall before the boards and crash into them to stop. I'm sure he gave himself bruises just to be first.  Calder remembers the scores from each of his games. Winning and losing matter to him. I brought my video camera to the first game. I wanted to capture this milestone on tape. The kids play 3 minute shifts and after about a minute or so of taping I set the camera to the side so I could watch. I love putting videos together of my kids, but it is even boring for me to watch hours of the boys doing the same thing! No sooner had I put my camera down and settled it to watch that Calder got himself a breakaway and scored. Oops. I honestly did not expect that. Calder got his first goal on his first shift. A few shifts after his first goal Calder scored his second goal. I didn't get that one on tape either. I somehow managed to catch his hat trick goal on the next shift. Thank goodness, I might have lost sleep had I missed all three. After the game when people would ask him how the game went he would immediately tell him they lost 8 - 5 (Shockingly, our numbers boy failed to notice that they stopped marking goals up for his opponent about 2/3's of the way through the game. The score was more like 13 - 5!). Calder had lots of spectators at his first game (Uncle Billy, Auntie Abbey, Harper, Pace, Auntie Jes, Uncle Nate, and Grandpa Hamilton). We felt pretty special to have all these people at the rink to cheer Calder on.

Calder's second game was in Waldheim. When we hopped in the van after Hugh asked Calder how many goals he got. Once again our numbers boy shocked us when he said, "4 or 5 or 6". LOL! He did know the score of the game (it was a barn burner 13 - 11 win). Hugh said Calder got 6 goals, but Calder was more concerned that they won!  Calder has one move when it comes to goal getting and it happens to be "get a breakaway." He is really trying to pass the puck, but he honestly doesn't have the skills yet to know quite what to do. Hugh is excited that the backyard rink is up and running because they will be able to practice a few things in the backyard that will give Calder some options of what to do to spread the puck around.

Calder's team got to skate at the WHL vs Russia game. This picture was taken by the Blade's photographer.
Calder didn't score any goals in his 3rd game loss. Both teams take 3 minute shifts and Calder's line was paired up against a line with 2 incredible players. In fact, I don't think those two boys got a minus all game, which says a lot at this age! At the end of the game Calder knew the numbers of those two players and talked about skating to try and stop them from scoring. Calder's main strategy at this point is to get close to an opponent with the puck and fall into them. Again, Hugh is happy to have the backyard to teach Calder a different strategy! Calder did crash into those two boys a couple of times, but they were a level above his ability. Very cool to see! Even more incredible was the skill level of a boy in Calder's 4th game. He was AMAZING. He would skate down the ice stick handling the puck and wait for his teammates to meet him. He would then pass the puck to his teammate in the slot. This boy was so skilled that after the game when Calder and Hugh were debriefing, Calder said, "That boy should be kicked out of our league." Yikes. Upon further questioning, Calder meant that the boy was so good he should be in Novice, the age group above. Hugh actually thought this boy would be one of the better players in Novice. That boy must have some great parents at home and some amazing coaches, because he could have controlled the puck the entire time he was on the ice, but he passed and played defense most of the time. Very cool.

Calder has had a lot of fun at hockey and is learning some really great life lessons about winning and losing, as well about the fact that he won't always be the best at something. In fact, it has been a real eye opener for her to see that more often than not there will be players that are better than him and that he won't score a goal every game. Great life lessons. I love sport.

I am so proud of Calder. He works so hard every game and practice. He listens to his coaches (not quite as well when the coach is his dad :-) and tries to do everything they say. He is learning about what defense is and always skates hard back to his end. Calder also is trying to pass to his teammates on occasion.  He has learned how to stop and how to do cross cuts and falls less and less every time he is out on the ice. It is so fun to watch him grow as a player. (In fact, you wouldn't believe the improvement of each of the players on his team. It is incredible how far they have come in a few weeks.) I love being at the rink and have enjoyed visiting with the parents of the other players. I think I am going to quite enjoy my new role as "hockey mom."


  1. WHOOT!! What a great post- so awesome that he's learning so so much!

    What a great little Marauder! :) :)


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