Vegas By The Numbers
It all started with some excellence. First, we rushed like hell to get to the airport in time for our noon flight, only to discover that it was at 12:40. Phew, a little time to breathe and inhale some tasty airport food.
Then, we learned that there were enough empty seats on the plane that Val could sit in her carseat. Thank the Jesus, because seriously, having her in her own seat is like the Best Thing Ever. We get to Vegas, grab our stuff and head out to the rental car place only to find that our superass cheap generic rental car company has a huge line. So I step one line over to Enterprise and ask if they can match the aforementioned superass cheap rate. And they can! Name brand car rental for us!
I was able to get Val's car seat in (rear-facing, in case you were wondering) in record time -- 5 minutes! The fact that there was no sweating or cursing involved made every penny I spent on her new travel carseat (Britax Marathon, in case you were wondering) worth it. We had just enough time to go to Sonic, then swing back around and pick up Jennie from the airporto.
Finally, we headed to our hotel and checked in, then met up with our surprise teammate -- my best friend from high school. We'd found each other about 2 years ago and I'll be damned if she doesn't play hockey. So I invited her to Burninate with us and she accepted! The whole thing was so surreal (and fantastic) that I haven't quite processed it all yet. Like, huh, is that really her out there on D? With my team? In Vegas? Woah. Awesome, just awesome.
Our first game that night was amazing. We came out swinging and ended up winning 5-0, a record for our normally fairly low-scoring team. We were buoyant, and I was so damn relieved to be off to a solid start. I fully attribute our winning ways to this:
The Trogdor made of yarn that Jennie made for us. We passed it around before every game.
After our first victory, the team left and I stayed at the rink to play another game with my new-to-me local tournament team. I hadn't wanted to play any games with them in Vegas. Had I gotten onto the roster from the start of the season I would have passed because I Burninate Vegas. But the only way for me to qualify to play in regionals was to play with them in Vegas (I need 10 games to qualify and we're running short on time). So I did. We lost 9-2. Blech. I came back to the hotel exhausted but really focusing on our Victory in Burnination, thanks to Trogdor The Knitted.
Friday, we Burninated at 1 something so there was time to sleep a little, eat then head to the rink, with Trogdor The Knitted in tow. We had a tougher time against this team, but squeaked out a win after Lucinda scored the game-winning goal with not that much time left. This win I attribute to Trogdor The Knitted and also to the Hannah Montana picture on Lucinda's shin guard that we all touched before the game.
I played again that night with local tournament team while the Burninators ate at the Wynn. buffet. I'm assured that the food was not at all tasty and that the team was no fun to hang out with. I had sort of a miserable time that game, missing my team, missing my baby and of course, missing a tasty buffet dinner. It took me forever to get out of the rink after a 3-2 overtime loss, I just wanted to go see my peeps and eat something. I was feeling kinda low that night but perked up once Andrea and Michelle picked me up and we set out on a quest for food for me.
The next morning, the Burninators had a 9 something am game, so we roused a very tired Val out of bed, grabbed Trogdor The Knitted and headed to the rink. That game was another squeaker, against a team with a couple of really young skaters who were trying their hardest to carry the team. They also had a short bench so our plan was to just wear them down. This mostly worked, though the young kids kept their energy levels pretty high while the actual adults did slow down over the course of the game. We squeaked out another 3-2 win, thus securing our place in the finals or the semi-finals, depending on how the other game in our division went. I attribute this win to the growing population of odd things in people's gear bags, touching Hannah Montana and of course to the presence of Trogdor The Knitted.
After the game, the tourney director called me out to the lobby, where I learned that by just one goal, we had secured our place in the finals!! We got to skip the semi-finals for the first time ever, leaving our Saturday night open so Jean could go see a show. (She saw Mamma Mia, in case you were wondering, and liked it very much).
That afternoon, local tournament team had their final game. They were super nice and all I had to do was suit up, then warm the bench to get credit for the game. After 2.5 periods of making jokes about being Rudy, I skated one shift, realizing with every stride that I was Seriously Tired.
That night, we intended to go eat at Dick's but it was so ridiculously crowded we wound up at the Excalibur buffet. I'm here to tell you that anyone who says that buffet is mediocre is absolutely correct. But I was happy as hell to be just sitting down for a while with my peeps.
We went to bed early that night so we could wake up to play in the championship the next morning. Despite that, 7:30 am is still early. But we headed to the rink, Trogdor The Knitted in tow, ready for our championshipness.
We skated as hard as we could but it just seemed like we were all tired. Plus, their goalie was a big time cover-er, not leaving the kinds of rebounds we'd been capitalizing on all tourney. We did our best but wound up losing 4-2 after they scored an empty-net goal. Sigh. I attribute this loss to the fact that I was the last one to touch Trogdor The Knitted and I almost missed touching Hannah Montana. Team, I am so sorry about that.
We did get trophies and some of our teammates were named all-tournament (go Becky, Lindsay and Ellen!!). Despite only getting the smaller trophies, I still had a blast.
So here are the numbers:
Number of free airplane seats for Val: 1
Number of times I got to rent a nicer car for the same money: 1
Number of times I grinned on the inside about hanging with Michelle: too many to count
Number of Knitted Trogdors: 1
Number of times I laughed so hard at Jennie thinking that the sports score ticker at Bally's was temperatures for those cities that my Sonic slushie spilled right out of my mouth and onto my shirt: 1. But it was really good.
Number of times the refs delayed dropping the puck because they were talking about the loogey they'd just coughed up: 1
Number of games I dressed for: 7
Number of games I actually skated: 6.2
Number of super excellent #1 Fan jerseys in our audience: 1. But it was so the right one.
Number of trophies given to our #1 Fan: 1
Number of excellent memories: too many to count.
Number of minutes I spent worrying about Val, who was in Jennie's excellent care: 0.
Thanks, team and athletic supporters for the pre-tournament haiku, for the knitted trogdor, for flying from back east to join us, for the squealing of minivan tires in the Tuscany parking lot, for the chance to touch Hannah Montana on a shin guard, for the hard work, for the total teamwork on the bench, for listening to my speeches and seeming to take them to heart and for playing your asses off.
Let's do it again next year, shall we?