NM Ice Wolves vs Fairbanks Ice Dogs 11/02/2019

#43 Josh Graziano (G) / #21 Alex Dominique (F) / #5 Brandon Holt (D)

Last night I had friends with me that I convinced to go to the game, so I was admittedly a bit distracted as it involved two kiddos as well as the adults and I spent a good part of the game trying to field questions and, honestly, to stop myself from cussing in front of small children. Ask anyone, I’m a cuss-machine when I’m not at work and trying to turn that off resulted in some interesting variations of curses I’ve never used before. Perhaps the most intelligible of them was “mother hullbagloo” because I got halfway through and realized I could not drop the f-bomb and made some sort of strangled noise instead. Good times! At some point I resorted to simply becoming a strange parody of a radio wherein I went completely silent and mouthed the curse words. I think I’ll stick to that one, thank you very much, as it was less distracting than trying to come up with a new word in place of the ones I’ve gotten used to using in hockey.

The game itself was once again reffed by people who were clearly not watching the same game as any of us. I’m not entirely sure if we have refs-in-training or what, but it sure seems that way. I believe at last count, there were five fights, including one the refs weren’t even the ones to break up. Granted, that one happened while they were breaking up another one, but still. Sometimes I have to wonder what’s being said out there to get the players up in one another’s faces that much, as the ignored-fight (as it shall henceforth be dubbed) was clearly two dudes yelling at each other and literally touching face masks until shoving began. Hormones! Testosterone! My my…

The night before was really close according to the score, a 2-1 win to the Ice Dogs, but last night was far different. The final score was 8-3 Ice Dogs. The desire to say something about a tighter pack ends up on the tips of my fingers about every three seconds since we’re the wolves and they’re the dogs and well… you see where I’m going. So now I’ve typed it and can move on. They have a tighter pack than we do, clearly.

There were missed shots that I think were more like stick-smacks and prayers and multiple times when someone passed to thin air – so either they thought someone was there that wasn’t or someone wasn’t there that should have been. Either one has the same result of basically passing to the other team. No bueno.

Graziano was exactly who he always is, a man doing his best with what he’s got. By halfway through though, you could tell he was both frustrated and in some amount of pain. Not that I can blame him, playing two nights back-to-back. Not a good feeling when you have to literally put yourself in the way of a super fast frozen chunk of rubber. He let more through than I’m used to with him, but he was always trying. (Anyone think it’s obvious I’m a Graziano fan? Well, you’re right. Sue me.)

Other noteworthy items include Griffen Sanom (#17) scoring our first goal of the evening, Brandt Pedersen (#44) scoring the second, and Emil Gabrielson (#18) scoring the third. One of the Ice Dogs was checked into the boards with his head down and there was some true fear in our hearts that he might not get back up as the moments ticked by without him moving. When he finally got back up, there was applause and he could be seen in their box getting checked for concussion and neck issues. I could be wrong on this one, but we’re pretty sure he went back out in the final period and ended up face-planing on the ice – one has to wonder what the Coach was thinking, letting him back out there again after a hit like that. At least give him a night to shake it back off!

Lester #5 (D Ice Dogs) / Michael McCosh #10 (F) / Unknown #2x (Ice Wolves) / Kjaer #26 (F Ice Dogs) / Unknown (Ice Dogs)

One of the fights I did manage to catch on camera and the image is in the rotation up above. I can’t quite make out which # on our team, but it was definitely Lester (#5) on their team who took the hit. If I had to hazard a guess into the ranks of the Ice Wolves, given the #2 I can see and who has instigated in the past, I’m going to make a decisive choice that it was once again Zach Frisk (#26), but given how many #2X’s we had out there, who knows!

Overall, I feel like it was a good game to watch with some definite highlights, but we still need to work on improving. We’ll get there, I know we will. And until we do, I have all the hope in the world for us. Stay warm!

Ice Dogs: Mason Plante #23 (F) / Nathan Butler #14 (F)

Side note to any Ice Dogs reading this. Totally was not trying to shove my jersey in your faces when taking pics. I may have forgotten I was wearing it, lmao! Sorry, boys. 😏

NM Ice Wolves vs Shreveport Mudbugs 10/26/2019

Graziano #43 (G) / Rudrud #7 (F) / Mudbugs Smith #8 (F) / Unknown Mudbug

“Man, my first book wasn’t supposed to be about a goalie!”

Me (last night)

Light night showed how tight the NM Ice Wolves can truly be. We pulled together and didn’t allow a single solitary goal through until well into the second period at which point the Mudbugs slipped one past Josh Graziano #43, our goalie in-net.

Josh Graziano #43 (G)

Graziano was on fire all night long, despite the shots that did get past him. Twice other players were there to save him from even having to take the puck, one of them pinging off an Ice Wolves’ stick and soaring over the heads of the other players.

We sat in section A instead of C last night due to last-minute deciding to go to the game because I wanted in on the jersey auction and it was completely different being on that side and made me watch our goalie just that much more often (not that I wasn’t watching normally, because trust me, all eyeballs on the goalie, even sometimes when I’m supposed to be watching the puck somewhere else!). Graziano’s focus is obvious and his skill is sure to have him being picked up Tier 1 one day. (Now we just pray we don’t lose him too soon!)

Another fight broke out after the horn had sounded and of course, following the pattern so far, over next to section C so I got to see it from afar but not up close (I may be a bit into the hockey fights, sue me, lol). #4 Davis Goukler of the Shreveport Mudbugs and #17 Griffen Sanom of the Ice Wolves got into it right in front of #30 Richie Parent’s net. Parent booked it to the side, the reps descending and I’m not entirely certain there wasn’t extra interference from additional players that just wasn’t called. If nothing else, I could see another Ice Wolf straining away from a ref, trying to get in on it, so something much have set them off.

Parent #31 (G Mudbugs)

On that note, my brain got to thinking of chirps and nicknames and I amused myself for nearly three minutes thinking the Mudbugs must call Parent “dad” half the time. My husband pointed out the other teams probably chirp him incessantly with “mom”. My reply was well, I suppose hockey is like herding cats, so he very well may be exactly like either parent left to corral the children. It amused me enough to share it, so here we are.

All said and done, we ended at 1-2, only one point behind the Mudbugs! We really showed the team we can be last night and I can only hope we keep it up. It was back to the breathtaking game the first home game had been and I’m beyond happy I have season passes.

Jersey time!

I came home the shiny new owner of #20 Drew Lorinchak’s autograph and #4 Keegan Langefels’ jersey. A $500 donation to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer accompanied that jersey and it’s worth every penny in multiple ways. The Ice Wolves sold every jersey last night and they earned over $12k for ABQStrides. Go Ice Wolves!

NM Ice Wolves vs Shreveport Mudbugs 10/25/2019

Zach Frisk #26 (F) during warmups

“It feels like I finally understand why kids used to crowd around the two kids beating the crap out of each other in the hallway.”

— Me (last night)

Last night was a tighter match that we’ve usually had with the Shreveport Mudbugs in the past. We started off with the first goal within minute one! It gave the team a positive outlook and I believe allowed us to play a little more true to the potential our team has. They haven’t quite gelled yet, but with a few shifts in the lineup and a little fresh meat brought in, we’re getting much closer than we were at the beginning of the season.

The refs were a bone of contention among the fans on both sides as it appeared they were either watching another game or just plain not watching at all. There were points where our goalie-in-net, Josh Langford #35 was having to nearly hand the refs some of the calls, which is beyond ridiculous. Things we all saw right in front of us that weren’t called included: a stick to the back of one of the Ice Wolves’ head by a Mudbug (completely on purpose), a few tussles when the puck wasn’t anywhere near the people involved, a few very clear incidents of slashing, an incident where one of the Mudbugs got completely nutted, and various technical items.

A few things were called, not the least of which being the first hockey fight I’ve ever seen in person! Zach Frisk #26 (F) decided to take matters into his own hands given how much of a pain in the rear Dawson Sciarrino #15 (F) of the Mudbugs had been during the whole of the game to that point, and quite effectively beat the shit out of him. Refs surrounded the pair and other players watched as the two scuffled it out on ice until Frisk took Sciarrino down and kept right on going. Both teams took penalties for it, Frisk with an extra one for continuing to throw punches after he had Sciarrino on the ice. From section C there were cheers and murmurs of agreement that Sciarrino had it coming.

Josh Langford #35 (G) / Sean Henry #6 (D) / Richie Parent #31 (G Mudbugs) / Assorted Mudbugs

There is definitely room for improvement in our team, not the least of which was a goal scored on Langford because he’d drifted away from the net for the puck and failed to get back in time. Much of the rest of the first and second period were spent with yells from seat section C telling him to get back in his net and stay there. It was honestly anxiety-inducing each time he left after that and truly, I think he could benefit from not drifting so far out of the net, though he appears to have tightened up his game a lot since the start of the season, so definite progress. He has talent, as all his saves last night showed very clearly, he just needs to learn how far out he can drift and when he should stay in net instead.

There were times when the Mudbugs were just yanking our chains and we were allowing it, failing at making an operative decision to stop the back and forth passes their lines, set up seemingly just to fuck with us. Even a decision to block one person of their completely-in-sync line would have given us a tiny advantage but we failed to do any such thing time and again.

Overall, I see a team that holds hope but needs to truly gel before we’ll become the cohesive presence we are capable of being.

The game ended 6-3, Mudbugs, and even though we didn’t win, there was definitely improvement over the first game on home ice I went to a few weeks ago.

Tonight is the second night benefiting ABQStrides and I will once more be proudly wearing my bright pink lipstick as it’s one of the few pink things I own. NM Ice Wolves will be raffling off the pink specialty jerseys and you can bet your sweet behind, I’ll be right there bidding. I have a special aim for #20 and #43 and hubby wants #35 or #26!

Alexandria Redding – Me Being Me

Deep breath.

I’ve been telling myself this all day today. Really, I’ve probably been saying it softly in the back of my head for years, but it’s come to the forefront the closer and closer we creep to November.

It sort of feels like I’m standing at the top of the Sandia Peak and looking over the railing, flimsy wooden slats beneath my feet and the fear that the rail will fall away at any second, leaving me falling thousands of feet to a death I get to see coming. At the same time, it also feels like coming home: like being wrapped up in a warm caring hug from my husband. These two feelings do no often exist in the same instant, but I’m now living frozen in that dual sensation, praying I’m making the right choice by doing this.

What is this you might ask. Well, in this case it’s taking the leap from 14 years of writing fanfiction into honestly trying – for real, not just on the side – to become one of the ranks of original works authors.

I went to the GRL Retreat this year and it was a fantastic experience that somehow prompted me to open my mouth during a QnA panel and ask the two questions I needed to ask to the exact right people. Midway through the first day shifted my gears from ‘reader attending awesome conference’ to ‘holy crap I’m surrounded by authors willing to help me take this leap and woah, I’m sitting at lunch with a bunch of authors’. I am surrounded by a support network that crept up on me in a fashion I had never ever expected.

See, as an author, I always thought my work would be my merit. That I’d stand in front of someone someday who’d taken notice of how much time and effort and honest to god passion I’ve put into everything and they’d tell me they had noticed my work and by the way, would you like to do this with original work? Rather, it turns out the merit has always been me.

For someone with pretty severe self-esteem issues, this is as terrifying as it is gratifying. It tells me they saw someone that could succeed, they saw passion in my words and my questions, and it tells me they believe in me and that my work will follow, whatever it may be. Let me tell you, that feels damn good.

I braved this new and scary world and I asked questions where I needed to, collected contacts like I once collected Dir en grey merchandise and now I hold the keys to a whole new kingdom. All I’ve got to do is take a deep breath, tell myself I can and will do this, and then fucking do it.

I’ll always be me, unapologetically, energetically me. Which also means I won’t be giving up my fanfic writing to do this. I won’t be quitting my day job in IT and I certainly won’t be sacrificing things to a publishing company that makes me change everything I write to what they want (which has happened to me in the past with a mere magazine submission). I’ll remain me, a fan of bands and shows and comics. Me who loves my online friends as much as my offline ones. Me who owns my identity, my sexuality, and me who does the best I can to be as inclusive as possible.

So here I am and here’s my published penname: Alexandria Redding. And to be as me as I can be, here’s my fanfic penname: cadkitten. Welcome to all that I am and I hope you want this as much as I do!