The first thing we realize about the novice “Alien Hockey” league is everyone is very nice. They help us put on about 30 pounds of gear, designed to protect us from head to toe.
Joe Bafia, the director, says teamwork is what it’s all about, “We even have players who have graduated from our program and come back and help out.”
Thank God! We’ve never played hockey, which is obvious as we take the ice. In fact, this is Erin’s first time on skates.
We begin with the “Superman Dive.” It’s basically a running dive onto the ice. Superman we’re not. Instead, we belly-flop onto the ice.
After getting our wind back, we manage to get up, dust ourselves off and move onto drills.
“It’s more skill development, working on teamwork and things like that,” says Joe.
Immediately, it’s clear who has the skills and who doesn’t. While the others make goals, we struggle to simply make contact with the puck. Some glide across the ice. We stumble and fall.
But Joes says that’s okay, “We have people that come out here and right off the bat, never having skated, they do very, very well, others, it takes maybe five or six times of skating before they can be productive at the sport of hockey.”
Productive means scoring. We get a chance to do that during scrimmage. It begins with a face-off between Erin and me. The puck is dropped between the two of us and we fight to pass it to one of our teammates.
Both of us end up on face down on the ice. This is the reason for all the padding.
“At the same time, we’re a no-contact league,” says Joe. “Now that doesn’t mean beginners aren’t going to bump into one another.”
After a few laps around the rink, we’re sweating and ready for a break. We rotate in and out of the “box” with our teammates.
This really is a good workout!
“It’s a great workout because you’re really using every part of your body,” says Joe.
It’s also really fun! By the end of the scrimmage we even manage to score, with the help of our teammates on both ends of the rink.
It just goes to show you, the Alien Hockey League really is for everyone.
For more information on how to join, go to http://www.alienhockey.com/