How to Keep a Minor Hockey Journal

Minor Hockey Journnal Illustration

December 9th, 2017: “It was a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon; we drove over an hour to Scugog Arena. Despite the long drive, the girls North York Storm Atom B team was ready and excited to play hockey!

The game is underway and coach Mike is making some changes to the lines. Sarah is part of the rush; the centre is quick to take a shot on net, the goalie makes a great pad save … Sarah is there in front of the net to bury the rebound! Her first rep goal!  

Waving and jumping I make eye contact with her and noticed she was crying It was tears of pure happiness as I know how bad she wanted this first goal. I wanted this goal just as bad and it made me emotional too.”

• • • •

How do I remember my daughter Sarah’s first goal so clearly after four seasons and more than 100 games?

I read it in our minor hockey journal. 

Keeping a hockey journal takes just a few minutes after every game and it’s a great tool to look back to reference those moments that make you realize all the hard work and dedication is all worth it.

As a passionate “Elite Hockey Mom” there were numerous occasions when I watched my daughter hit milestones in her hockey journey and thought to myself, “How great would it be to tell this story and relive all our wonderful moments playing hockey after she is done playing”.

As much fun as this sport is for the kids, it’s just as much fun for adults as we get to socialize and create new friendships with other parents. With all of those tournaments, hotel hallways and team dinners, there will always be moments you’ll wish to remember, and the best way to do it is by recording it either in point form or written in the first person.

Notes can be kept on a daily, weekly or monthly basis by highlighting anything from new skills to new equipment. Keeping track of things like the hotels you stayed at for tournaments as well as the names of coaches, parents and teammates will bring back memories when you read them somewhere down the line. 

A hockey journal can also contain scores of games, big victories and big goals. You can track points, goals and assists if that is something that interests you. You can also jot down notes on big plays made by your player and their teammates or track shutouts and big saves if you child is a goalie.

If you take photos to help document your minor hockey journey, remember to attach as much detail as possible to the picture. While most phones and cameras already attach date and location, please make sure you have these setting s turned “On”.

You can also add other information to the photos including the score, tournament, players or people with a few clicks of the mouse. Creating an organized folder system on your computer that also contains a digital copy of your written hockey journal, will ensure you never lose a memory.

Another interesting thing you may want to remember is some of the opponents you have played against in minor hockey. Think about looking back in 10 years and reading all the names of people you crossed paths with and being astonished as you read the point you made about “Little Suzy”, who was wearing number 16 then and is now playing on Team Canada or the kid who scored five goals against you is now in the NHL!

You can even document the cost of hockey, include fees you paid for the season, extra training or power skating sessions and other associated costs. 

It’s never too late to start your family’s minor hockey journal! Jot down some notes on paper or on your phone or laptop — our journal is digital because I am too afraid I would lose the physical copy — and add to it as you remember more details. The amount of time you put into your minor hockey diary is up to you but the more you add today, the more memories you will have to share tomorrow!

• • • •

Thursday, November 1st, 2018. Weekend at Brock Jr Badgers Tournament. “We packed up my SUV and headed to Niagara Falls to join some teammates for a tournament weekend in St. Catharines.  It rained all the way but the excitement of getting away for the weekend was all we were thinking about.

We pulled up to our hotel and met up w a few other girls and their families.  We had planned to have dinner at Kelsey’s and take the girls out for some fun at the Falls.

Enjoyed the evening hoping around from attraction to attraction.  It was getting late and we decided to turn in as we had a 45-minute drive to the rink in the morning.

Friday morning: We made our way to Seymour-Hannah Arena. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, our girls were ready to play. Our first game of the day ended in a tie 1-1. We were scheduled to play later on that afternoon. The girls went back to the hotel for lunch and a swim. As game time rolled around the girls looked tired as if they overexerted themselves swimming. Nonetheless, the game got underway and sadly we lost 2-0 to the host team.

Saturday morning: The team met in the lobby of our hotel and off we went for an early 8:15 game.  This time we meant business.  Our girl won 4-0 against the Oshawa Lady Generals. 

The Saturday afternoon game meant we were in the semi-finals. Again, playing the host team, most of the game remained scoreless.  Finally, Sarah got a shot on net and scored!

A great big dinner in Niagara Falls was planned for us at the Copacabana Steak House.  It was a great time and the girls were truly bonding with one another.

Our final game is scheduled Sunday at 12:30pm vs Durham West Lightning.  As nervous as we are, the girls become superstitious and worry that they’ve been playing better in their “white” jersey’s and now we’re the away team wearing “black”.

The game is underway.  It’s a real nail-biter. By the end of the first period Durham is up 1-0.  The girls played hard and were battling it out w the bigger and faster Durham West Lightning.  The end of the second period the score is now tied 2-2.

The third period is underway, its truly back and forth hockey. One of the best minor hockey games I’ve ever watched. Half way through the 3rd, I noticed the tournament volunteers carrying out the silver and gold medals strung on hockey sticks.  Still undetermined who will win this game, there is 2 minutes left and Sarah takes the puck … shoots and scores!!  Sarah has given her team the go ahead goal with only 1:55 left in the third period. I looked at those medals, thinking of how good it will feel to go home as a champion.

Durham West pulls the goalie and there is so much pressure in front of our net our defense just can’t clear the puck.  I glanced over at the clock and we are under a minute left, to our disappointment Durham West manages to score.  The game is now tied 3-3. Our parents and girls are left with a blank look on our faces.

The games ends in a tie and is forced to overtime.  With seven seconds left in sudden death overtime Durham West scores. 

This was by far the most fun AND most upsetting tournament we’ve ever experienced as a team. Its was a somber and quiet dressing room, but Coach Mike came in to congratulate the girls on a great tournament!

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