On Family Day, I did something I hadn’t done in years. I went skating.
It was something that, for a couple years, I had on my list of things I wanted to do but I hadn’t found time in my busy schedule to do it until then. Heading to the arena, I remembered how much I enjoyed skating as a kid, gliding around the arena in a circle on skates and feeling the cold air on my face. I thought it would not take long for me to be gliding again on the ice at full power, but, like any skill learned, you can get rusty at it, if you haven’t practiced it in a while.
Prior to Family Day 2018, I think the last time I went skating was during my elementary school days. Since then, the closest I got to public skating was taking some photos at some of the free public skating events in Scugog.
So, when I got on the Manvers Arena ice, for this year’s Family Day skate, the first couple of laps was mostly me slowly trying to move while keeping myself upright, and keeping myself from falling. It was humbling to see young kids of many ages gliding effortlessly by me, as I slowly moved up the ice. But, as I continued to skate, it got a little bit easier. On a positive note, I can report, I only stumbled to my knees twice during the experience.
Looking back on it, I am reminded of what my colleague Chris Green wrote in his last column, about how once in a while we need to laugh at ourselves. My mother and I both laughed during the early laps when we stumbled.
Despite it being somewhat of a challenge, getting re-adjusted to how to skate again, I enjoyed the experience and it is something I hope I can find some time to do again in the near future. I look forward to the opportunity to practice skating and improve at it. I also encourage others who may not have done something in a while, that they had enjoyed when they were younger, to try it again. You might just enjoy the experience.
As has been reported in this week’s edition of The Standard, the PJHL Orr division playoffs are set to begin this week. The Lakefield Chiefs and the Uxbridge Bruins will both take byes in the first round. The round 1 Orr division matchups include Port Perry MoJacks vs. Georgina Ice and Clarington Eagles vs. North Kawartha Knights.
Those who have been reading The Standard’s sports section over the past six months have probably noticed that I have been covering the MoJacks this season, and with the playoffs soon to start, I will try my hand at predicting the outcome of the two first round series.
Let’s start with Port Perry vs. Georgina. I’m picking the Port Perry MoJacks to win this series. Yes, the reporter who covers the MoJacks, picking them to win a playoff series probably doesn’t sound like a huge surprise to some people, but I have plenty of information to back up why I think they will win this series.
First off, the MoJacks swept the season series against Georgina, winning all seven games they played against them, including their most recent 9-3 victory to finish the regular season. Port Perry finished the season as the highest scoring team in the division, while Georgina finished with the least amount of goals among the six playoff teams. Two MoJacks forwards are in the top four in division for goals and points, Graham Lamers and Derek Risebrough. In goals against, the MoJacks allowed the third fewest goals against in the division, while Georgina allowed the most goals against of the six playoff teams.
Next up is Clarington vs. North Kawartha. I feel like this is going to be a tight, close series, and I’m picking the North Kawartha Knights to win it.
After losing in the seventh game of their round 1 series, against Uxbridge in last year’s playoffs, the Knights are looking to get further in this year’s playoffs. Yes, they did lose the season series against Clarington, but it was only by a one game difference.
Clarington won four of the seven meetings while North Kawartha won three. North Kawartha is a speedy team that can score, as they were third best in the division for goals for. Out of the two series, I have a feeling, this one is the most likely to have an upset, even if it is the fifth placed team defeating the fourth placed team.
As with any predictions I make, feel free to call me on any of these if they end up being wrong.
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy