My ice hockey team (The Bluezerz) fought its way through the playoffs and wound up in the championship game last night. It was a tightly contested affair, the game got a bit chippy (things were said to me that I hardly ever hear in church) and one of our defensemen got thrown out of the game. We soldiered on without him, played from behind the entire game and then scored a goal with only a few minutes remaining in the game. We hung on for a 4 to 3 championship win! I had one goal, one assist and one slice of championship pepperoni pizza.
I was kinda thinking I was out of the hockey playing business… and then my youngest son bought me two fabulous ultra-light composite hockey sticks for Christmas, so I really had no choice other than to sign up and play another season…
…and how did my brand new season of Wednesday Night Ice Hockey go last week? Thanks for asking …not so good.
I put my skates on in the locker room, walked to the bench, hopped over the boards and onto the ice, wobbled uncontrollably to the center of the rink and fell down. I was so embarrassed. And I continued to be embarrassed for the rest of the night. I could not skate worth beans. I seemed to remember being fairly good at some of this hockey stuff, but now for some reason I couldn’t do anything…
…and then I remembered why in the back of my mind I was thinking I was out of the hockey business. I popped the rivets loose on my skates last summer during a game (which basically means the blades are no longer firmly attached to the boots) which pretty much renders your skates useless.
So bright and early Thursday morning I hopped out of bed and onto the internet, bought a pair of closeout skates and they arrived Tuesday afternoon, just in time for Wednesday night hockey. The only problem with brand new skates? They are hard as a rock until they get broken in… so today I’m wearing fancy “drawing” boots in my studio in a futile attempt to soften these puppies up before tonight…
…and if I STILL can’t play hockey worth beans even with a brand new pair of skates? A few of you might say that maybe it’s time I give up hockey …but I say it’s just time for me to come up with new and better excuses for my poor play.
I started my journey into adulthood wearing a powder blue tuxedo (pretty much the same one Harry wears in the movie Dumb And Dumber) and now I’ve come full circle. The team I currently play hockey for has a jersey that exact same color…
…and, yes, I thought for sure I broke my nose in last nights game.
Benjamin Franklin said that in this world there is nothing certain except death and taxes, but I would add one more thing to that… death, taxes AND the palms of your hockey gloves rotting out. It will always happen and when it does there’s not a lot you can do except buy new gloves.
My summer hockey season has started (I don’t usually play summer hockey, but when I do, I try to make sure it’s in the summer) and while checking my equipment before game time, sure enough, I discovered the palms of my gloves were all but gone.
There is another old saying… necessity is the mother of invention… and it just so happens that I ran over a pair of leather work gloves with my riding mower (it’s been an eventful week for me) so in a desperate attempt NOT to buy new hockey gloves, I grabbed a needle and thread and re-palmed my hockey gloves with the chewed up work glove.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
My hockey season was drawing to a close. Two weeks ago, our game was delayed because someone skated over a goalies wrist in the game before ours. The paramedics got him stabilized and carted off (sobering) they got the ice cleaned up (also sobering) and we finally played our game… AND WON. “That figures” I thought. “Why can’t we play this way when it really counts?” The season was over and now it was time for our playoffs to begin.
Yesterday after a two week break (no hockey scheduled last weekend because of Easter) I jumped in the car and headed for the ice rink, eager to play in our first game of the playoffs.
We won the game and everyone on my team got really excited. After shaking hands with the other team, my teammates threw their equipment all over the ice and crowded around our goal. I was excited too, because I thought we got to advance in the playoffs and play again next week. Then the guy in charge of the league walked out onto the ice with a gigantic trophy, handed it to our goalie and people started taking pictures of us. Apparently, we had started the playoffs weeks before and unbeknownst to me, our team had just won the championship game for our division… huh? …I mean, yea!!
Everyone on the team also got a cool little portable speaker. My only regret was that we did not receive them until we were exiting the building… because I sure would’ve enjoyed lifting my championship mini portable speaker over my head and skating it triumphantly around the hockey rink just like they do with the Stanley Cup.