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Puckin’ A!!!

By Wyatt Earp | July 31, 2005

A lot of people with emotional problems and/or mental health issues (like me) often resort back to their “happy place” when things aren’t going so well. Last night, I spent two hours in my “happy place” – the hockey rink!

As I mentioned yesterday, last night was my team’s tune-up for the upcoming men’s season. It begins in September, so we wanted to shake off the rust. “I’ll take a Rust-oleum cocktail with a WD-40 chaser, please!”

I arrive at the Skate Zone and find my friends in the locker room. Getting there early is paramount, because I take forever to put on all that equipment. Soon, my first big decision rears it’s ugly head: what jersey do I wear? I was tempted to bring my Wayne Gretzky Rangers jersey, if for no other reason than to irk my Flyers-loving friends (and to piss off Katey), but I wore the old standby instead – my Stir-Fried Weasels uniform. The SFW is our former team. The jersey is yellow and black, and our logo was a weasel in a wok. Very cool.

We get out on the ice, stretch, and gab (it’s like our own little sewing circle) until game time. It is here that we realize that we only have three subs on the bench. A feeling of doom creeps into my puny brain: “Oh crap, I’m going to be on the ice for the entire session.” The puck drops and we’re off.

Now, when I play defense, I play to win. (This is where the wife and my friends start to cringe.) I have no problem throwing myself in front of a fast-moving puck in order to save a goal. About five minutes into the game, that’s exactly what happened. A winger from the other team entered the zone, and I challenged him. He got to the circle and began a wind-up. “Oh no, he’s taking a slap shot,” I say to myself. Like an idiot, I got between him and my goalie, Lou, and I took the shot off my chest. It hurt like the dickens (luckily, my shoulder pads come down pretty far), but the guy didn’t score. About a half hour later, I took another shot off the left shoulder, but wasn’t worse for wear.

Here’s where it gets bad. We’re winning, 1-0. It’s late in the game, and the other team is getting a lot of odd-man rushes towards my goal. I, being 36, am exhausted from all the skating, but am trying my best to help out. A defenseman enters the zone and winds up. I flinch and turn away from the puck (bad idea), and BAM!, slap shot off the right calf (where the shin guards don’t cover). Guess who drops like a stone? Seventeen hours later, it’s still killing me. If it gets all nasty and black and blue, I’ll post the pic!

I recover faster than I thought and get back out on the ice. Lou is still posting a shutout, but the other team is rushing. Then, I frak up. I miss my assignment (a wide open defenseman), who throws a wrist shot at Lou. He scores and scores, costing Lou his shutout. My fault. Damn! Of course, I take it well . . . by banging my stick against the boards! Now we’re tied.

Two more get by the respective goalies, and it’s now 2-2 with about five minutes left. By now, I’m cheating up on offense, trying to help us score. I’m at the blue line, and the puck comes to me. (Now, I don’t have a slap shot to save my life, but my wrist shot is pretty accurate, so I toss it towards the goal.) My teammate Jim is by the crease, and after swinging at the puck a few times, he raises his arms. We scored! I congratulate him and head for the bench. We’re now up 3-2. When I get to the bench, my friends Brian and Rob say, “Hey, great goal.” Eh, what?Yeah, your shot scored. Jim never touched it.” Oh, kickass! I say “Thanks,” and sit down, but I am now doing a mental Irish jig.

Unfortunately, the jig didn’t last. in the last three minutes, the other team scored two more, and we lost, 5-2. Crud. I had a terrific time, but was plenty pissed that we didn’t win. Oh well. For those that care, I am still in pain from the calf shot, and I feel like my partner did (and still does) after her auto accident. Everything is sore, and I feel like a train hit me. But I look forward to doing it all again in a month!

P.S. – Check you bets, kids. Did anyone have “I score a goal and get hit with three pucks?” I’m sure the payout for that will be fabulous!

Oh, by the way, the “Hell Night” began after the game. I’m going to post about that later tonight. And, hopefully, I won’t write a novel like I did here.

Topics: Ice Hockey | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Puckin’ A!!!”

  1. Kate Says:
    July 31st, 2005 at 6:36 pm

    Congrats on the goal, Professor. Despite being a human shield to the puck, it sounds like you had a great time. Let me know when your season starts. I’ll bring my boys up and we’ll catch a game. They’re HUGE hockey fans.

    As for work…since I got a sneak preview, all I can say is I feel for you!

    Hope this hug helps…



  2. Peakah Says:
    August 1st, 2005 at 1:39 pm

    Outstanding work my hockey lovin brothah.

    My wife has forbidden me to shave too much off of the back of my head (usually go with a high-n-tite, or a crew cut) because of all of the scars on my scalp from pucks and the buckles in the glass that has caught my head. Gotta love war wounds eh? Oh, she won’t let me play hockey anymore either. Not much opportunity anymore living in the desert but… there still are my boys who I have molded into ravenous sports fans…

    Love the story though… nice work!