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By Wyatt Earp | October 15, 2006

An adequate representation of my defensive play.

Our 2006-2007 winter ice hockey opened tonight, and damn if we didn’t almost eke one out. Our team – now named after our sponsor, Harrigan’s Bar and Grill. God, I hope I spelled that right – faced off against one of the better teams in the league, the Bruins.

And from the start, it was a mess.

Many of us showed our rust early, and thanks to my rusty defensive skills – or lack thereof – I personally gave up the first goal. The puck was shot out of the opposing zone and I went after it. From behind I heard the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of a much faster skater, who got to the puck before me and zipped it past our goalie, Boris. (Love that name for a goaltender!) Before we knew it, we were down, 2-0. Swell.

Not long after their second goal, my brother (aka Randal Graves) blasted a shot past the Bruins’ goalie, making the score 2-1. As unluck would have it, the Bruins snared another goal minutes after Randal’s. The score was now 3-1 in the third period. A timely opposing penalty helped Badger get on the board with a nice goal, and with 5 minutes left in the game, we were down by one.

With about a minute and a half left in the game, we pulled Boris for the extra attacker. Thirty seconds later, we tied the game at three with 40 seconds left. Nice! Overtime started, and almost immediately the ref called a penalty on one of my teammates. Vinnie and I went on the ice for the penalty kill, and as Randal skated off, he said to me, “Don’t you f**king leave your man at the point!” Randal gets a little competitive. Well, I didn’t leave my man, but in the end it didn’t matter: the Bruins scored on a rebound, ending the game with a 4-3 victory.

If there’s a positive to be taken away from this, it’s that the Bruins are one of the better teams in the league, and we were rusty. Personally, I thought I played lousy, and had no points, and was a -3 defensively. Ugly. Oh well, our next game is Sunday, 10-22 at 10pm. Can’t wait.

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