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The Rink Report

By Wyatt Earp | April 24, 2009

bruins-girl-rebeccaSee? That’s what my team needs . . . cheerleaders!

Last night was our first ice hockey playoff game. The series is a Best-of-Three format against the Rink Rats. These guys always play us tough, and they eliminated us last season – in fairness, with the help of a few ringers – so there was no lack of motivation in our locker room.

We stepped on the freshly-cleaned ice and starting our warm-ups. I always go to the far side of the rink, right next to our blue line – but never touching it – to start stretching my knees. Don’t ask, I’m superstitious. After stretching and skating, the refs dropped the puck . . . and the Rink Rats went into overdrive. They beat us to almost every puck, as we looked like Eeyore on skates. “Thanks for noticin’.”

At one of the first stoppages, it happened. The far side rink door opened, and three “Rink Rats players” stepped onto the ice. The first thing Vinnie Antonelli yelled was, “RINGERS!” He was right. The Rink Rats were going to do it to us again. These guys skated circles around a lot of us, and they were “C” League players like I am a good blogger. Despite some fantastic saves by our goalie (Badger), they scored early on and led 1-0 at the end of the first.

The bench was not a happy place. Lots of F-bombs, and lots of catcalls of “Ringers!” filled the air. I asked the referee to make sure that every one of their players signed the score sheet, so we could compare notes afterward. No way were we going to let them beat us again. Not like that. Randal Graves’ usual pep talk – peppered with sentence enhancers – got us going, and we played much better in the second and third periods. The score was tied 2-2 near the end of regulation.

And then it happened.

One of their best players – a guy who is actually on the team – came on a rush into the zone. There were six seconds left in the game. He fired a slap shot at Badger and time slowed down – like the end of The Longest Yard – the good, original version:

The puck left the ice . . . we gasped on the bench. The puck came hurtling at the net . . . we furrowed our brows. It approached Badger, who stopped it.

And then it popped up. Two seconds left

And then it rotated, came down, and hit the crossbar behind him. One second left.

Then, it bounced over Badger’s head and into his glove. The horn sounded.

He saved us the game – at least until overtime. It was one of the most exciting (and terrifying) saves I had ever seen.

We huddled on the bench and prepared for the extra period. Randal gave us another pep talk, and Vinnie, Jon, and I went to the face off circle. I thought, “I’m gonna be the hero, tonight. I can feel it.” Boy, was I off. The puck dropped, the other center pushed it past Jon and went on a 2-on-2 break. Fish took the puck carrier, who passed it to his winger. The winger shot and scored. Game over . . . 9 seconds into the OT.


For my part, I played okay, but I also missed two wide open nets. For the rest of the night, I beat myself up over it, because if I scored those two, we may have won the game. Game 2 – a must-win for us now – is on Tuesday night.

And I sent an e-mail to the commissioner about the ringers. He said he would check the rosters. We’ll see.

Topics: Babes, Ice Hockey | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Rink Report”

  1. Doghouse Says:
    April 24th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    What, I read this entire post and no more mention of cheerleaders?!?!

    I hope they did have ringers. Think how good it will feel not only to get it overturned, but to know you took a stacked team to OT.

  2. Sully Says:
    April 24th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Yeah Doghouse… That got me too…

    …but I did like the play by play,… Wyatt, you might have missed your true calling.