By Wyatt Earp | December 23, 2009
Hey, guess who’s back in his happy place?
After a four-week layoff – thank you, surgery – I returned to the ice on Sunday night. We were playing the Storm, and while it took me two periods to get my legs (and lungs) back, we pulled out a 6-6 tie after being down 3-0. It was a great team effort. Last night, we played our final game of 2009 against the Bruins, a team that came into the contest in first place with a record of 9-1. These guys are always good, but they are also always cheap. These guys swing their sticks more wildly than Ron Jeremy. Last night was no exception.
Before we knew it, they were up on us by a score of 2-0 in the first period. Every time we turned around, they were going on breakaways and odd-man rushes against our goalie, Badger. We were lazy defensively, and we paid for it. The second period was a little better, but not much. The Bruins started getting chippy, while slashes and head shots were the norm. The refs didn’t help matters, as they spent their night turning a blind eye to the violence – at least when it came to the Bruins. They would slash us, our guy would slash back, and get sent to the sin bin. You can imagine how angry we were getting. Not only was this team 9-1, talented, and quick, they were also getting the benefit of most of the calls.
By the third period, we had enough. The one ref was not only missing all of the cheap shots, he was verbally abusing our players when they questioned him. At one point, Vinnie asked why the ref wasn’t calling a penalty on the Bruins’ #40, who had been cross-checking us in the back the entire game. The ref shot back, “Shut up!” Dude? At one point, it got so bad that I skated up to him and yelled, “I’m not going to have you verbally abuse my players anymore! You want to talk to someone on our team, you talk to me; I’m the captain! Me, #99! You got that?”
He replied in kind, “Well, put a “C” on your jersey and I’ll talk to you.” Complete and utter douchebag. When I reminded him that the refs were supposed to receive copies of every roster – which has the captains listed on them – and that copies of said rosters were in the rink office, he skated away. Like I said, douchebag.
A few minutes later, my center (Chris) gave a beautiful pass to Vinnie, who shuffled it to me in front of the net. I shot the puck by the goaltender and scored. My first goal in about a month and a half. It felt pretty good, and the score was now 3-2 Bruins with ten minutes left in the game. That good feeling lasted for about three minutes. My line was rushing into the offensive zone and I grabbed the puck alongside the boards. #46 of the Bruins, who had been trying to take out players all game, rushed up to me and cross-checked me in the ribs. Hurt like hell. I looked around and saw douchebag ref, who was a few feet from me. No call. After the first cross-check, he cross-checked me again in the ribs hard enough to knock me down. No call. When I got up and called #46 an a-hole, he punched me in the face mask. Yeah, you guessed it: NO CALL! I guess this was douchebag ref’s way of getting me back for yelling at him. I raised my hands toward him and said, “Really? You watch two cross-checks and a punch and you do nothing? You blow.” As I limped back to the bench, #46 told me to quit crying. I turned to him and said, “I promise you, you’ll bleed before this game is over, dude. Trust me.”
Yeah, I was pissed.
When I got to the bench, Vinnie said, “Why didn’t you swing your stick at that guy’s head?” I told him that while I wanted to, we were only down one goal to the first place team and a penalty wouldn’t help us win. Soon after that, the game got completely out of control. Douchebag called a penalty on Vinnie for getting slashed. I guess he got in the way of the swinging stick. While he was skating to the penalty box, he kept telling the ref he sucked. He was right, but the ref threw him out of the game. A minute before, Mike got thrown out of the game for arguing with douchebag as well.
While Vinnie was skating off, a woman in the crowd stood up and screamed “PUSSY!” at him. Classy, since she was sitting next to her 12-year old son. The dark side had me under its complete control, so I yelled back, “Nice language in front of your son, you whore!”
She didn’t appreciate that. She took off her coat, called me a pussy a few times, and said she’d come down there and kick my arse. My laughing didn’t help matters, and she resumed yelling. Good times.
We finished the game, losing by a score of 3-2. In the end my goal, while it made me happy, didn’t count for much, but it made up for me fanning on a pass right in front of the Bruins goalie. That was pretty damned embarrassing. We all went to the bar afterward – Tony’s Place in Warminster is our sponsor – and the Guinness and grape vodka eased the searing pain in my ribs. Today my ribs, arms, and shoulders are sore, but with the Christmas break, I’ll have twelve days to recover.
So, how was your day?