A Taboo Words Contest Entry
|When the puck skidded out past our blue line, I took a moment to peek up at the scoreboard. The score was tied at two, that much I knew, but there couldn’t be much time left on the clock. Our teams had been deadlocked since the first period, and we were nearing the end of overtime. None of us wanted a tie, because it would mean we wouldn’t make the playoffs for a third year. All of us were tired of losing seasons. Sure, we weren’t a professional team, but we still played with pride. There was less than a minute left, and my line had moved to the end of the bench, because we would be the next men out. Our center managed to get the puck, and flipped it down behind the opponent’s net. Their defenseman circled back to retrieve it, and both teams would change on the fly, because he’d been across the redline, so there would be no stoppage of play.
The door to the bench was opened and the tired first unit came through it. As they did I hopped over the dasher with my teammates, and started churning my legs to reach the opposite boards. It was an educated guess, but my thought was their defenseman would try and clear the puck out of his zone up that side. It was my hope that I could reach their blueline before that elusive vulcanized rubber disk, thereby keeping us onside. As luck would have it, he fanned a bit on his shot, and the opponents were a little slow in making their change.
Instead of just using my stick, I dropped to one knee as I slide across the line. It was the right move, because the puck bounces just enough to hop over the wood, but hit my leg pad and rebounded right back to it. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white blur flying toward the opposing net. Regaining my feet, I saw a clear path, and if I could put a pass on the tape of his stick, it would be just him and the goaltender. I fired. Just as he past the red face-off circle, he lunged forward and tapped the puck with the tip of his stick just enough to redirect it past the netminder. It hit the twine high in the back of the net, and the red lamp lit just as the clock hit triple zeros and the horn sounded. We raised our sticks in jubilation, and the bench and our few fans went crazy.
There were a few hugs, then we shook hands with the other team, and make our way to the warmth of the dressing room. Nothing else compares to the sound of a locker room when your team wins. It’s the same no matter what the sport, and no matter what the level of play. It also helps when you had the game winning assist to send your squad into the postseason. The only question remaining was if I’d have to pay for any beer once we left the arena for the comfort of the local bar.