It's such an infrequent occurrence - only twice to date during this calendar year - that I feel compelled to mention when the cosmic forces align enough for my hockey team to do the unfathomable and win a game. The other twenty-three games since January were losses: some close, some not-quite-so-close. You would not be remiss in asking if being the Bad News Bears of the Ice House 8W division (we even wear the same colors, although we are not sponsored by Chico's Bail Bonds) can become a little depressing. The answer? No. Yes. Maybe? Maybe. Not really. We have a lot of fun, win or lose. Winning is more fun, though.
The team we played last night usually specializes in chippy play and cheap shots, but for some reason a clean and exciting game of hockey broke out ('exciting' within the realm of lowest-level beer-league hockey. We know what we are). After a scoreless first we took the lead when Cliffie - who has gone from being barely able to stay upright on skates to having perhaps the deadliest wrist shot on the whole damn team - set himself in front of the Hoboken goal and put numerous rebounds back on net until he slipped one past the goalie while the defense tried in vain to get him off the puck. It was like watching a rottweiler gnawing on a big bone while swatting away a couple of chihuahua puppies until he'd had his fill. Then, a few minutes later, I got to watch us score a goal of the type that I am usually guilty of giving up (for those looking for a tale drenched with more anguish and failure tune in next week, when I'll be in goal twice instead of playing defense with a brick wall of a goalie behind me).
We dumped the puck behind their net and their center picked it up, saw our center approaching, and panicked. They battled for a few seconds before he pushed the puck along the side of the net and told his goalie to cover it.
He, uhm, pushed it a little too hard. The goalie must not have had his foot against the post and the pass became a deflected shot on goal, which became an own goal, which became the winning goal (we added another and won 3-1, but that was the winner. Ouch). Now I can TOTALLY see myself giving up a goal like that, especially the way I've looked in net at open hockey the past few Mondays. Maybe I can give up an even more interesting one on Tuesday or Thursday.
Or. Or. Or maybe, just maybe, I can make a whole bunch of saves instead. Stranger things have happened (and I'm watching the last two episodes of that tonight so no spoilers!).