So, now that my beloved Blue Bombers are finished for the year, the time for our "unofficial" Canadian pastime begins. Actually, hockey started over a month ago, but I just got into it.
I've always enjoyed skating, and playing hockey. I was never on a team, but would rather play in a pick-up game, or play road hockey in front of my house.
One of my fondest memories of road hockey is the following;
It was a game of two on two. Me and my best friend Mike were battling my neighbors, who, happened to be cousins.
We had been playing for over a hour, when we decided that the next goal wins. Just then, I passed the ball (which was frozen solid, and hard as a cue ball) to Mike. He was about 10 feet away from the net, and as the ball was rolling towards him, he began the longest back swing I think I have ever seen. It was like watching Chi Chi Rodriguez lining up on a 400 yard drive.
The ball connected with the blade of Mike's stick, and launched at the goal at break-neck speed. Actually, it was launched at the poor goalie's, ahem, area at break ball speed.
He hit the goalie square in the nards, and he crumpled like he had been shot. After a few minutes of him trying not to cough up his balls, he got up and quietly whispered "I'm going home now".
Nobody saw him for 2 entire days. We thought he was dead.
One other time, I was invited to play on a team who was one man short. I borrowed the missing guy's equipment (all except his jock) and took to the ice. As I took to the ice for my first shift, I just tried to stay out of everyones way.
I was playing defense, and as I was entering the other team's zone, the puck scooted around the boards, and lazily bounced towards me.
I wound up to take a one-timer and fired the puck at the net. Just as I was completing my follow through, I noticed this big orange blur. It was my neighbor form the road hockey incident.
He crouched down just before impact, and that's when everything turned to slow motion. I remember him hitting me, my feet leaving the ice, and me lying face down on the ice, trying to figure out which way was up.
The hit itself wasn't too bad, nor was the impact of smashing down onto the ice. Actually, after I realized that the equipment actually padded my fall, I thought that contact wasn't so bad.
The only shitty part about this whole experience, was the fact that I was wearing one of those thin, flimsy Jofa helmets, similar to what Wayne Gretzky used to wear. No protection whatsoever. That's when the headache began, and my one game hockey career came to a screeching halt.
Since my back is feeling much better lately, I'm hoping to be able to take my skates and stick down to the local rink and have a good old fashioned game of non contact shinny.
Just another typical day in Western Canada.