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Sunday, January 18, 2009


Strawberries 3 ALU Warriors 3

Game Report

January 15, 2009

It’s minus 32 degrees celsius as the Vice, always the second to arrive before a game, trudges half-awake, half-pumped, half-assed across the frozen tundra which serves as the arena parking lot. Tonight, he is the first to show up. Dr. Thug, the team’s perennial early bird, will not make it to the game on this evening, having once again self-administered a concussion by foolishly trying to stop a puck with his face in a match the day earlier. His physician, whom the Strawbs have on speed-dial, has informed the Executive that the aging veteran could be out for another 2 games or so. Precautionary.

A few moments after the Vice esconces himself on his customary perch on the bench by the toilet, the Ice Marshall and his invariably tardy passenger, the almost 50 year old Gawdawful Gumby, darken the dressing room door. The Vice has sat in this seat so often, one can easily make out the butt imprint he has been grinding into the wood since the days when he weighed 155 pounds. As with his liver, the imprint increases in size, year by year.

The Ice Marshall sits down beside his buddy’s perch and compliments him on …well it wasn’t exactly a compliment. Gumby shuffles to his favourite spot beside the hot air exchanger. The irony is lost on no one. Next Shiny Sean comes in, still miffed the Packers won’t be playing on Sunday next. Gumby, ever the diplomat, reminds Shiny of the 3 unforced errors Shiny committed in the previous game. He even has advice on what to do in similar situations in future. Always thinking.

The Leak arrives at precisely 15 minutes to game time. He is a stickler to routine. One of his routines is to let in a soft goal in the first minute of every match. Predictably, he informs the perched Executive, pre-game, that tonight will be different. The game tape will show otherwise.

Five minutes later, a tsunami of bedraggled pours through the door, led by Archilles Perron, exhausted from all the housework he has had to perform while his wife idles on a cruise ship somewhere off the coast of Spain. A vacuum cleaner attachment falls from his bag onto the floor. He is too tired to pick it up. Right behind him, MagBoy picks up the fallen attachment and informs the assembled that it is a 1999, Model T4a Kenmore Dirt Sucker attachment which can also used, in a pinch, as an exhaust manifold for any Yamaha dirt bike built in the late 1980s. A large quantity of the word “bullshit” is sucked out of the room through the hot air exchanger.

Freight Train Laronde comes lumbering in, weighted down by a doctoral thesis that won’t go away. He is chipper though. Hockey is in his blood, having exited his mother’s womb, wearing a pair of skates, an ancient melon-protector and a rather large jock for one so young. Slickery Mac soon sits down beside him. Doesn’t talk much. Can’t get a word in edgewise as Gumby continues his critiques and positive reinforcements…although ones wonders if the statement “Shiny, you’re pretty nimble for a fat guy” qualifies as positive reinforcement.

As the Zamboni completes its last sweep on the ice surface, Bonehead Butcher Brophey and Pyjama Man try to squeeze through the door, side by side. Paris Hilton has a better chance of revirginization. Brophey’s equipment is still frozen. Funny how leaving said equipment in an unheated garage for a week in winter does that. “Never happens in the summer” he states authoritatively. Sad thing is, he teaches some of our kids. Pyjama Man dresses fast, fast like a teenager about to be caught pantless in the back seat of his girlfriend’s girlfriend’s parents’ car. If only he were this fast on the rink.

The only other missing tonight is Warrin’ Peace. Got stuck in his Garage of Bad Ideas last Friday and hasn’t been able to get out since. Can’t climb the mountain of empties accumulating by the only door out.

It’s 30 seconds to game time. The Strawbs grunt their way up the stairs to the ice surface. Shiny takes the elevator. As the Leak comes into view, the fan goes wild. Whoops. No it wasn’t a fan…just some little kid who got his fingers caught in a door. No matter. The Strawbs are now pumped.

The game starts. The Warriors score an early goal. They score again. The Strawbs fight back 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 Strawbs. The match is a beauty. The quintessence of Canadian hockey. Back and forth. Forth and back. The two teams push themselves. Gasping on the bench. Herculean efforts in the corners. Every ounce of energy expended. The warriors score. 3-3. The last 5 minutes are furious. Dash. Feint. Shot. Shot. Save. Dash Shot. Save Shot Save. And the buzzer goes.

The 2 teams line up to shake hands. Everyone is smiling. Both sides know the tanks are empty. And they are happy. Happy because they have played well and will play well again.

The Strawbs reassembled post game to keep alive the glow of a game well-fought. Team mates were toasted and the opposition highly praised. Another hockey night in Canada.

4 Blue, 4 Guinness, 2 Bud, 1 Stella, 2 Rickards, 3 pounds of seasoned wings and a fondly welcomed tiredness were consumed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perfect play-by-play of a very good hockey match - thanks IM.