Our last game of the day reminded me of all the NHL playoff machinations of the last few days – if we won or tied, we went to the first round of the finals. If we lost, then we needed the game right after ours to end up in a 0-0 or 1-1 tie. If it wasn’t a tie with one of those scores we’d be out.
So there we were, taking on the Nantucket Miacomets in the third game of our tournament. They’d won their first two games, shutting out both teams they played. As we all know, we’d tied one game 1-1 and won the other 3-2. We were playing on the back rink – OUR rink, where we practice every Monday night. We know the rink, know its foibles and quirks. We know we can win on that ice, and we know we can lose on it (witness last year’s blowout against the Pink Panthers).
Scouting reports told us that we needed to shut down their young gun, #71, and that we needed to shoot shoot shoot on the goalie, who tended to give up some big rebounds. Given that, we thought we had a good chance of keeping the game competitive.
And boy did we ever! The first shift we went out – me, STP, Amy, Alaina, and Libby – and scored! (That’s Amy there in the photo.) We’d gotten the puck into their zone deep, Alaina passed it to me on the point, I skated it in a few steps and took a wrist shot. When the goalie stopped that shot, both Alaina and Amy were there for the rebound, and Amy got the goal. Wahoo!
After that we played tough but ended up down 1-3 with about 4 minutes left in the game. (One of those goals against happened after I fell down low in the corner and couldn’t get back up quick enough – the girl I was covering ended up wide open and put the puck in off a rebound. Argh!) So there we are, on our own ice, looking at a potential loss. The same set of us were out on the ice as we got it back into their zone again. I think Alaina passed back to me again and I skated those few steps in and shot again. It was blocked by the goalie again, and this time Libby and Amy both got their sticks on the rebound, and Amy was credited with our second goal, making the score a much more reasonable 2-3. As we all skated back out of the zone to the faceoff circle at center ice, Amy said, “No way are we getting off. We’re getting another goal.” The puck dropped and after a few seconds, we got possession. It popped up to Alaina, who drove towards the net and put a beautiful shot in the net on the far side, over the goalie’s glove. TIE GAME!
We began playing defensively after that, knowing that all we needed to do was keep them from scoring, and we were in. Then, with about 20 seconds left in the game, 164 things went wrong for us in quick succession. I have no idea of the sequence of events, but I do know that Amy was laying face down on the ice in front of Lynn and I was falling over her, and realized that if I brought my skate down it would be on her inner thigh. Not wanting to risk that kind of injury, I crashed into a heap on top of her. There was some passing of the puck going on at the same moment, and a shot and possibly a rebound, and then they scored with 10 seconds left in the game.
Needless to say, we couldn’t pull out a final goal in 10 seconds and lost the game 3-4. We all waited around for the next game to finish up, hoping against hope for the 0-0 or 1-1 tie. Alas, it wasn’t to be and the Black Ice team finished the April Showers Tournament of 2008 with a 1-1-1 record. Not too shabby, given that we often go 1-2 or 0-3 in tournaments. In this photo, Libby and I are incredibly happy to be playingon the same team.