Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stick short

By my quick assessment of the sea of red jerseys the other side of the score keeper's box, I would estimate our opposing team had at least three lines of players.

We had two.

Players, not lines.

To be totally fair, our first line was on the ice, so we had one complete set of players and two substitutes. For those not glued to the NHL, in ice hockey a line consists of five players; two defence, two wings and a centre who both attacks and defends. For novice hockey, an ideal team would have at least two sets of defence players and three sets for the wings and centre; so a total of 13 players plus the goalie.

Seven players was therefore slightly short-handed.

Apparently, people went away in the summer; a shocking lack of commitment to this predominately winter sport! In the end, we managed to capture three extra players from teams that had played earlier that evening, making our bench a cheerful rainbow of coloured jerseys. Just don't pass the puck to anything in red.

One of the fun things about playing slightly short-handed is everyone tends to play their absolute best. After all, there is no point in leaving the leg work to someone better than you if your only substitute has collapsed from exhaustion a mere 30 seconds previously. This works until the third period where no one can move any more.

In the end, we lost but narrowly by a goal scored quite late in the game. I ate nachos with my team. Then found I couldn't stand up. It rocked.

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