Bzzzza, Bzzzza, Bzzzza; “alright here we go”, I think to myself, as I sleepily roll out of bed at 8:00am, on March, 4 2001. I put on some pants, a shirt, shoes and grab a coat. As quick as I am up, I am out (of) the door. I get in my car and make my way towards the hockey rink, for a team breakfast. The eight minute car ride to the rink, I am thinking of only one thing, to take home a state championship this afternoon.
I walk into the rink and I see my teammates sitting in a circle not talking, just slowly eating their carefully planned out carbohydrate loaded breakfast. I sit in the circle and look around as they all give me reassuring looks. I say nothing as I slowly eat my bagel and raisons; I am just thinking about the task in hand. When everyone is done eating the coach orders us to the locker room. Twenty, young, determined hockey players file into the Shaker Raiders locker room, sit down quietly and patiently wait for the coach to make his speech.
“Padua”, he starts, “we are Familiar with their line up”. We were very familiar with their line up because we had played them four times earlier this season. In all four matches we lost. “What has happened earlier this season, does not matter”, he goes on. “We are going to win this afternoon. I have put together a film of highlights from our previous games against them, which I think will help us today”.
We watched the film, which went over specific plays we were supposed to run, and key players on Padua’s team. One player, the film focused on a lot was their goalie. The film showed a play where their goalie, Wolf, let in consecutive goals over his left shoulder. We watched the play over and over, as if coach wanted to imbed it in our mind. The film concluded with a clip from the 1980 Olympics, when Team U.S.A. beat the Russians in hockey.
The room illuminated and everyone stared at each other with looks of determination and belief. “The bus leaves at noon, so be back at the rink at 11:30am”, coach concluded with.
“Let’s do it guys!”
“Yeah, let’s go!” random people shouted as we huddled together and walked out of the rink to our cars. The car ride home I could not focus on anything else but the game this afternoon. I have never been so determined to accomplish a goal in my whole life. When I got home I got back into bed and dozed until 11:00. During the time I was dozing the game did not leave my mind once. I was mentally imaging how I would take care of business this afternoon, from walking into the rink, up to my first and last shift of the game.
At 11:05am I pop out of bed and get my clotohes which were meticulously placed in the same spot as they were yesterday for the state-semi finals. I put on my pants, dress shirt, tie, boots, jacket and hat, headed to the kitchen to wait for my wing mate, Ari to pick me up. While waiting I...