Miracle on Ice

October 22, 2009
He shoots, he scores! The crowd covered with royal blue and white erupts moments into Game One of the State Championship. Staring down the bench, the looks on my teammates faces showed exactly what they were thinking, “Here we go again…” Earlier in the season, we lost two games to this team and I knew that my team’s only chance to win was if I played the best game of my life and lived up to my nickname, “Rhettzky.”

With a few minutes left in the first period, my team was behind one to zero. I saw my defenseman skate behind our net and pick up the puck; I sped down the middle of the ice. Splitting their two defensemen, I looked behind me and saw the puck coming straight toward me. The puck hit my stick, as their two outstretched defenders were unable to reach the puck. The crowd boiling with anticipation shot to their feet. I faked hard to my forehand then quickly to my backhand. The goalie was off-balance and I easily went around him to score—tie game.

Although my team had been outplayed the entire game, we were only behind by a goal entering the third period; with four minutes left, we tied the game.
After my team tied the game, three to three, my line was up next. It was not 20 seconds later that our defenseman had the puck at our blue line. Instinctively, I cut hard at their blue line. The pass hit my skates but I was able to kick the puck up to my stick. Looking up, I expected their defenseman in my face, ready to knock me down—but there was no one. I thought to myself, “I can’t believe this is happening…again.” I felt the adrenaline pumping through my veins faster and faster with each stride. Ping. Snap shot, over the goalie’s shoulder, hit the crossbar, back of the net, GOAL! I threw my hands up in the air as goose bumps ran up and down my body. I did it! The greatest feeling raced through my body.
My team survived the final two and half minutes without allowing a goal. State Championship Final Score: three to four. After this game, I knew how the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team felt when they upset the Soviet Union four to three in the semi-finals. For the Culver Military Academy Varsity Hockey Team, that night was our ‘Miracle on Ice.’

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