Lace up the skates, put on the gloves, strap on the helmet, when I walk on to the ice, nothing else matters. It doesn't matter that I failed a test, or my girlfriend is being annoying. My world is absolutely perfect for the next couple hours. Here's to the tears I‘ve shed, overtime, living on the road, cold rinks, early mornings, breakaways, hours of practice, making save after save, broken sticks, new skates, coaches, adding the letter "y" to the end of everyone's last name, fights, let downs, miracles and most of all - the game, Hockey, Why? Cause I love it! I’ll skate back and forth night after night, Skating so hard I’ll throw up. Skating so hard my heart beat rings in your head, while your lungs are grasping for air. Late nights, early mornings, Friday nights, Saturday evenings, broken bones, torn muscles. I will skate through it all because I live off my adrenaline, because the party in the locker room is second to none, because I feel like I am invincible once I’m on the ice, because one save can make me smile all night, “robbing the shooter”, snatching away what could have been a goal, the feel of the puck hit my pads after every save I make, skates carving into the ice because its possible to skate fast enough to leave all your worries behind. Sweat is the cologne of my accomplishment. Why would someone push themselves so hard people always ask? It's never been for money, it's not for the girls, and it's not for the fame. I play because I love it! Ladies love us, guys want to be us. Days spent on the ice, crazy parties missed, weekend hang outs blown, hours of hard work, tons of sweat, plane rides, late night bus trips, sneaking out on tournaments, screaming coaches, not getting the girl of your dreams because you didn’t have enough time to spend with her, being on the road for my birthday, having everyone in the crowd watch you as you make that great save, leaving the day after Christmas for some tournament, missing school vacations and summer break to try out for teams, tears, blood , broken bones, I’ve tried to explain my game to my friends at school who have no idea what I’m talking about, losing friends because I have practice the day of their birthday, BIG DREAMS. Would I change any of it? No way! Why? Because there’s no better feeling in the world than when I walk in the locker to see my “family”, not my parents and sisters, but your 19 brothers who are there to congratulate you after making a save in the shootout, making a phenomenal save, or winning the championship. I don't play hockey because it's fun. Ask me anytime, I usually hate it. All the practices, politics and the conditioning, but I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Its part of me, the 'love-hate' relationship. It's what I live for. I live for those practices, the countless miles and sprints I’ve ran 8 months ago in training camp, the feeling I get every time you hear, 'SPRINTS', all the moments I’ve felt like quitting when I didn't think I could skate anymore. But I also live for the parties, nights just hanging out with the team doing absolutely nothing, the long bus rides, the highs and the lows of it all, the smell of the locker room, hearing all the stories from the weekend before practice and even the coaches we hate but appreciate, all of it. I live for the way it feels when I get that win in overtime. I live for the way I’ve became a family with all these kids that were strangers 8 months ago. I live for the competition, the memories, the pain, having 20 brothers to share it with. No other sport can create this closeness I have. It's my sport, it's who I am. IT’S HOCKEY!