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Last year on April 21st (my birthday) I was walking into the Shelton Rinks with my hockey bag over my shoulder ready to tryout for the Riverhawks. They were like any other tryout. We did a few skating drills and a few shooting drills. Through about 4 long and tiring days of tryouts, my mom and I went on the computer to see that I made the team. I felt so excited until, we saw that my best friend didn’t make the team. I found out from my parents that the organization took all of the kids that were born in 1994 (even some of the worst ones,) and put them all on the team. Then took 4 kids that were born in 1995 and put them on the team (me being one of them.)
Over the past few summers I have been taking hockey lessons at 5:45 in the morning with the best coach ever Eric Roos. He told me he was coaching the team one of my other friends is on (the team I am on now.) He told me that I don’t need to pay to tryout and if I showed I would be one of the first picks. The tryouts for this team were a lot different then the other ones, I think they were even better, we did only 2 drills then we split up into teams and played what seemed to be long scrimmage. After the first tryout he came in the locker room and told everyone to go up into the stands when they were done, I felt like I was in the movie miracle. He told us that he was going to say the people who made the team and the people who didn’t, he also had 4 people come back the next day. As he was calling all the names out he didn’t say mine till almost last so I was sitting there zoning everything out but his voice and when he called my name I felt really relieved.
Once the tryouts were over we went signed some papers, paid and I was on the Southern Connecticut Stars for good. Over the summer we had not so easy practices every Tuesday. After a few weeks I became really close to my fellow team mates.
In the beginning of September we started playing preseason games. The team I was supposed to be on played us our third game. It ended up them beating us 4 to 3.
At first I was really scared that I was going to get killed. When I walked into their home rink I saw one of the biggest players and he gave me the dirtiest looks I have ever seen before. After I went into the locker room I felt much safer. One my friends also the biggest player on our team saw that I was freaked out. So my friend Nick came over to me and told me.
“If they do anything to you I will be here for you alright.”
After that little speech I felt a lot safer. As we were walking out of the locker room our skates hitting the ground and everyone getting pumped up for the game I felt scared again. When I entered through the door going on to the ice I thought about what my friend said and it went away.
After warm-ups we headed over to the bench to be told who was starting. Once the coach said that my line was starting my mind went blank. I was scared out of my mind and this time it didn’t go away. When I skating over to line up I was shaking like it was below -20 degrees in the rink. Once the game started it wasn’t that bad I wasn’t scared any more I was happy because my first shift was amazing I had almost scored a goal.
Towards the end of the first period I was really tired already. I was on the bench getting a nice cold drink of water when the other team skated down the ice and they scored the first goal. My coach was not a happy camper.
In between the 1st and 2nd periods my coach said that we were playing really well and the goal was lucky.
When the 2nd period started they skated into our zone in the first minute and got a shot but didn’t score. I was tired the first 2 shifts I played and then turned around on my third shift with a ton of energy. We had the puck in their zone and I was in front of the net with their biggest player he was lifting my stick hitting and just beating me around. One of my friends got the puck and I broke free of the player and caught the pass perfectly. Once I caught the pass I was so scared that I just skated as fast as I could with the puck to the net pulled a move on the goalie and the next thing I knew was that my whole team was jumping on me I had scored my third goal of the season!
After that goal it seemed to me that our team just got a shot of an energy drink because the whole second period we were all over them. During the most amazing period I have played each team scored 2 more times.
While all of this interesting stuff is going on I was getting beat around, getting hit all over the place, and also their whole team was trash talking me. I couldn’t even skate by someone with them saying something to me. Near the end of the period one of the biggest players on their team came up to me and said,
“I am going to kill you Heim!”
After that I was freaked out.
In the third and final period it got t be a really dirty game hitting everywhere and all of that. When they had possession of the puck in our zone they got a shot on net and them being lucky it went in the net.
At the end of the third period there was a huge pile up in the corner. The only problem was it was me and then every single player on they’re team. When we got out of that the player that threatened to kill me came up to my and said.
“Do you want to fight?”
Once my friends saw this he came over and pushed the kid away, which made me feel a lot better that he was away from me.
At the end of the game the score was 4 to 3 we lost. When we were shaking hands every player had something bad to say to me. It was either “F.U” or something else.
When I was leaving the rink I was scared I didn’t know if they were going to come after me or something.
After a few harder working and tiring practices I grew even closer to my team then any other team I have ever been on. After about 3 weeks of practice we played the same team again, except this time we beat them.
This game ended up that we took the lead early then it just went on to us winning, the whole game was just horrible, it was dirty and this time they didn’t only trash talk me but our whole team. All in all is was a better game for us because at the end we ended up beating them 4 to 3, just like they beat us.
In the middle of the game I thought I was going to get killed they were all a round hitting and just smack talking.
After the game in the car my mom informed me that we weren’t going to play them for a few more weeks. I was so relieved after I heard those words.
We had a lot more hard working practices and a few games along the way and our team improved so much. We had made learned new plays and other strategies.
The few weeks that we weren’t playing that team flew by. When that game came I was so ready it wasn’t funny.
This game was a lot better on my part I played better and everything. But once again they were after me. One of my first shifts in the 2nd period I went into the corner for the puck and every single one of their players came with me. I got hit at least 5 times within 10 seconds; I was really hurting after that.
At the end of the 1st period 2 to 0. In the second period I had the most amazing hit ever. As I was coming down the ice into their zone their biggest player came out carrying the puck, he was just waiting for me to hit him.
So as I was coming down I just bent down and flipped him over my back, I felt like a hero right then and there. Right after that another player came over to me and hit me, I hit the ice on my arm and I felt like I broke it.
After that little incident we scored again! So now we are winning 3 to 0. Between the 2nd and 3rd periods my coach said that we can’t give up and we can’t stop playing now or else we will lose.
Even though our coach told us that we couldn’t give up we did anyway. In the middle of the 3rd period they scored one goal. My coach got angry. Once we saw that he got so mad we went back to playing the way we did before and came to win the game 4 to 1.