Was I nervous? Of course. Who wouldn’t be nervous when they’re about to step out on the ice (or field) for their first high school sports game? Not to mention there was a ton of people in the stands. It was definitely the most people I have ever played in front of. Anyways, the team and I warmed up, and as the game went on I began to calm myself. While I was watching on the bench for the half of the first period, I began to calm down, as there was nothing to be afraid of. Then, I heard my coach behind me say, “Light blue is next.” This was color of my line’s jersey in practice, and that is how the coaches referred to us. My nerves started to kick up again, but I had to push through it. Our players came off the ice one at a time, and the guy I was switching out for came off last. I hopped the boards, and started to make my way into the offensive zone, where the puck was. Unfortunately, they were able to break the puck out of their zone and brought it into our zone. We got trapped in there for about thirty seconds, and by the time my line was gassed, they scored. “What a first shift of my high school career,” I thought to myself. The coaches weren’t upset with us, they understood me and my other freshman buddy were nervous. Then, they gave us a couple tips on what we should do when the play is in our end. After the period we were down, 1-0, and the team went back into our locker room so the coaches could talk to us while the zamboni cleaned the ice. The coaches weren’t upset with how we played, but they weren’t happy either.
The next period was a much better period for us. We went out halfway through this period too, just like the first. The shift before us, our teammates were able to get a shot on goal and a faceoff in the offensive zone. My line hopped the boards and lined up for a faceoff on the left side of the zone. I was playing on the left side, and my freshman friend, Jake, was playing on the right side. Our center, Dylan, took the faceoff and won it right to me. I made a one touch pass to our senior defenseman, Colin, and he gave it right back to me. While that was happening, Jake was able to get open in front of the other team’s net. I looked up and saw him, and then immediately passed it to him. He received it, and fired off a quick wrist shot. The goalie never saw it because Dylan was screening him, and the puck went behind him and the red light went off. I got really excited and started skating over towards Jake. While that was happening, I remembered something…
I was at Jake’s house yesterday, and we were outside shooting pucks. Then, Jake being the kid that he is, said, “Ben, if we score tomorrow this is the celebration that were going to do.” He followed that up by doing a ridiculously complex handshake that I don’t remember. I said to him “We’ll be lucky if we touch the ice.” He then replied, “true.”
Back to the story, I skated up to him and started to do the handshake with him. While we were doing the handshake, our teammates created a little circle and started patting everyone on the head. We then skated to our bench where the rest of our teammates were sticking out their hands for fist bumps. I skated down the line haring multiple people saying multiple things. It was awesome. Hearing all the seniors saying things like “Good ******* shot Jake!” to things like “Nice look out there!” made Jake and I feel like the coolest people in the world. That was our last shift of the second period, and when we got back on the bench the coaches were happy for us. By the time we scored, the period was nearly over. There was a couple more minutes of play, and then we went back into the locker room for the coaches to talk again. Unfortunately, we didn’t get anymore shifts because the coaches wanted to win the game. The final result ended in a tie, 3-3.
The coaches gave us a review of the game and told us what we had to work on. They left, and then everybody got undressed and left. When I got back to my house, my parents were waiting for me. They had huge smiles on their faces, and they told me how proud they were of me. My first high school hockey game was awesome, and I’ll never forget it.