Four to Three read the scoreboard, with only thirty seconds to go in the last period my heart was pounding, sweat dripping down my face and occasionally stinging my eyes. The entire bench was standing up, all eyes on our team members on the ice, ready to scream out any piece of information we could that would help them. The whistle cuts through the cold air and we hear the slap of the puck as it hits the ice. Grey win it back to their defence, who are notorious for sniping long range slap shots. Shit, not good!
Grey move the puck from the far right to their open D-man on the left who winds up and rifles the puck towards our net, luckily our goalie is quick enough and smacks it out of the air with his blocker and into the corner of the rink.
“Twenty seconds!” I hear a scream come out from my defence partner “Twenty seconds’ boys! Get it and Dump it!”
“Empty net!” one of our forwards screams out to our guys on the ice as I glance down to the other side of the rink to see Grey’s goalie hoping off the ice and sending an extra player on to try and secure a goal and send us to overtime.
I turned back to see one of our forwards sprinting to the corner to pick up the puck and try to get it out of our zone but as he grabs the puck and turns, catches an edge and slips, losing the puck and sending it straight into grey’s stick.
“Ten seconds!” My partner screams out his face scrunched in such sheer distress.
Grey rifles off another shot, this time hard and low crashing into our goalie’s pads and sending the rebound straight back to him, giving him just enough time to have one final shot. Grey goes for the snipe, Top left just over the goalie’s blocker. A loud Clink! is heard and the full-time buzzer blasts. The puck is sitting in the back of the net. “No way.” I say to myself, “No fucking way they put that in before the buzzer.” My head dropped at this point, to come this close only to have the win pulled away from us in the final seconds, for a lack of a more eloquent phrase, felt like a solid kick straight to the balls. I look back up and notice the two referees officiating the game quickly talking to each other, one gesturing to the clock. Wait a minute…
The ref turns to face both benches and waves his arms across his body “No Goal! The buzzer sounded before the puck crossed the line!”
A roar erupts from our bench as we jump the boards, throw off our helmets and gloves and embrace in the biggest hug our goalie has ever had. I had broken the curse, I had finally won a grand final. After multiple heartbreaks, I finally get to drape that gold medal around my neck. I looked around at my team, for the better part of half a year we had played, sweated, yelled and put our bodies on the line for each other. This was my reward for all the shots I put my body in front of, for all the dirty hits I had to endure against the boards, for all the elbows that caught me in the face, and for all the mouthing off I had to ignore. I had put my body on the line for these guys and even thrown down the gloves for them when other teams tried to go after our younger players. And at the end of it all, I couldn’t have asked for a better team because I knew that they would do the exact same for me.

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