Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MAHA (part two)

There were 60MPH winds in Detroit, which caused a power outage to the rink not once, but twice, in the game before Eli 15.7 took the ice.

Oh, and did I mention the bush fire outside the front door of the rink?

Good enough to play.

From the start of this game, I knew we were in trouble. Flat. Which isn't what you'd expect when the season would end with a loss, but we were getting dominated, and this was a team we'd played very evenly in our two previous meetings.

Another top fifteen team, though. Like I said, MAHA is Murderer's Row.

Things happen in hockey, though, and we went on the power play, then scored a beautiful goal out of nowhere. 1-0.

It was like that until near the end of the second period, when a kid shot from behind the goal line, directed it off Eli's back (even though he sealed the post), and it landed on the goal line and went in.

Or maybe it didn't. Eli said it didn't, and he had his glove on the puck, so the referee couldn't have seen it go in, but either way, it was a goal, and the score was tied 1-1.

After two periods, we were getting outshot 29-17. Even worse, we just don't have the puck that much, which is an even bigger problem.

I could see that Eli clearly wasn't 100%, but he was playing great.

We could still win this game.

Then the third period started, and we were playing no better than before. The puck was in our zone too often for too long, and then it happened. Eli made two excellent saves but couldn't control the puck on either, there was no help, and the third shot went bar down.

Just like that, we're behind. 2-1.

There were still almost 15 minutes left, but it could have been 150. We just couldn't get started offensively.

No Chip Hilton moment.

Even worse, with about 6 minutes left, on a breakaway, a kid lost an edge and went crashing into Eli's left leg, the one that was hurt.

He stayed on the ice for a long time, face down. Then he got up, stretched a bit, nodded, and stayed in the game, although he was limping pretty heavily.

I knew then that he was hurt even worse, but all I could do was sit and watch.

The coach pulled Eli for an extra skater with about a minute left, and we gave up an empty netter shortly thereafter.

Final score: 3-1. Final shot total: 44 to 23.

Normally, a kid would be elated with 42 saves on 44 shots, but when Eli finally came out of the locker room, limping hard, there was no elation to be found.

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