Posted by James Lepp on December 19, 2014
Usually after a beer league hockey game I like to shell out some compliments to teammates…and maybe even a critique here and there. Rarely will I dive right into a play, good or bad, that I made during the game. Last night, however, was a different story.
It draws parallels to what AHL goaltender David Leggio of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers did about a month ago (video below). Seeing two players come in alone on him from center ice, he simply turned around and dislodged the net, nullifying the play, but warranting a penalty shot. Penalty shot…that’s just against one guy, not two. A great trade off.
Cleverly, and maybe sadly, I’ve thought of a similar scenario in beer league. No, not about dislodging the net, but in beer league, there’s no overtime, so the end of the game, or at least near end of the game, presents some interesting scenarios.
In a 2-2 game, with 15 seconds to go in the 3 rd of a heated battle, one of our smooth skating defencemen headed over the opposing blue line only to have his slot pass deflect out of the zone, turning the play the other way. He was now out of position, and only 10 seconds remained on the clock. One stretch pass later their top forward was storming in on our last defencemen, with a supporting forward trailing behind. This is where it all happened .
Simply put, I opened the gate and went on the ice. There were no changing players, nobody near our bench even. I just went on for the illegal extra attacker (I guess an extra defender in this case). Now with only 5 seconds to go, our last defencemen back beautifully forced a shot from the high circle, and after a solid save from our keeper, the rebounded puck rested alone in front of the net. The trailing forward was ready to make a play, but guess who beat him to the puck? Me. The illegal skater on the ice. I calmly skated the puck to the corner as time expired to preserve the single point.
Too many men? Oh yeah, hell yeah. But did anybody notice? Definitely not. Not my teammates, not the refs, nobody. And even if it was noticed by the refs, the tradeoff is clearly worth it – a defensive zone faceoff with 2 seconds to play.
As I turned with the puck in the corner after time had expired, I had a grin on my face that if you hadn’t known what just happened, would have made no sense whatsoever. Sure I’d be happy about the tie, but my smile was much more. One of the other players even looked at me precariously, saying, “What???” I told him, “I’ll tell you in the dressing room.” And that’s what I did. I told everybody.
It was about the proudest you could be skating a puck into the corner.
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