If any of you have followed my most recent hockey related injury, you may have already seen a couple of these photos. While I don’t want to upset my wife more than she already is, I am glad to be part of such a great group of friends.
Over the past decade or so I have been playing street hockey with a consistent yet ever-changing group of guys. Each Saturday our group meets @ Adam Elementary in Ballard, and we randomly split teams each game.
We draw guys from Everett, Olympia, Kirkland, Queen Anne, and everywhere in between. The games vary in intensity, usually depending on age(we have gotten slower), weight gain(I at least have gotten fatter), and experience(the level of play is somewhere between a -5/10 to a 3/10. Either way we have a blast.
However, for the past six years we have one day where we divide into factions set by country of origin. The Can-Am event is really the only time anyone takes themselves far too seriously.
In the past six events there have been secret meetings and practices, scouting reports on each player, smack talk between players, structured drills and warm-ups. Near fisticuffs between a female Harvard grad and a former Marine sniper…and that’s just from the American side!
The Canadians have taken a far more laid back approach, typically arriving late on game day. Zero preparation. Zero communication. An intensity level that makes us all embarrassed for each other.
In spite of too much preparation or too little, the Canadian side has remained victorious for the past 6 years in our best of 7 series.
I believe the number of games won in the series thus far has been Canada 24, U.S. 4. Not a bad showing if I do say so myself.
The highlights of this years event include a stellar performance by the current Koh-Smyth MVP Corey Shelest, which included a natural hat trick and 14 points in 5 games.
Amazing play in net by Andrei Kreptul, who played in net for the third time this year.
And finally a stellar BBQ performance by our favorite Canadian sniper, Cam Green. Also the winner of the 50/50 ticket draw.
What sticks out in my mind(pun fully intended) is the generosity by Buffalo Steve who might be more passionate about this series than anyone else. When I was accidently high-sticked by Benny, Steve stepped across party lines to help a friend.
Not only did he save me some $$$ by stitching me up, he also saved me from reporting back to my wife from the Ballard ER. I have no doubt it would have been a 5+ hour wait for the 4 stitches, and we wouldn’t have had any good photos.
The only complaint as while I was at the peak of discomfort with the device piercing my head, wondering why the stitch was taking so long he says:
“Hold still, I need to get a good photo of this.”
I am glad he was willing to wait the extra 15 seconds so the photo didn’t come out blurry.
Looking forward to next year, but you might not recognize me in the game with a helmet and full cage on. Thanks guys.
Graeme aka Bubbles
Queen Anne Chiropractic Center