Sunday, October 29, 2006

 

Home To The Hardcore

I awoke Saturday morning, fully expecting to find a series of emails from those who were supposed to attend the Battle of Alberta/Covered in Oil street hockey game, all saying that they weren't going to be able to make it. It had snowed all night long, and it was a dreary late October day. In a week, Edmonton had transitioned from the hues of autumn into a Winter Not-So-Wonderland. Who, then, would want to come out and play some ball hockey?

Yet the emails I received were of a different sort. Are we still playing? Yes! It's Edmonton. Snow will not prevent us from playing. Bring some shovels to clean the rink. Dress warm. It's not that cold. Game on!

I arrived at the rink shortly after the appointed time, Pleasure Motors and Cosh in tow. I couldn't see other bodies, but I could see shovels and snow flying through the air. Fantastic! And then, when I entered the rink, I saw the water. Tiny puddles, medium sized puddles, and a pond. Water had been thrown out, but it just kept seeping back in. It wasn't going anywhere. Then again, neither were we. Not one word was uttered about fleeing the arena. I doubt anyone even thought about it. We were going to play, come Hoth or high water.

And so we played. We played, though the rink was like a golf course, littered with traps and hazards. In some places, the ball wasn’t just slowed by the water. It was actually floating in it, bobbing like an orange fish weight. The water itself became a defenceman, blocking passes and preventing shots. It also became a weapon, used to stall, blind and drench opponents.

And what of our protagonists? Well, Pleasure Motors was everywhere at once, helping out on defence and then quickly transitioning the ball up the rink for a pass or a scoring chance. He attacked the crease with reckless abandon, gaining himself a place in the tiny pantheon of Edmonton hockey lunatics: Anderson, Simpson, Smytty, and now, Berry. His hair was a wet mass of effort; when he pinballed up and down the rink, strands of hair snapped the sky like a Gorgon's. It was a masterful performance, fully deserving of a Three Star.

I, on the other hand, mostly stayed at home. The defensive zone was my abode, and I’d like to think I owned it. I was beat a few times, with dazzling dekes and spinaroos numbing my capacity to think. But my play was mostly solid, even Harvey-esque in its quality and dignity. I did in fact score three goals, but it wasn’t exactly a D-Vo special like I predicted. Rather, I scored them over a three game period. Yet I felt no shame in not getting the hat-trick I so desired. My body and my mind told me that, on that day, my role would be to prevent the scoring of goals, rather than being commited to the scoring of them.

And the other players on this inclement stage? Simply glorious. It was a day, as Cosh noted on the way home, where everyone had a moment of greatness, where all showed flashes of brilliance. The goalies made huge, breath-taking saves. The defencemen cut off lanes and made crisp outlet passes. The forwards danced, dangled and buried the ball. Spectators watched, taking tremendous pictures, tidying up our mess, and cheering us on.

It was, in short, an amazing day. I haven't had that much fun in a long time, even though my body is paying for it today. I really want to thank all who came out. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Next time, we'll find a more suitable venue, get some more bodies, and it'll be even better than it was yesterday. And I hope that more of you can join us. Trust me, you won't forget it.

GOILOGOSPHERE!





Bottom (Left to Right): Sean (TB), Pleasure Motors, Ender (in goalie gear), Jeremy, Me, Aaron, Adrian (in goalie gear)

Top (Left to Right): Matt (not Fenwick), Allan's girlfriend, Allan, Daniel, Bobby, Darron, James

Comments:

Beauty. Absolute beauty.
 


Very cool. Well done, guys. What about fisticuffs? A jersey tie-up?
 


Nothing of that sort. Very civil. I played an agressive game in the corners, but that was about as rough as it got. I am a little disappointed I didn't get to facewash anyone. It'll have to wait til next time, I guess.
 


Andy: What position did you play, and a second question, what position were you listed under on the depth chart?

:-)
 


Did you hosers try recreating this?
 


Andy: What position did you play, and a second question, what position were you listed under on the depth chart?

I played defence. Definitely #1 on the defensive depth chart.
 


Hopefully there's one over Christmas for us girls at hot-oil to attend.
 


Hopefully there's one over Christmas for us girls at hot-oil to attend.

Is that a hint? :)
 


Top (Left to Right): ... Landon (?)

James, actually. Not that anyone would fault the confusion, when I was constantly left speechless gasping for air.

Hell, I'm still feeling the burn.
 


Thanks again for setting this up - it was good times (and wet times...I think my legs thawed out sometime during dinner).

Hope to see something set up again.
 


Truth be told, we don't just squee over professional hockey players..
 


It really was less street hockey and more pond hockey. Except in the pond, rather than on it.

Today, I can't move my legs.
 


Yep, that's me. I'm also either the drencher or the drenchee in that photo with Bobby.
 


Truth be told, we don't just squee over professional hockey players..

It actually makes sense to do a game over the Christmas holidays, as I'm sure tons of people will be coming home. Don't let me forget, Loxy.
 


It actually makes sense to do a game over the Christmas holidays.

That's so Heritage Classic! Who call dibs on stretching a toque over his goalie helmet?
 


Absolutely awesome.
 


Huh. I have no idea why; but I always pictured Allan as a small asian man. Ain't the blogosphere funny.

Sweet Mikhnov sweater!
 


I certainly hope we do that again. Maybe less water would keep the flow of the game a little more consistent, but it if nothing else it made it memorable. My body is complaining about it today too, but that's a price I'll willingly pay.

I'm sure if we all chipped in $5 next time we could find a decent indoor venue or something?

GOILERS!
 


Yah, the Mikhnov jersey rocks. Good work people.
 


Totally rad, you guys. Great work setting this up.

And I'm so in for a game over Christmas. I'll be sure to pack my skates.
 


Okay are there photos missing from the set where everyone got beaten with sticks? Sheesh it sounds more like torture.
 


In keeping with the road hockey theme, you all should take a look at this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aakZYgPcL0U

not oilers related, but sorta flames related, and rather funny.
 


I always pictured Allan as a small asian man.

I'll get a stand-in for the photos next time.

Okay are there photos missing from the set where everyone got beaten with sticks?

I can't talk about what happened after the photos were taken.

Cosh knows what I look like now, so I'm not safe anywhere.
 


I just added a half-dozen bonus shots that didn't make the first cut and needed a little more post-production.
 


Man,
That looks like so much fun.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our PG road hockey/protest game in front of city hall, due to very inclimate weather. Rain Friday and -12 overnight made for dangerous conditions.

We will play though. All PG OIlers fans contact me
 


Rain Friday and -12 overnight made for dangerous conditions.

Sounds like it made for perfect conditions.
 


Andy,

I was all in, but the rest of the idiots, who have been influenced by Canuck-itis, all wussed out. Something about it being too slippery.

Too slippery?

In the grand old days of the Casa Loma Trailer Court (Which stood on the corner of 97 St. & 153rd Ave till it became Castle Downs) we lived for slippery. Hell, the more slippery it was, the better. NO wimpy kids that way. And damnit, we walked 3 miles in the snow just to get there to.

Andy, if you're planning on having a game over the Christmas break, count me in. I'll be in Alberta (Carrot Creek to be exact) and I'd make a day trip to Edmonton to play.
 

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