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November 21st, 2011

The ferry had just docked in Newfoundland when I got the call.  It was Bob from DU Ice Hockey Development, and he wanted to let me know that he had found a game for me in Maine run by a man named Dave.


The catch: the game would be in Lewiston, Maine, and I’d be starting the day in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It would be another day of driving over eight hours for the love of hockey.  Would I be able to make it, Bob wondered?  I reassured him I’d make it happen, even if it meant hitting the road far earlier than normal.  If I’ve learned one thing from the late-night men’s league games back in Minnesota, it’s that hockey always trumps sleep.

The week after the phone call went quickly as I meandered through Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.  When the day of the drive back to the States came, not even a gloomy sky and torrential rain could dampen my resolve.  I made it to Lewiston in splendid time.

The venue was the Colisee, which served as a civic center for the area.  It’s always fun to play in places like that.   All of the seats sloping up from the perimeter of the ice gave the game a feeling of added importance. The empty seats also aided in the fantasy that we were actually the Coyotes.

Unlike the real Coyotes, most of the guys were middle-aged, but we had a few outliers on both ends of the age spectrum.  Thick hair to no hair, black hair to gray hair, and all combinations therein were represented.

The game was fun. I know I’ve said that a lot, but really, almost all of the games have been fun, and when they weren’t I usually didn’t write much about them.

Not just lobsters in Maine; hockey, too!

We three goalies rotated every 10 minutes or so, and that made time go by quite quickly.  After the game, we all lounged around the dressing room — the players, the ref (it was a classy pickup game), and even the rink attendant — and drank beer.

You know what’s better than beer?  Medals!  Bob had medals made for the occasion of my visit.  We wore them around after the game feeling like champions.

That's right: we got medals! Also: it seems like I'm wearing that shirt in almost every photo.

I’d never received a medal for anything related to hockey in the past, certainly not one with the state of Maine on the front, so I found it to be a very nice surprise.

Unfortunately, Bob was in China on a business trip, so he wasn’t able to attend the game.  I know you were there in spirit, Bob.  Jet-lagged spirit.

Front of the medal

Did I mention how the medals had custom plaques commemorating the date?  Because they did.

Back of the medal

Tip of the hat to Bob’s friend at the Ramada Conference Center Lewiston for hooking me up with a huge discount, too.

Admittedly, I didn’t get around to having any lobster while in Maine, but I did have good hockey, and that filled my soul if not my stomach.

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  1. November 22nd, 2011 at 18:16 | #1

    “Did I mention how the medals had custom plaques commemorating the date? Because they did.”


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