When you’re playing a physical sport like hockey and asked to take 95 percent of the physical out, like you are in beer league hockey, you’re bound to have moments where tempers boil over and things get out of hand. That was the case in our beer league game last night.
In our game last night we held a 7-6 lead in the final seconds when one of our defensemen flipped the puck out through the neutral zone and maybe 10 feet over the opposing blue line.
That’s when the other team’s goalie skated out to play the puck, attempting to play a pass up the ice to his teammates for one last chance to tie the game.
But at the same time that he got there and tried to pass the puck, one of our forwards charged into the zone and reached out to try to deflect the pass or outright steal it for what would be an easy, game-clinching goal.
Now for a little more backstory that goes back further than this game. These same to players, the opposing goalie and our forward, had previous beef. The last time we played each other this same forward reached into try to poke the puck free right after the goalie had covered the puck with his glove, something that happens 20 times in every hockey game at any level. For some reason the goalie was upset by this and started running his mouth.
Later in that same game that same forward attempted to cut to the front of the net from down low for a shot on goal, tripping over the goalie’s stick, which he had out for a poke check, sending the stick flying towards the corner. This REALLY upset the goalie, who thought our player had crashed into the stick on purpose, and tried to go after our guy, but was eventually stopped and nothing happened that game.
So back to last night’s game. Our player gets there right as the goalie tries to play the puck, 50 feet from his own net, and deflects the pass sending the puck flying into the corner and allowing time to run out as we earn a 7-6 victory.
But as he was skating to knock the puck from the goalie, he skated into the goalie’s stick on the follow through, maybe hitting the goalie’s arm, causing both players to spin out and fall.
And that’s when the goalie flipped his shit. Rather than take the play for what it was, two guys going for the puck trying to make a play, he thought our player crashed into him on purpose. And as our forward tried to get up, this goalie immediately got up and jumped on top of him, not once, but twice, and threw punches at him. After the refs pulled him off our player, he tried to break free from the refs to go after our forward again. Everyone on the ice, on both teams, just stood there and watched as this goalie stormed out screaming back at our player, “NEXT TIME YOU’RE FUCKING DONE!” And then he threw a bar-height chair that the arena has next to the glass for ice-level seats to the ground and stormed to the locker room.
Afterward, even the refs said that had there been more time left it would have been a tripping call on the goalie, and that our guy had done nothing wrong
The goalie undressed quickly, while everyone tried not to laugh at him for being an idiot. And then in a moment of karma, as the goalie left the locker room his bag bumped into a row of sticks in the hallway, knocking them all over and forcing him to pick them up.
The moral of this story: Even in stupid beer league hockey where 99% of the players never played past high school, there is always one guy who thinks it’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals or that there are scouts in the stands. Don’t be that guy (or girl) and just have some damn fun when you play.