Progenic Revenge aka Dads v Boys Part Deux
The end of a hockey season generally culminates with a team party of some description. In the case of the Boy’s team it was decided that the father’s should give their offspring a chance to redeem their pre-season loss at the hands of their proud papas in the Father/Son challenge. That rematch took place this past weekend.
In the pre-game dressing room banter and on-ice warmup, we on the father’s side were fairly confident we would be able to repeat our prior victory on the strength of our vast combined hockey experience and superior game management. But we somehow forgot six-months had passed. The Boys were six months older and so were we – a factor which would prove to affect each team in decidedly opposite directions. The Boys played like they had gained six-months experience playing together against a high level of competition along with six-months worth of post-pubescent muscle, agility and speed; while our ragtag group of fathers had simply become six-months older.
Within a couple of minutes of the initial puck drop, the Boys were tic-tac-toeing their way to a two-goal lead. I, for one, was questioning the advisability of scheduling three 20-minute, running time periods. Having not played for a few weeks, I was fairly certain a single 20-minute, running time period would be enough of a challenge for those of us on the other side of 40. Our saving grace was our teenage goaltender, who filled in for our previous keeper who wasn’t able to attend. Our young netminder made some great saves to keep the score closer than it should have been on the back-end of several odd man rushes by our able opponents. We did get scoring chances of our own, but the 15 year old goaler we faced, turned our shots away with veritable ease.
The scoreboard revealed the lopsided nature of our game as we entered the third period. Only some very questionable off-sides and penalty shots called in our favour by our father-friendly ref allowed us to artificially cut the score to 9-7. We also had a sympathetic father running the clock. Enthusiastic mothers chirping from the stands above were quick to let us know that the real score was somewhere in the 12-7 range. Who would have ever thought they’d cheer louder for their sons than their husbands?
At the end of the trouncing; and indeed it was a trouncing; the victorious Boys took back the coveted cup we had so proudly, if not nefariously, earned only months earlier. They mimicked so many previous championship teams by kissing the cup, raising it high above their heads and taking it for a couple of victory laps around the rink. Some fathers hung their heads in semi-feigned shame. Other clutched their backs or wondered aloud how their unaccustomed muscles would feel the next morning.
After the game players, moms and we severely ego-tarnished dads retired to a local establishment for wings and beer of both the root (for the Boys) and the un-root (for the thirsty Dads) variety. After some memories of the season past were shared by players and coaches alike there was one final declaration to uncap what was meant to be a capped season. Without need for consultation with his battered teammates, the head coach proclaimed that the Boys’ victory only served one real purpose; to tie the series at one game apiece; which of course summoned the need for a customary rubber match. All I can say is that match better come sooner rather than later as our age-induced father/son chasm ain’t gettin any smaller. We’ll be sure to sign up the same short-sighted ref and occasionally forgetful time-keeper as ballasts against another trouncing. In Game 3, we will no doubt need all the help we can get.