There's nothing quite like watching a girls tyke hockey game.
Where it's not unusual to see 10 girls on the ice laying flat out all at the same time and, quite likely, in the same heap.
Where the goalie may decide to take a nap mid-game or even abandon her net altogether.
Where the girls skate harder and faster back to the bench at the end of their shift than they ever do while playing the game.
Where the most common check occurs when they take the puck from their own teammate.
Where there is no ability to stifle the sound of the parents' laughter in the stands.
And where the score is oftentimes 42-2 or something equally lopsided, as the girls have a turn at goalie for the very first (and often only) time in their lives.
Last night was S.Rube's turn.
She'd been excited for weeks. The fact that it was an away game made it all that much more exciting too; an hour's drive to North Vancouver against a team we'd never played before. She spoke on the way there about how she wasn't even going to let one goal in. Fearing she was setting herself up for disappointment, I, forever the realist, explained that every good goalie lets in a goal once in a while and suggested that she just play her best out there.
In the Warm-Up
Pre-Game Huddle with Coach Steve
Waiting for some action
This net's kinda cool.
Hey guys!! I'm down here! Bring it down here!
You know... this makes snow if you scrape like this.
Get ready!!!! Here she comes!!!
Now, I don't know if you can all see this or not.... but look at the smile on her face!!!
When I saw that smile in behind that cage of hers, it made my heart so very happy. That right there is what this is all about! That friggin' smile.
She LOVES what she does, even if that is standing around in a net for an hour, and only managing to fight off 1 of the 5 shots she had on her. It made the hour-long drive to North Vancouver worth every drop of bloody expensive gas in the truck.
When asked on the way home if she would consider playing in goal again, she replied that she wasn't sure. When asked again today, she still isn't sure.