So tell me, Chris, was it an empty-netter?
Very good question and not the first time I have had to answer it.
In fact, there was, what I can only describe as a massive chunk of transparent ice lodged into the far blue line. I can only assume that this "berg" must have come from the Zamboni. Please note that I am not insinuating any foul play or mal-intent by UVM, the opposing team, The Chiefs, or the referees (though the scorekeeper could be considered a person of interest; but we will leave that up to the proper authorities).
Once I had regained purchase of my skates I realized that I was disoriented and found myself skating deep into a very strange place that I was later told is called the "offensive zone". At this point the fight or flight part of my brain took over and my keen survival instincts kicked in, telling my body the best thing to do was hunker down, blend in and wait for a whistle while standing in front of the opposing goalie. Once I had my fat ass safely out of the way, I happily watched my team cycle the puck around me with the skill and grace of what I can only describe as rivaling the best Olympic synchronized swimming team. I was standing there minding my own business leaning on my stick for balance and rest when something really scary happened.
All of a sudden a really young, experienced hockey player was standing at the blueline in the exact spot where I usually hide. This player had the puck and he proceeded to shoot this dense disk (that was not even fluttering mind you) directly at me!!!
Luck would have it that the puck missed my person but came close enough to careen off the blade of my stick (ruining a perfectly unblemished tape job that I had carefully wrapped in 2016). The collision of the puck and my stick caused the puck to change direction and shoot up to the top shelf, where, I am told, "mama keeps the peanut butter".
At this point our hero (me) suddenly lost the very important 3rd leg of his hockey tripod and proceeded to fall on top of what I can only describe as a very shocked and humiliated, one time college and Junior, goalie. The game was stopped as I was mobbed by both benches and the ref proceeded to offer me the game puck.
I then remembered what the one-time great football coach Jimmy Johnson told his top scorers when they made it into the end zone: "ACT LIKE YOU BEEN THERE". So I lowered my flag, declined the puck and headed straight to the locker room to cry by myself and call my wife, mom, therapist, high school coach and girlfriend.
Editor's note: The Chiefs went on to tie the Hogs, 4-4. Also, the top shelf is normally reserved for cookies, not peanut butter, but given the author's heightened level of excitement from having scored for the first time in four or five seasons, we'll let that go.