I watched as one of my wingers picked up the puck on our blue line and put on a coast-to-coast exhibition of beer league hockey at its best, finishing with a two move deke to draw us even late in the third.
Overtime solved nothing and now I had a chance to steal the win for my team. We'd won two straight to open the season at 3-1 after a winless previous season. I wanted to keep the winning streak alive.
After making three easy stops against three shooters, the fourth round began with a push off the crossbar to meet the advancing player making his way toward the net.
Now I'm pin-wheeling my arms wildly with my feet doing a reasonable impersonation of the River Dance. Somehow I'd caught an edge with my left skate and I was within a whisker of losing my balance and landing on my ass. I felt panic as I watched the shooter, who I'm sure was as surprised as I was, lining up for a shot at an empty net.
With mere feet to go before the shooter got to the crease, I somehow managed to lunge my body in the general direction of the net and drop to attempt a save.
The puck found the back of the net. 3-2 loss.
I've allowed goals in almost every way imaginable in the year since returning to the net and now I can mark another variation off the list- losing my balance and almost going ass-over-tea-kettle during a shootout.
I don't remember the post game hand shake or packing my gear in the locker room but I'm having no problem replaying that shootout nightmare.
Playing net is a humbling experience and I was reminded of that again last night.