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Hockey Highs and Lows

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The ups and downs of my tournament weekend.   By Hannah Wallace   It’s a rare weekend that can be described as “good” despite screaming children, three bad falls and a trip to the emergency room. But such is the nature of hockey.   Yeah, I’m sitting here high on Lortab, typing all sideways. I […]

October 14, 2008


The ups and downs of my tournament weekend.
 
By Hannah Wallace
 
It’s a rare weekend that can be described as “good” despite screaming children, three bad falls and a trip to the emergency room. But such is the nature of hockey.
 
Yeah, I’m sitting here high on Lortab, typing all sideways. I just got back from a visit with orthopedist Dr. Bright. (By the way, Dr. Bright will be played by Ed Begley Jr. in the Lifetime Original Movie Hannah’s Hands: A Fractured Past.) It all started Friday evening.

 

The Girls Inc. girls visit I arranged couldn’t have gone better. They were engaged and asked questions. We showed them the locker rooms, let them touch the ice, even dressed one of them up in gear (which was all too big, of course, so she kind of looked like ET). I made them each a roster sheet listing the name, number, age and occupation of the Ms. Conduct gals, plus they all got hockey pucks with Ms. Conduct logos and gift bags from the awesome ones at Jake’s Downtown.

I regale the girls with hockey stories in our locker room before the game.

 

 Our good-natured volunteer in her three stages of hockey preparedness.

Then we asked the girls to cheer for us as we played our rivals from Estero, the Lady Everblades. Now, of course I figured the kids would take advantage of the excuse to be loud as hell, but none of us expected them to cheer their little lungs out for all three periods. Plus, we won—to the roar (well, squeal) of the crowd. It was awesome. They came to the locker room afterwards for pictures with the team, and then wandered around asking the players to sign their pucks. First game, first goal, first win of the season, all witnessed by our special guests. So very, very cool.
 
In the first game on Saturday afternoon, not long before the end of the first period, I caught an edge and fell backwards. Awkwardly. I even flung my freehand as I toppled and sent my glove flying. It was spectacular buffoonery. Too bad my gloveless right hand got caught underneath me, hard enough to imbed little pieces of ice like glass in my skin. The play headed back down the ice, and I sat there behind the net for a moment, the crowd’s collective gasp ringing in my ears, feeling both stupid and incredibly, incredibly hurt.
 
I got to the bench, swaying like Rain Man, caught my composure and looked up in the stands. My parents were up there. Dammit. A few minutes later it was the end of the period. We were down 2-0.
 
I eased my glove back on my hand and took the ice for the beginning of the second. No problem swinging the stick with my left hand or playing the puck with my feet (which my soccer-player self does better than stick handling, anyway), but my passes were reduced to weak little pushes, and my forehand shot was virtually nonexistent (more so than usual). Still, I kicked the puck out in front of me for a third-period breakaway, and, with no forehand, faked the shot and pushed it in backhand. Turned out to be the game winner. Damn right; now I feel like a hockey player.
 

Between that game and the next, a trip to LWR Medical Center revealed no fracture. “What did they say about playing?” was the question from teammates. “I didn’t ask.” I took off the splint the ER had given me, threw on a K-Mart wrist brace and went to the car to grab my gear, admitting to CCB, “This may not be the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”

I await the docs at LWR’s ER.

We lost the next game 4-3. I had another goal (purely by way of adrenaline, I think). I didn’t fall down any more. Good thing, too, because I would’ve cried.

 

My hand’s condition on Sunday night.

 
Seemingly nothing had changed for the worse by Sunday morning, so I had every intention of playing. That is, until I took my brace off for the first time since the night before, and my hand swelled up like a ballpark frank. The many doctors, firemen and X-ray techs who also happen to be hockey players reacted with shocked expressions and a general consensus: “Yeeeaaaah, I’d say that’s broken.” I didn’t feel so bad about skipping the last game of the tournament.
 

We lost that last game 3-0 as I hopped around behind the bench and tried to block shots with body English.

This picture has nothing to do with the blog, actually, but it is a great demonstration of how jersey advertising can work for you!

 
So I ended the weekend as a spectator, also watching my two house-league teams from the stands that evening and then eating an Applebee’s hamburger one-handed. This morning, Dr. Bright Begley Jr. told me it’s just a fractured traquetrum. (CCB: “You broke a dinosaur? Cool.”) A sprain, basically. May take a month to heal, but I should be ready for the next tournament.
 
Ooh, the Harribles just told me that the USA Hockey organization will cover my $200 ER co-pay. I love this sport.