Perhaps the last part of the title of this post should read “…- A Team of Old-Agers” given the way we played last night. But I digress. This isn’t about last night’s game, with it’s massive comeback derailed just short of a tie in the dying seconds. This is about the Orange team, a great team, that clearly played hockey the way it was meant to be played this past few months.
With our impressive record of 9 wins, 6 losses and 71 ties, we were well beyond a .500 team. With Jimmy pounding in the goals from everywhere, all the time, to Andre firing off those patented one-timers of his as a left hand shooter on the right wing, it was an honour to centre those two lads. And with Benjamin Button (Keith) playing centre on the other line with Doug and Dwight, crafty play-makers and shooters all in the same package, the forward side of the Orange team had no weak links.
On the backside, it all started with Moose and Kevin, the closest thing to a defensive wall you can find in any family, anywhere. When it got past everyone else, the puck usually stopped at them. Sprinkle in a little Dan, always ready to dance in off the point for that sneaky laser of his (Nik Lidstrom comes to mind), a dash of Mark (who is still young enough and fast enough to actually consider the word dash when one describes his rushes) and finally look no Futher than Bill with that physical edge he brought to every game to see how the defensive side of Orange was simply more than most teams could match on any given night.
It may be a long time before the W ever sees such a complete a team as this one. We battled through standard adversity like injuries and slumps but also tougher, nastier surprises that caused some of us to miss games like naps, daughter’s ringette games, girls-night-out for wives and even being stranded on far away desert islands where there were no rinks. And goal posts. While it’s an unofficial count, my tally has us winning 36 or those 71 ties had we simply converted a handful of goals posts into goals.
So my hats off to you all you lads from Orange. We’ll see you Saturday with different coloured sweaters on. Keep your heads up – I gained a half pound just today after one session of hitting the weights.