The lace you’ve been meaning to change is bound to break when you are in the biggest rush. It’s the truest of Murphy’s Laws applied to hockey.
Tonight, I was in a grand rush to get to my 9:00 game in Elmira because, as luck would have it, my brief after-dinner, pre-game nap turned into a real doozy and I woke up at exactly 8:38 PM. Now, Elmira is about a twenty minute drive from my place on a good night but this was the eve of what all the weather-porn guys were calling the storm of the century (3rd one in last four years I think) so the roads were a little bit slick with a few flurries coming down.
However, it was only 8:38, not 8:48 or 8:58 so I had a shot. I grabbed my gear quickly, threw the coat on and was out the door in the car by 8:42. I turned the car off at 9:02 in the parking lot and ran into the Elmira rec centre, my loudest-hockey-bag-on-wheels-in-the-universe informing the entire township of my arrival.
Now, as those at the rink who know me know, I can get dressed pretty quick, and even quicker under pressure and this was one of those situations. I’m guessing I was only two or three minutes from sitting down to lacing up.
And then it broke. The one lace that I’d been tightening gingerly for several weeks, the wax lace (which means it’s made of the most unmalleable material ever created, and made more so on a cold skate that has been stored in the garage the last three days), snapped about one inch beyond the second-last islet. Beautiful. Cuss words came out, and give the time crunch I was in no mood for a full lace replace so I took the approach of trying to re-work this lace back on one side to free up another few inches on the broken side. Easy right?
Not. This was a cold skate, itself not the most malleable thing on earth, with a cold wax lace tightened in. There are Celtic churches from the dark ages that are less rugged than this configuration. It took another two to three minutes to fix this lace situation, a real downer since this is the best hour of this person’s life each week and lost time here is time truly wasted in life.
However, I made it to the ice with only about seven minutes gone in the first and all was well. The lace held, my sleep did wonders for my energy level and I got a breakaway in the dying seconds with the game tied. The game was ours to win if I could score, and score I did – one second after the buzzer went.