T’was three nights before Christmas and all through the big blue house, nothing much was stirring other than the odd mouse…. or we should say rink rat. With thoughts of the parties after the game dancing through their heads, the boys were simply having a wonderful Christmas time and the game was the last thing on their minds!
But someone was on the radar… all of a sudden who should appear…. down from the North Pole… it was none other than Santa to warn the boys to play nice and be good. The boys all dressed up their best home white and blue, were not quite ready to take on the Tigers who seemed a wee bit more hungrier on this night! Maybe Santa should have told them not to be too nice. Or maybe it was too much turkey at the high school brunch, but our day dreamers came out sleepy and actually played like some overweight turkeys who couldn’t fly.
The hungry Tigers listening to ‘ Jingle Bells Rock’ before the game giving the Avalanche a physical pounding and take the first bite with quick goal three minutes into the game. Thankfully the Grinch who stole Christmas came to play. The Avalanche goalie Colton ‘Colt 45’ Van Maarion, faced a barrage of shots, lots and lots of good ones too. He stole the show in the first period for sure. In fact the ‘Grinch’ was the only reason the game was even close at all. Without him the Avalanche would be already packed up loading the sled and heading out to Gramma’s place for Christmas dinner. Very late in the first period the sniper, team captain ‘Awesome Alex’ Hunter would score with just .48 seconds on the clock assisted by St. Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson.
The dressing room was very quiet between the periods. Not likely the boys had much to say; but I’m sure the coaching staff must have because the boys were sure fired up and they lit up the Christmas tree after that, popping in three quick goals in less than two minutes to take a 4 to 1 lead. Austin ‘Astro’ Axley with the first one on a weird rebound, his assisted by Hank ‘the Tank’ Rogal. Chase ‘Rink Rat’ Dorey with the second one 20 seconds later. His assisted by Cyle ‘Grinder’ Graus and the ‘Big O’ Brody Odgaard.
Then 40 seconds later the best Christmas present ever for rookie Abe ‘New Guy’ Neufeld who would score his first of the year, assisted by ‘Awesome Alex’ and Wolke ‘Wolf Man’ Cueva. The ‘New Guy’ is playing in his first year of organized hockey. The Tigers were shocked at the change in pace for the Avalanche, but still had some bite left in them and would answer with one late in the second to make it a 4 to 2 game after 40 minutes. Into the third the game really starting to heat up after the coaches laid another log on the fire, the Avalanche adding four more, another by the ‘Rink Rat’ , the Big O’ going coast to coast for one, and ‘ Awesome Alex’ lighting up the tree with two more too! Santa’s helpers ‘ the Wolf Man’ , ‘Grinder’ and ‘Astro’ with the assists, the final 8 to 5 for the Avalanche sending the Tigers home with a lump of coal and their tales between their legs. The next meeting of these two teams will be their first game of the new year at the Stadium in Vermilion. The Avalanche ‘ Better Watch Out’ because you can bet the Tigers will be ready for a real cage fight.
With already getting the early Christmas present of being awarded with the provincial finals in March, all the three wise men, Marty Bendixen, Tyson Stafford , and Greg Van Maarion of the bantams Avalanche really want for Christmas is healthy players. With their defensive core short Jace ‘the Stafford Streak’ out with a broken wrist and their forward muscle man Odin ‘the Wall’ Smith serving a one game suspension for standing up for his team mates, they traveled over to the Border City with only eight good reindeer to pull the sled.
On top of that their goalkeeper, Rudy the Red nosed ‘Sexy Slater’ Hardcastle was not feeling 100 percent either, getting a touch of the flu. But he knew Santa needed him so he sucked her up and suited up to lead the team. The game ending in a five all tie. A tie at this time of the year with all the adversities they have been going though was a pretty darn good present for this team coaches. ‘Ring a Ling, Ring a Ling’ it’s Chrismas time in the border city. Jaden ‘the Jet Stream’ Van Maarion ringing the bell with four goals, ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage lighting it up with one goal and helping out with two others . ‘Danny Boy’ Cardinal, Evan ‘Bat Man’ Ockerman and the deer hunter, old ‘King Cole’ Bendixen with the other helpers.
And a big happy birthday going out today the ‘Sports hound ‘ precious daughter who is following her dreams, Jena ‘the Princess’ Colbourne.
And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week. ” Even a poultry expert wouldn’t buy some of the turkeys we had on our roster.” – Don Cherry