Saturday, April 08, 2006

Scurry Jerry

“What kind of donuts did you get?” I ask AMHL opponent Jerry Evans, as my wife and I wrap up our traditional weekend snack at our favorite Dunkin' Donuts. Jerry is set to scurry out of our Saturday haven, on his way to a job site like it was the crease in front of an opposing goalie.

But two days ago, the scrappy forechecker and his Stars were on the ice, taking care of business against the Bruins.

In the Bruins’ locker room before the game, my fellow defenseman Mike Kennedy was about to don his shoulder pads, which he doesn’t wear except when playing Allan “Boom Boom” Canning. Goalie Anthony Bonfiglio suggested that a defenseman block shots.

Kennedy has a company to run and can’t afford a broken ankle or brutal body blow; I don’t have anything better to do, so the shot-blocking responsibility usually falls on my shoulders or hopefully my shin pads. My problem is that I am prone to go down too early, giving opponents like Canning a chance to fake a shot and then go around me.

But Canning wasn’t my concern as the Stars’ other big shot, rookie Scott Gelin, wound up for a shot from the circle to Fig’s left. I stood between them, wondering if I should slide into harm’s way or drop to my knees. Or maybe I should just stand there, ready to block the incoming missile yet not surrender myself to a feigned shot and subsequent move toward my goalie.

Gelin’s shot whizzed past my legs, which were parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ice—and screening my netminder. Gelin’s blast beat Bonfiglio. Then the Stars scored again. And again. Before we knew it, the first period was over, and we were down 1–4.

In the third period, I blocked a Canning shot with my shoulder. I also knocked down Jerry a couple times while he malingered about the crease, but the Stars—with only six skaters—outplayed us to win, 7–1. Canning netted a hat trick and Gelin garnered four points. No surprise there. Donut Meister Adam Berger posted four assists, doubling this season’s previous point total, though. And Evans got a goal for his persistent play.

Jerry is a hard worker on and off the ice, so this Saturday, I’m glad he has rewarded himself with a Butternut and a Chocolate Glazed.