Sunday, July 29, 2007

AMHL Thursday: Lost in Space

“Peter Brady, what’s next…Lost in Space?” said Dave Losier, who was sitting next to me on the Avalanche bench before our game with the Panthers.

He had enjoyed last week’s story about my connection to classic television and wondered what I’d do for an encore.

Lost in Space: Its original run on the small screen was before my time—the last episode aired when I was five years old—but I recall Team USA’s struggle with the vast expanse of ice in the 1998 Winter Olympics. The details are embedded in Google’s memory banks, where the teams first game, against Sweden, prompted the Washington Post's Rachel Alexander to write a story referring to the title of the show from the ‘60s, and now almost nine years later on Rink Two at Concord Valley Sports Arena, where I had no idea I’d have my own spatial issues.

In the first period against the Panthers, the gap between me and oncoming defenders was wider than the Milky Way. Backed up too far to do any good and then guessing where a puck-carrying defender such as forward Mike “MMMBop” Hansen might go is like pressing the Hyperspace button while playing Space Invaders: It doesn’t matter where you land because you’re still (ahem)lost in space.

I redeemed myself in the third period. Enjoying a commodious lead, I ventured on an offensive mission. I charged up the right wing, one opponent in front of me. Still with the puck but running out of room before I hit the end boards, I heard a teammate yell for the puck. Rather than risk a no-look pass through perhaps a constellation of players, I continued orbiting the offensive zone. I entered into unfamiliar territory—behind the opponent’s net! With no teammate open (as far as I could tell), I continued my journey around "Dana Salvo’s World," where the AMHL all-time points leader spends 90% of his ice time. My oxygen tank nearly empty, I spotted Dave Krinsky at the right point, manning the outpost I had passed many moons ago. I slid the puck past a defender to the right point. Krinsky flung the puck toward the net, and then we watched a teammate score.

Too tired to expend any more energy, not even to celebrate the goal, I slowly skated back to home base, which was still light years away.
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