Sunday, May 10, 2009

AMHL Wednesday Championship: Bed Bath & Beyond

Wednesday, May 6
Concord, MA

The perhaps over-confident under-sized Mites (a.k.a. AMHL Sharks) are gathered in the locker room and wonder what the prize will be if they beat the Canadiens.

“Gift certificates,” guesses Steve “Whoa Nellie” Antonelli, “to Bed Bath & Beyond.”

The first place Sharks—skating left to right across your AMHL broadband connection—struggle against the second place Habs until Jay “All the Way” Antonangeli gathers the puck in his own zone. He skates across the red line, the blueline, and then veers left before wristing a shot high glove side and past Stephanie Spunt.

“One goal doesn’t make a game,” say referee Pete Bagley to the Shark bench.

But the tally is good enough for a 1–0 lead after one period and until the waning seconds of the second period, when Canadien Tim “Dynamite” Donahue—who owns the leagues hardest shot—beats the buzzer to tie the score.

The exuberant Canadians believe they can win, but the placid Sharks coach reminds his players, “We haven’t lost a third period all season.”

Shark center Brian “Backscratcher” Barringer hasn’t met a slapshot he doesn’t like. So, just inside the blueline, he winds up and then blasts the vulcanized rubber disc over Spunt’s glove to break the tie.

But Spunt, who earlier in the contest made stellar saves against Sharks “Grinder Greg” Longtine and Paul Anastas, has spunk. Spunky Spunt and the Funky Bunch stave off the Sharks and then attack.

With 5:30 on the clock, the puck is lost in the crease—or has it crossed the goal line?—amongst a sea of teal and bleu, blanc et rouge.

Kate “I’ll Have Another (Koffey) Cup” Fallon finds the puck before it crosses the goal line, and the Sharks breath a collective sigh of relief.

And when Anastas scores to put the game to bed, the Sharks are ready to bathe in the glow of victory.

The Sharks pose for their picture with the Cup, and just beyond the boards and behind the gathered champions, commemorative T-shirts—way better than gift certificates from a retail store, eh Steve?—wait to be claimed.
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