Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Hockey Life: Moments of a season

There are moments in any hockey season, whether watching or playing, that can last a lifetime for the parties involved. For skaters, it's a first goal or point. For goalies, it's the first win or shutout. And, for a team, it's a first win. Each is a special moment.

On Saturday, during Colin's rec hockey game with his Pinellas P.A.L. Stars squad, we had the privilege of watching three young players -- all in their first year of organized hockey, I believe -- register some important milestones in their respective journeys. Two players scored their first goals and the team's goalie notched his first shutout.

It was great seeing the smiles on faces, from the players to the coaches to the parents, with each moment. So was watching the hard work these kids have been putting in over the past month or so be rewarded. In games like this, especially at this level and in this particular season, the highs can only temper the lows as kids learn how to play this humbling game.

Take a look at the photo, please, shot by The Missus at the conclusion of the Stars' 6-0 win over the Leafs. (Technically, the score was 8-0, but the scorekeeper stopped keeping track after 6-0.) Yes, a team is celebrating. It's celebrating more than a win, though. It's celebrating milestones.

I'm hoping, too, that each of the boys has a puck to commemorate their achievements. Years from now, those black rubber disks will serve as tangible reminders of a single game they played on an October afternoon on a rink in Florida.

We should know. One such puck sits in a plastic case on a baker's rack in our dining room. Dated March 14, 2010, it's Colin's first goal while playing for the Stars. For him, it's a milestone. For me, it's reason to smile.

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