We get our fair share of mail here at USA Hockey Magazine — Slaps submissions come in by the truckload (it’s a fairly small truck), books appear on our desks and wait to be read and reviewed, extra issues need to be sent out and distributed, addresses need to be changed. But every now and again, we get letters. We read them all, but there was one we recently picked out of the bin that really struck a chord with us. It’s about as earnest a note as we’ve ever seen. And — having obtained the author’s permission — we’d like to share it with you.
Truth be told I’ve never played hockey. I used to wish to be on the team. Both my brother and sister played hockey and I’ve been dragged along to all their games. I watch and see all the players score goals. The smiles on their faces seem to make the whole rink glow. For a while, I was sick of hockey. I didn’t like going to all the games because they were boring. Then I told myself that the people skating are having fun. Imagine what it would be like to be them. My imaginations kept me occupied throughout the games.
The puck is coming straight towards you, so is the whole opposing team. You snatch up the puck and skate as fast as you can towards the goal. The goalie stares at you and you stare at the goalie, then you fake right and pick a spot on the left to shoot at. Your stick goes back and you concentrate as hard as you can. Suddenly you feel ready and you whack the puck as hard as you can. The buzzer goes off. Goal!! The crowd goes wild! You can hear the blood pumping in your ears as the whole team comes to congratulate you. What a game!!
My goal is to be the best I can be, to skate as fast as I can. If I shot and scored the winning goal, it would make me the man. But if I miss I will be sad, my teammates will comfort me, tell e it wasn’t too bad. But in my heart, I’ll always know I didn’t get the goal.