#16-10 – Snake goes for the glory.

Snake was lurking at his team’s blue line as the coach had instructed him. The game action was metres ahead, around his team’s goal. He wanted to join the scrum but his instructions were clear: “stay out there at the blue line and be ready to take that puck down the ice for a goal.”

The coach’s reasoning was sound. If any of his players fighting for the puck around their goal could get a chance, they would send the puck down the ice. By having Snake out there, ready to pounce on the puck, there was a good chance for a break away. He was right and soon the puck came wobbling out to the blue line where Snake was waiting.

With his trademark stutter-step-start, Snake was off with the puck. It took some time for a near-by defence man for the other team to realize that Snake was wearing the wrong color sweater and to take off after him. The defence man realized that his coach would be disappointed in him for letting Snake get behind him like that. The coach was going to tell him for the 437th time to pay attention.

By now, Snake had a fair lead. What he lacked in speed, he made up for in determination. He focussed on the goal down at the other end of the ice and he was all alone as he flew over the centre line and then the opponent’s blue line. He had a clear field ahead of him accept for an obviously nervous goalie who was slowly moving forward from the net to cut down Snake’s angle for a shot.

But he could also hear the other players coming behind him. They were close. He heard Jerry, his centre behind him call out and he knew Jerry would catch up and go left. That left Snake to go to the right and have the opportunity to pass or go for the goal. It depended on the goalie.

Snake made his move and he veered right. The goalie stuck with him, backing up now to cut off Snake on the short side of the net. Snake held as long as he could and then passed. The goalie was cutting off his opening too fast. He had to give the glory to Jerry. That, he knew, was the important move. He would settle for the assist.

It was at this point that something or someone hit him in the backs of the legs. Within a fraction of a second he was down and sliding on his back into the boards to the side of the net. He hit with a loud crash but he was too busy checking the referee who had blown the whistle as he hit to worry about any bruising..

Pulling himself together, Snake jumped up and raced over to congratulate Jerry on the goal. To his surprise, Jerry gave him a high five and a “Great Snake!”

“But, you got the goal, didn’t you,” he shouted over the noise of his team mates.

“No,” Jerry responded. “Your pass went off a skate. It deflected your shot into the net. You got the goal, unassisted.”

By giving up his chance for the glory, Snake had won it after all.

– 30 –

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