God Save the Queen

…With a smirk and a grunt he turned; his body presenting an oblique aspect to our end of the ice. Without any forward movement whatsoever, he raised his stick.  Down it came, like a bolt of lightning, hitting that puck square on, followed a few seconds later by a thunderous whack: a whack, a crack, a whack that reverberated throughout the arena.  I believe they heard it in the canteen, the washrooms, in the dressing rooms, down the street.  Sparks flew. Year’s later people who witnessed this event could tell you exactly where they were, what they were doing, what they were thinking, at this precise moment in time.

The puck seemed to rise ever so slowly off of his stick, as if in a state of inanimate shock.  Slowly at first, then ever so rapidly, picking up speed as if driven along a physics worthy trajectory: not unlike a cannon shot or a sling shot projectile that is driven faster and faster, ballistically speaking, to what seemed to us to be faster than the speed of light!  We all stood there watching in shock and awe. That puck whizzed by us all in a whistling high pitched squeal sort of way. Up and up and up it went, no soared, in what seemed to be a black blurry mass of hard, coarse rubber.  High above the ice, past the blue line, above the goalie and then, as if programmed by some royal decree, found its mark and imbedded itself squarely into the glassed in portrait of the Queen, about 20 feet above the surface of the ice. The portrait’s glass covering shattered into a thousand pieces of shard like projectiles. Everyone ducked, or covered themselves as best they could, especially our goalie, who was right below the melee.  Suddenly there was dead silence.  The picture of the Queen hung precariously then tilted to one side, a slight pause, tilting to the other side before falling down to the ground and lodging itself with a glass shattering clang into the concrete floor between the protected fencing of the ice surface and the wall of the arena. “God Save the Queen” for she was not amused!

Suddenly all hell broke loose.  An uncomfortable silence was broken. One stick, then two, then a mass of hockey sticks slapping the ice and boards in joyous approval, amusement and delight at what had just occurred.  We all screamed in admiration, jumped up and down as best we could with all that gear on and laughed our collective asses off for none of us had any sympathy or empathy for our distant monarch.   Some of the parents had a slight smirk, slight grin on their faces but for the most part they were not amused at this show of national affliction or affection. Some of them, my dad being one, had a good laugh while they were having a smoke at the far end of the arena. The perp meanwhile just stood there, at centre ice, enjoying the adulation, the admiration, the attention he was receiving for his skill and effort. I thought I heard him say to his world: “I always wanted to do that”

I did wonder though how his dad would react when he got home…