Based on the popularity of my recent hockey blogs I’ve decided to write about another on ice experience. Due to some travel I missed a couple of games in a row and hadn’t been on the ice for a while, because of my improved play of late it was actually flattering and uplifting when my line mate Tommy Siskos was eager to have me back. In a very nice albeit odd choice by team captain Grobo, he actually called on our line to start (almost never happens as we are usually the second or third line). Coaches usually do this at time to fire up a line or reward a line that has been performing well of late so we did not disappoint, I scored a goal on our second shift and added another assist on one of Tommy’s goals in the second period. We went deep into the third period with a 2-1 lead in what was a very tight game without a single penalty called on each team, yet at that point something very odd happened. In the offensive zone, with only a minute to play Tommy had a very questionable penalty called on him, there is an unwritten rule in hockey code that says tight games where no penalties have been called you don’t call one with one minute left in the game especially on a marginal call in the offensive zone to boot! Well needless to say Tommy was furious and venting in frustration (happens after almost any penalty) and the referees knowing this was such a debatable call should have understood but to add insult to injury gave him an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct! They had crossed the line, even I burst out yelling and I’m the soft spoken one on the team, how could the referees not only make such a silly call late in the game as opposed to letting it play out, but actually now be factoring into the decision? It was ludicrous.
Well as luck would have it we were scored on almost immediately which forced overtime but because it was a double minor we would also went into the overtime period shorthanded 4-3 which given the momentum blow we just took almost meant a sure defeat. As any hockey player reading this will relate too as it’s happened to us all, Tommy just felt awful that his mishap would cost us the game, he wished he could just disappear yet there he sat alone in the glass penalty box for everybody to see. What happened next in this game as what often happens in life when we are faced with challenges was awesome. As we were a few seconds away from killing off the penalty Grobo yelled out my name to go on the ice next when Tommy’s penalty had expired. I don’t blame Grobo for the choice, I had played a great game scoring a gorgeous near perfect goal on a very good goalie to break the 0-0 tie late in the second period which gave us the belief that we could finally beat this stingy goalie. I had then made a perfect pass to Tommy to give us the go ahead goal. However, I had a gut feel, call it intuition or my belief in the powerful motivating force of redemption or sweet serendipity but as I was about to take the ice, I was standing right beside Tommy who was in the penalty box eagerly waiting for his penalty to expire when I looked at him right in the eye and said, “Tommy, you go out there AND score!” What was a fraction of a second I saw a mix of emotions of surprise of the selfless act, excitement at the possibility of redeeming himself and what looked like a jolt of energy in his eyes as he yelled “ok!” with sheer glee and enthusiasm. He skated directly into the offensive zone and scored in under six seconds flat and we won the game! Sweet poetic justice.
Although nobody likes to face challenges, we tend to embrace the comfort zone or clear sailing so to speak, but in life we learn most when we struggle and face challenges. We tend to find another gear, we dig deeper into our souls and further into our inner core for the strength to pull us through. Whenever the storms or injustices of life hit me, I always find some solace in the fact that I’m about to learn a life or business lesson, gain yet another amazing experience or battle scare to mold me into a better human being capable of doing more to make this world a better place. This attitude is always harder when we get dealt a blow that doesn’t seem fair, crap happens in life out of happenstance or coincidence but when we are clearly wronged by another intentionally to do us harm, it’s at those times that we question whether there is a force or God out there or whether there is even meaning in this life, so it’s not a comfortable feeling to say the least. I’m a firm believer in the laws of compensation and when you sow good seeds, good things come back at you in different ways that you can’t even imagine. When it comes to bringing justice to the world when unjustifiable acts happen, I urge you to immediately say to yourself “success will be my revenge”. It’s what I do every time life or somebody knocks me down and I focus all my energy into what it takes to succeed in the circumstances and visualize what I want the end result to be, exactly what I did when I put the team first ahead of myself and put Tommy in knowing with all my heart that he was going to redeem himself.