A Stick To The Face

What the title says is pretty much what happened.

It was Saturday afternoon, and we were playing the top team in our division with our eight-game unbeaten streak on the line.

I got the start on defense. At the drop of the puck, they hemmed us into our zone, finally putting a weak wraparound on net. Our goalie froze the puck and stopped play.

After the faceoff, the puck came back to the point, but their defenceman’s shot was blocked and didn’t make it through. When the play started heading away from us, my defensive partner let his man go. My partner had been holding down his stick while the guy struggled to lift it. Unfortunately for me, when my partner let go of his stick, it flew right into my face.

I didn’t even have time to react. I caught it square under my nose and went down. Of course it hurt, but I was more concerned about my teeth. A teammate had gotten most of a tooth knocked out in the previous game, and I didn’t want the same thing happening to me.

I took off my gloves and felt around my face. Felt like everything was there. Then I looked at my fingers. Blood! Red blood! My blood! Ahhhhh! I was leaking all over myself and the ice. I left my sticks and gloves behind and skated towards the bench. One of my teammates handed me his towel and I held it to my nose – he wouldn’t be wanting this back.

After enduring some jokes at my expense from the first aid guys at the rink, I got four stitches at Burnaby Hospital, a swollen lip, and a trickling nosebleed for the next two days.

Luckily, though my teeth were sore for the next couple of days, I still had all of them. The mouthguard did its job.

So did I learn anything from all this? I doubt it, since I’m still not going to wear a cage. But I definitely feel lucky since it could’ve been a lot worse. Just a little higher and I would have a broken nose. A little lower and some of my bottom teeth would be broken.

Bottom line? We won, and our unbeaten streak is intact at nine games.

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