Twizzler scored four times to become the first, and most unlikely, winner of the inaugural Shrimp Ring Shootout on Sunday.
The shotstopping stalwart was given a rare reprieve from his armour of heavy leg pads as the competition required only one goalie; he took full advantage, ripping bullets past his rearguard rival, Joker, high into the top corner, over his glove and through the five hole. It was a remarkable offensive effort against some of the game’s top snipers including Doo, Lak Attack and Scooby, who was making his first appearance at the courts in more than a year.
That the Shootout occurred at all was a testimony of the roadsters’ resolve to restart the season after a five week hiatus brought on by extended wintry weather.
“This is the week we were going to get back to playing hockey and you have to take a stand that you’re not going to let anything stand in your way,” said Doo during a break from the arduous effort to chip and shovel away more than a foot of hardened, compacted snow and ice.
It may have been the worst conditions the roadsters have ever encountered at the concrete courts said Lak Attack. A snowfall early in December wasn’t cleared before a thaw and subsequent freeze encased the concrete surface in ice and frozen slush. More snow piled on over the holiday hiatus that was compacted when the neighbouring school reopened.
“This is something we’ve never seen,” said the veteran who’s participated in numerous shovel brigades over his long career. “The amount of snow, and the ice underneath; there’s a lot of challenges.”
But the roadsters wered undeterred. Every chunk of snow or block of ice heaved to the side felt like a victory, said Doo.
“They’re doing something impossible. It’s back-breaking labour for a game that we’re probably not even going to be able to play.”
That realization was apparent more than an hour into the clearing effort as the accumulated snow had been removed from only a third of the court, and a thick layer of hard ice still remained.
The shoot out contest may not have had the competitive fire of a regular game, but for the roadsters who survived Sunday’s shovelling brigade it still felt like victory.
“It’s great to see,” said Doo. “This is probably helpful for people’s fitness.”
“This is a building block of how badly the guys want to play,” said Lak Attack. “It builds character for the guys… and that’s good for the rest of the season.”
This story was originally published in my road hockey blog, roadhockey.net