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03-28-2005, 07:31 AM
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Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by nucks&flames
Anybody else with some bitter memories out there to share?

I know how you feel. My high school team was the defending champions and easily the most talented team in our city. We had 3 of the top 6 scorers in the league on our top line (including yours truly and we also had the only goalie in the league with a sv% over .900). We rolled through the playoffs until the semi-finals.

It was supposed to be one of the shining moments in my days of competitive play. During the playoffs, they announced all the starters' names and I was team captain and first line left wing. A whole slew of my friends showed up at the semi-final game to cheer me on, not to mention an ***load of people from my school and my then girlfriend and all of her friends (not to mention my family, although I'm much more used to being embarassed in front of them ). I remember being so ecstatic when they called my name out as starting left wing and hearing all the applause I got.

We were up against a lesser team that'd absolutely caught fire and we managed to get to OT against them (4-4 after regulation). With about a minute left in the extra period, I strip the puck off their defenseman's stick at the point and haul ass down the ice. It's their stay-at-home guy, who'd been my arch rival for years (dating all the way back to peewee football), seperating me and a goalie I'd owned all season. He was bigger than me (I was 6'2" about 175-180, he was 6'4" and must've been close to 230), but I figured I could beat him with lateral movement, speed and stickhandling as he wasn't very agile and was a little on the slow side.
Anyway, I don't know what I was thinking, but in the split second before I was about to make my move to get around the defenseman something shorted out in my brain, and I pulled a Lindros and looked down at the ****ing puck. The next thing I know, I'm on my back staring up at the rink's ceiling lights (if there's a better way to impress your girlfriend, I'm at a loss to think of it ). The buzzer sounds to end the extra period, and in our league that meant a shootout.

The coach picked me to shoot fifth, and we lost on the other team's fourth shot. I was the team captain, 5th leading scorer in the league that year (3rd or 4th in goals), and second on my team behind my centerman (who was the finest playmaker I've ever had the pleasure to skate on line with) and I never got a shot. The coach let some kid whom we later found out had a concussion shoot before me (it was obvious he was very dazed and kind of out of it). Maybe the coach thought my center was the one who did all the work for all my goals or maybe he just had his head up his *** every time I had a breakaway (I don't recall missing a single one that year). Hell, maybe he was paying attention and thought I was due to miss this time, or, looking on the bright side, maybe he figured I was the guy he wanted shooting last if we absolutely had to get that last goal. I'll never know now because I was too stunned to speak, but I felt like Gretzky at the Nagano games. To this day, I think our team would have won back to back city championships (actually the it would've been a 3-peat, as the team won it next year after I'd graduated, which also stung a little bit) if I'd been picked to shoot first, second, or third.

Of course, I guess I could say the same thing if I'd kept my god**** head up.

And to top it off, my girlfriend and her friends even made signs. "Go #2," We love Big Vic," and such. Ouch. Just... ouch.
In my defense, though, I did have the GTG that got us to OT.

Not that it made losing that one any easier. There was no crying, but I was pretty close to it when they sunk us in the shootout. I remember just kind of slumping back on the bench and almost falling over backwards. There was just never a point where I actually thought we could lose until the last goal in the shootout. Once again, just... OUCH.

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