Mar 08


It was a chilly Sunday morning, the cold brisk of winter still lingering. Spring hopefully just around the corner.

I hear a reluctant click of my doorknob as my mom peeks her head around the doors edges. “Time to get up Tessaroo,” she says. “Oooookkk,” I grumble back, only loud enough to let her know that I am indeed, awake. “Better get going!” She replies with a little too much cheer for this early in the morning. “We’re getting in the car in half an hour.”

With that, I know it’s time to get up and motivate.
After I’ve thrown on a pair of my favorite black leggings and a long sleeve athletic shirt, I slump towards the bathroom. There’s no time for showering, so I turn on the faucet and let the cool water run over my scalp and face. Now I’m a little more awake, but barely. I even look a little more presentable, not that that matters for a hockey game. With a little more bounce in my step, but butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I head downstairs to the main floor. There’s no time for breakfast at home, but we’ll get some Dunkin Donuts on the road to Rutland. I hope they have chocolate milk, (they don’t).

Time to drive! In the car, I make myself comfortable and plug my earbuds into my ears. Listening to music helps me relax before a big game. As I listen, I stare at the bare snowy trees whizzing by. Soon enough, I’m in a spaced out daze-drowning out all sounds except for the ones beating in my ears. Still, the anxious butterflies remain.
Finally, after an hour and forty minutes of driving, we arrive at the Spartan Arena.

I’ve been to this rink quite a few times in my hockey career. It more or less looks the same. Same green colored theme, same mediocre snack bar. Everything you’d see and expect at a hockey rink. Looks like I’m the first one here, so I throw my bag to the side and settle in to watch the current game. I stare through the marked up glass trying to decipher who’s winning, and focus on shaking away the butterflies.
In past years, Rutland has almost always been in the running for making it to the championships-but not this year. They don’t have a team, it’s just Essex, St. Albans, and us-the CSB Whitecaps, battling it out for gold. We haven’t lost to these teams ALL season, and we don’t plan on losing to them now when it counts. A few weeks ago, we won our game against Essex, who then lost to St. Albans shortly afterwards. This put us both through to the championship game. SAHA has been our closer competition all year. We crushed them in the beginning, but they soon began gaining on us. We tied them once, it was awful, and since then we’ve only been winning by a few goals. And believe me, they really, really, want to beat us. It’s now or never.
Although the energy is high in the locker room, it’s like I can see the butterflies swirling around all our heads. The sudden spacing out-symbolizing us imagining a devastating loss. I’m seated next to Samara and Vittoria, (V for short). “Come on Tess, let's get ‘em,” Samara says to me as she pulls on her sock. I nod, too trapped in my own thoughts to respond.

I take a minute to glance around the locker room at all my teammates. Some of us have been on the same team for years, others only every once and awhile, and for a few this is our first year playing together. Still, we’ve really come together-they’re some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Next year, I’ll stay with some, but mostly we’ll all be separated.

I look at Samara-my trusty right winger. She’s speedy and tenacious. I can always count on her to be smart with the puck. I look at Riley-my stick handling pro of a left winger. While small, she still finds a way to deke around everyone and make quality passes. I look at V-the other center. A beautiful skater, so fast that she can back check and catch anyone. I look at Gussie-V’s right winger. She makes the most perfect cross ice passes. I look at Karina-V’s left winger. Former defenseman so she’s quick and smart. A brilliant angler. I look at Gabby- a winger who got a concussion early in the season and hasn’t really played. She’ll hopefully play a few shifts today. I look at Sasha-a defenseman I’ve known for a long time. So tough, and fast when she wants to be-the best at blocking shots. I look at her D partner-Georgia. She has a great shot from the point, and always makes smart plays. Now, I look at the other D line-Grace and Nora. Grace, an incredible skater and has great moves. Nora, a feisty defenseman who never gives up. Finally, I look at Lily-our backup goalie. She’s been preparing for this one game with us for months. She’s nervous, but I know she’s ready. We are a great team who deserves to win. We deserve to be the champs.
A few minutes later, one of our pump up songs comes on. The lyrics leave our mouths in perfect time-we know every word. V gets up to her usual energy level, singing the loudest and dancing around. Riley stomps around in her skates, using her stick as a microphone.

I feel the mood lighten, and as we step onto the newly zambonied ice, I feel the butterflies fly away.

About the Author: tessE14
Tess Everett
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