The Big Game | Teen Ink

The Big Game

May 16, 2011
By Anonymous

Author's note: This story was written based on my old hockey team. We were the worst team in the league but somehow we pulled it all together and did what Dakota, Ciaran and Pat were able to accomplish.

I sat in the locker room attempting to put my shin guards on properly. I was so nervous my hands were shaking and I just couldn’t put them on right. Eventually I got them on and onto my chest protector. After 3 minutes of messing with all the straps I got stuck so I threw my hands in the air and groaned. “Why am I so nervous?”

It was probably the fact that it was my first championship game ever. It’s ok. I told myself. We are going to do fine. I have the best team and they defiantly know how to take care of me. I thought to reassure myself. My team was the worst team in the league up until 2 days ago when we beat the first place team for a spot in the playoffs.

I then retried to put on my chest protector. Once I got that on I quickly put on my jersey, tied my skates and headed out.

When I got to the bench outside the rink I was relieved to see that only one of the boys was out there. “Hey Dakota.” He said when I sat down next to him.

“Hey Nick. Why are you out here and not in the locker room with the rest of the guys?” I asked him.

“There is too much tension in the locker room. It’s so much more relaxed out here.” He said as he took him helmet off. He then started fixing his hair with his hands. Without his helmet, his face reflected that he was the youngest out of us, at the age of only 11. His height also showed it, as he was still shorter than me even with his blades on.

“Well it was probably pretty relaxed until I came out here.” I said.

“Don’t be nervous. Act like it’s just another game.” He said, trying to calm my nerves.

“But it’s not.”

“Yeah I know but you need to act like it is.” Nick said as Pat and Ciaran came out of the locker room.

“Yeah just another game with Jazz.” Pat said. Jazz was a girl who was an amazing hockey player. She could play in the NHL when she gets older. Making her team amazing and very intimidating.

“If you’re trying to intimidate her you’re failing. She loves playing Jazz.” Ciaran said.

“Yeah Jazz makes this game so much fun.” I said. Then I started to calm down a little bit.

“I know something else that makes this game a lot of fun for Kody.” Nick said and he moved his eyebrows up and down to mock me.

“You know if I could hold my stick right now I would smack you with it.” I said to him. He and Pat were the only 2 who knew I liked Ciaran. Pat was cool about it but to Nick it was about the only thing he could hold above me so he used it against me a lot.

“Oh I’m so scared!” Nick said.

“Leave her alone Nick.” Ciaran snapped at him.

“Thanks Ciaran.” I said to him. Some how I knew from the moment I met him he was pretty awesome.

“So what’s the strategy for today’s game?” Nick asked.

“I only know the line I’m on. Which is Nick, Mikey and Pat on offense. Then Sam and I on Defense and our line goes out when Jazz is out the rest of the time we get to chill.” Ciaran said.

“Cool that’s the best line ever we will totally dominate.” Nick said.

“I’ll be back.” Pat said.

“Me too.” Nick said and he followed Pat back to the locker room.

“Those two are crazy.” Ciaran said as I sat down next to him. “But they are a good crazy. They’ll help us win. Nick just needs to carry the puck.”

“No critiquing him.” I said to Ciaran.

“Why because he’s better then me?” He complained. “I’m just as good as him anyway.”

“You are a lot better then Nick and you’re also better then me. Why don’t you critique me?” I asked him. Last game; why not see if he likes me?

“Um I don’t want to critique you. I don’t bother looking at your flaws.” He said. That was when I started to let all my tension go away.

“Uh thanks. You are really good. And thanks for saving my butt throughout the whole season. I know the team appreciates you for that.” I said because I didn’t know what else to say.

“Sometimes I don’t save your butt for the team. Also I rarely need to help you any more.” Ciaran said.

“Why does Pat hate me?” I asked him.

“Pat doesn’t hate you he just thought you were trying to stab us in the back yesterday so he got defensive. No worries. He likes you. So, we are all friends here.” Ciaran said.

I went to say something then the rest of the team came out led by Pat. “I’m back.” He said.

“Yes Pat, because we couldn’t figure that out on our own.” I said. Pat then tried to make Ciaran move over so he could sit next to me. But when Ciaran refused to move he decided he would just sit on Ciaran instead. “Ok Pat, get off of Ciaran.”

“No.” Pat said as he sat there, arms crossed on top of Ciaran. Even though they were brothers they actually had a really good relationship, and I think they were just kidding around right now.

When our coach, came out he simply said. “I’m not even going to ask.”

“Yeah Pat won’t get up and move.” Nick said as he sat down next to me.

“Pat, get off your brother.” The coach said.

Pat then stood up and moved. “Thanks Nicki Minaj.” Pat said to Nick. We called Nick ‘Nicki Minaj’ because on his first day here he was singing one of her songs. So when he was being annoying we called him Nicki Minaj.

When the buzzer then went off I jumped a little to the left and almost jumped into Ciaran’s lap. “Ok everyone warm up.” Our coach said.

We all then headed out on the ice. I did a few warm up laps while Ciaran and Pat stretched. I never stretch but they always do so I usually just cruise until they are done. When they were done stretching and came up behind me, I spun around and started going backwards in front of them. I was going kind of fast so Pat said, “Don’t waste your energy. You’ll need as much of it as possible for Jazz.”

“Pat I know what I need to keep Jazz from scoring. I don’t need you telling me.” I snapped at him.

“Well someone is in a bad mood. Don’t snap at me again Dakota.” Pat said to me. I then spun around and started skating in between them.

“Sorry. I’m just really stressed. It won’t happen again.” I said.

“Ok everyone. Dakota and Ciaran’s line with only go out when Jazz is out, which is right now.” The coach said when we got to the bench. I then followed Ciaran and got in position to verse Jazz.

“Don’t worry you’ll do fine.” Ciaran said when he came over. “Plus I got your back. She isn’t scoring when we are out here.”

“Thanks I’ll remember that.” I said as I got into position.

The ref then blew the whistle and dropped the puck. Sure enough Jazz got it and was heading towards our goalie. I started going backwards. When she gained speed I started racing towards the goalie. Then Josh came up and pushed me really hard I went off balance and fell. Josh is one of the dirtiest players in the league and has been in the penalty box so many times. He then went on and checked Nick right as Jazz scored. The ref blew his whistle for the goal and I put my head on the ice and groaned.

Ciaran then came over and grabbed the back of my jersey. “Come on Kody.”

“I feel like such a loser I mean she scored in the first 30 seconds.” I said. I was still lying there.

“Oh it doesn’t matter, come on get up. You’ll fix it.” He said. I then let him help me up from the ice. He also got my stick and gave it back to me. “Alright let’s go. And don’t worry about Josh he’ll get what’s coming to him.”

We then got back into position and the ref dropped the puck again. Jazz got it again. This time though I tried a new strategy and went towards her. She faked left and went right. But I knew Jazz so I smacked her stick as hard as I could and surprisingly took it from her. I then passed it to Pat. He then passed it to Mikey who went on a break away. He then aimed and missed. Typical but whatever.

We then went back to the bench and I sat next to Ciaran. “Come on, you know it’s not fair that we are stuck needing to verse the best team in the league.” Pat said as he sat down next to Ciaran and me on the bench.

“We got ourselves into this. We can get ourselves out of it. We will win this game.” I said to them.

“Doesn’t look like it,” Pat said. Josh was racing up the ice and scored. James then started cursing and freaking. “James, Shut up it’s your fault any way.”

“It’s about time someone puts James in his place.” Ciaran said. “We practically rule this team, James thinks he does but he doesn’t.”

“Yeah you guys do a good job with that.” I said to them. We had about 30 seconds until we needed to go out again.

“Dakota, you’re part of it. We affect how this game goes and stuff like that. Well let’s go.” Ciaran said as he jumped the boards and out. I followed and went to defend our goalie. Jazz was out and breaking away again. Ciaran and I were also the only ones out there. Jazz was coming and it was up to us. I slapped Jazz’s stick when she was close enough and got the puck. I then passed it to Ciaran. We both then went up the ice in a breakaway. Jazz was fast and had passed us in no time. Ciaran took a shot and the goalie blocked it. I then got the puck and went around behind the net because Jazz was blocking me in front. Oh what the heck it won’t go in but might as well try. I thought as I circled around and went to put it in the net. Sure enough I hit it hard enough it went between the goalie and the post!

I then threw my hands in the air and the rest of the line hugged me and we all pounded knuckles.

They all backed away when Jazz came up to me. “Hey great goal.” She said and we pounded knuckles.

“Thanks Jazz.” I said to her.

“You’re welcome. Just watch your back.” She said and we got back into face off position. Mikey got it and was on a break away.

“Kody hang back. If Jazz gets it we need you back here. I need you back here.” Ciaran said. That was when I knew my focus was gone. I took one hand off my stick and looked over at him.

“Jazz, come here!” Jazz’s coach yelled to her. But she had the puck and simply ignored him. “Jazz pass the puck and get over here.”

She then passed the puck and it hit Nick’s skate and bounced back into the zone. The ref blew his whistle and the game paused. “Dakota and Ciaran you guys are off now.” Our coach said. “Ok guys that was a very good shift.”

“Thanks.” Ciaran and I said simultaneously. “That was and amazing goal you know.” Ciaran said once the coach walked away.

I didn’t know what to say so I just said “Thanks I didn’t expect it to go in I just figured it will give our guys time to get out if Jazz is trying to get it from all the way down there.”

“Smart. Josh is so mad that you scored. He hates you.”

“Yeah why is that? I never did anything to him except block his shots.”

“I have no idea but he is dirty so like Jazz said. Watch out.” He said. Then he started watching the game. Everyone just spent a lot of time passing and just skating back and forth. “We’re only down by one point I hope we can get it back.”

“We will. But most likely not in time to win.” I said.

“Don’t say that. We will get it hopefully.”

“Face it you know that’s not going to happen.”

“Don’t fight with me about it. I know it probably won’t but I’ll believe in us. Plus if I think it’s going to happen, I will play harder.” Ciaran said. We had only a few more seconds on the bench and I was ready.

“Fair enough. And I wasn’t fighting with you-” I started to say then I was cut off by the coach saying to get on the ice. I headed out and Ciaran and I hung back while Mikey was attempting to score.

“Miss number 1, miss number 2 and miss number. Oh wait that was a goal!” Ciaran said. Then the ref blew his whistle and we went to go pound knuckles with Mikey.

“Nice Mikey,” I said when he skated passed me.

“Thanks. I figured I might as well score once so the team can’t get mad at me.” Mikey said. We then lined up to do the next face off. Jazz got it again. I went backward and spun to stop her. I also tried to take it from her but this time it wasn’t enough. She took a slap shot and scored. “Well this sucks we are down by 1 again.”

“It’s the closest we’ve ever come to beating them so this is a start.” I said.

“Ugh. Kody stop being so positive.” Pat said.

“I told her to be positive. She’s just trying to help.” Ciaran said.

“Ok fine then Ciaran stop telling her what to do and Dakota stop doing what he says even though you love him.” Pat said.

“Pat!” I yelled at him.

“Wait what?” Ciaran said right when I finished but I was ignoring him.

“Kody! He already knows. We’re brothers, he finds out everything eventually.” Pat said.

“Pat but you still shouldn’t have told him!” I yelled back at him.

“Wait guys what did you say?” Ciaran butted in.

“All I did was just repeat that she liked you. You already knew though, so it doesn’t matter.” Pat said. At this point I was furious and I didn’t even think I could finish the game because I was so mad but I kept that to myself.

“No I didn’t know. Wait I’m so confused. Dakota likes me?” Ciaran asked again.

“Yes stupid I told you that remember?” Pat said. Then Ciaran shook his head ‘no’. “Oh ok then. Well know you know.” Then the ref blew his whistle and Jazz came out to get ready to play.

“Pat!” I yelled at him, much louder this time.

Instead of him replying Jazz came over and said “Pat, leave my friend alone.”

“Wait you guys are friends?” He asked.

“Yeah we hang out almost every weekend but we are competitive enough to verse each other without helping each other. Oh yeah Dakota I forgot to tell you. I’m going to crush you.” Jazz said as a joke.

“No we are going to crush you!” I said back as a joke.

“Yup, we will stay friends no matter who wins.” Jazz said. And then I relaxed a little because she still had my back. “So is the best defensive pair too scared to keep blocking my shots?”

“Nope, we are never scared.” Ciaran said. Then he jumped out and said “Come on Kody we can finish the conversation later. Preferably after we kick her butt.”

Well, at least he’s able to look passed it. I thought to myself and it was good. There then was a face off and this time Josh got it. Let’s finish this. It was time to end this, I hated him and he hated me. It’s about time someone won. And I knew that someone would be me.

I then went towards him and took the puck. When I did I raced along the boards and dodged everyone, including Jazz. Then Josh came up and was matching my speed until he was right next to me. When he was I knew what he would do next. But I didn’t have enough time to figure out what to do.

It happened so fast. He went to check me. Stepped toward me then stepped on the back of my skate, this was his famous move, step on the back of someone’s skate then check them. He had his foot on the back top of my skate and checked me. It hurt pretty badly for my left shoulders and my head but nothing prepared me for when he slipped. Josh slipped and hit me harder then I knew he meant to. But when he slipped his skate that was on top of mine slipped too. And his blade went right down into my skate. I fell, hit my head on the ice, I felt one pain on my ankle, where I had no socks or padding and then blacked out.

I regained consciousness probably two minutes later only to find Jazz, Ciaran and Pat looking down at me. Jazz was sitting next to my left shoulder. Ciaran was right of my face and Pat was just sitting there. “Hey, you took a pretty hard fall there, dude.” I couldn’t exactly focus on who was moving or anything. I was dizzy and my eyes wouldn’t focus properly. I could only guess from the voice and the fact that they called me ‘dude’ that it was Jazz.

I went to sit up and moved my ankle but pain shot through me and I couldn’t move more then up onto my elbows to look down. “How long was I out?”

“Um about a minute.” Ciaran said. My eyes had finally come into focus. That was when I realized a few new things. Pat had a slightly bloody nose, Ciaran wasn’t wearing his helmet or gloves and Jazz looked like she was ready to go back to playing.

“Wow. My ankle hurts really badly.” I said and I sat up some more.

“Why he barely hit your ankle? From what we saw he just kicked it.” Pat said.

“No his blade slipped into my skate and it kills.” I said. I then dropped my glove and leaned forward to investigate my ankle. When I put my hand where it hurt and I thought Josh’s skate when my fingers immediately became warm and wet. When I took my hand out of my skate I had some blood on my fingers. “Told you.”

“How badly cut is it?” Jazz asked as she looked at my left leg.

“I don’t know I’ll take my skate off on the bench and check the damage.” I said and I started to get up I could barely put weight on my left leg. I think Ciaran noticed too because he came over and started to help me back to the bench. “Thanks Ciaran.” I said to him.

“No problem Kody. So do you actually like me?” Ciaran asked me. I was going really slowly and I couldn’t put weight onto my left leg so I was like leaning on him.

“I don’t know. Why do you care?” I asked. “Most guys find out I like them then they pull all sorts of bad tricks on me. So I don’t usually tell people if I like them.”

“Well I wouldn’t do that because I like you. Not sure if that’s as more of a friend yet but I really like having you around.” Ciaran said and he helped me onto the bench.

At this point everyone was clapping for me for getting up and going back to the bench. I got in then I sat down and Ciaran sat down next to me and started helping me get my helmet off. “Thanks Ciaran.”

“Like I said before no problem. You think you’ll be able to finish the game?”

“No, sorry.” I said. I then opened up the cage of my helmet because it isn’t safe to take off my full helmet. “What happened to your brother’s nose?”

“He punched Josh, then Josh punched him.” Ciaran said.

“Why did he punch Josh?”

“Because we are a tag team. You got hurt Pat went after him and punched him then Josh punched him back. Simple as that. Even if you aren’t that big of a fan of Pat, he defends you.” Ciaran said. Then I decided to drop the conversation and started untying my skate. At this point my friends were back to playing. The other defense was out and playing Jazz. I knew they weren’t good enough to take the puck the way Ciaran and I could, but I wasn’t able to play right now so I couldn’t help our team.

My hands were shaky and it was hard to get the knot undone. I did it eventually though. By the time I got the knot undone Ciaran had gotten up and was talking to the coach.

When I took my skate off there was a slanted cut on my ankle. It was sort of deep but it wouldn’t need stitches or anything. “How bad is it?” Our coach asked Ciaran.

“I don’t know. She’s getting her skate off.” Ciaran snapped back.

“Um it’s not very bad. The only issue is it rubs on the back of my skate and hurts. It would be fine if it didn’t rub.” I said.

“Oh yeah. That is a nothing slice. You’re lucky that could have been a lot worse. I think I might have a Band-Aid that can fit that. Just let me check the emergency kit.” Our coach said, and then he walked away to check the emergency kit. Ciaran then came back and sat next to me again.

“Well you got lucky.” He said.

“Well I think I’m going to play with James and you’ll play with Jon for the rest of the game.” I said.


“Because then you’ll verse Jazz and keep her from scoring. I’ll be going really slowly now, so it will take a lot more effort from you. Keeping Jazz from scoring and fixing my mistakes. It’ll be too much stress on you.” I said. I honestly don’t want to play with James but it would be easier on him and that’s what matters.

“But I don’t want to play with Jon.” He said. Come on like this isn’t all ready hard enough. I worked the whole season to get this spot next to you on this line. Now I’m giving it up. It’s hard enough to do that, I don’t want to have to convince you too! I wanted to scream at him but I didn’t, I would let him figure this out. “You’re on my line. Not James’ line or Jon’s line. I know that you worked for this spot and you deserve it and I can keep this game going trust me. I’ve played as the only defenseman before. So no worries.”

“Ok I got it but if I mess you up I’m switching the lines.” I said, right as the horn sounded for Jazz’s second goal. Now we were loosing 4 to 2.

“Ciaran get on the ice. You are substituting with Jon just for now. And here Dakota put this on and see if you can skate.” Mr. Perla said handing me the Band-Aid. Ciaran then gave the coach a dirty look and the coach said, “Ok fine you can wait for her.” I then stuck the Band-Aid on as fast as I could. It was the perfect size. Then I started putting my skate back on. I tied it as tight as I could. “Dakota and Ciaran jump out now. I want to make sure Dakota can skate before we put her against Jazz.”

Ciaran and I then both got off the bench and started to play. My ankle was hurting so badly. But I gritted my teeth to hold back against the pain. I then stopped next to Ciaran and heard him whisper. “I got your back.” We then stood on the blue line waiting for the puck.

That was when Brian switched with Jazz. But instead of attacking the puck Jazz, skated up on the other side of me and said. “Hey you ok?”

“Yeah it’s all good. Go get the puck you’ve got a game to win.” I told her. Even though I knew I would regret it.

“I just wanted to make sure you were alright. Take it easy.” Jazz said. Then she got into position next to Ciaran and me almost as if she was doing the same thing we were, waiting. Then Josh got the puck and started skating towards our net. He went right passed us, but instead of racing up like Ciaran and I, Jazz hung back.

“Thanks Jazz, you’re the best friend I could ever ask for.” I told myself. Acting like she could hear. That was when my mind snapped back into the game. I took off as fast as my injured ankle would let me and started chasing Josh. When I almost caught him Ciaran went right in front of him. This caused him to turn and gave me enough time to lift his stick and pass it to Mikey.

“Are you kidding me? I injured you so you couldn’t beat me. But you come back, take my puck and expect it to work. Well it won’t work.” Josh said. Then he spun around and went to get the puck from Mikey. Jazz went with him too. Both kept trying to take it but Mikey was good enough to avoid them. Mikey then got near the net and took a shot. The goalie blocked it and only seconds later, Ciaran came flying up stopped and hit the puck. It then went in the net and we all celebrated.

When we went by the bench our coach asked. “Dakota how’s your ankle?”

“It kills but its ok I can keep playing.” I said then I skated off and got into the face off before our coach could tell me to get on the bench. When I looked back at the clock I realized we only had 30 seconds left in the second period. Only one more period to win this.

In the face off Pat won and passed it to Nick. He then went behind our net and just played with the puck because he was going to let the clock time run out. But Chris, number 50 on Jazz’s team, wasn’t all with that idea. He went and took the puck from Nick then just slipped it passed our goalie before Ciaran and I could realize he had it. We had exactly 7 seconds left in the period when he scored so we all just screamed at Nick. “Nick we are down by 2 again!” I yelled at him.

“Shut up Kody! You would have done the same thing.” Nick yelled back at me.

“Nick leave her alone.” Ciaran then snapped at him.

We then did the face off for the last 7 seconds. Jazz came up to me before I could get on the bench and said “Are you positive you’re ok?”

“Yeah I’m fine Jazz no worries.” I said, even though my ankle was killing me.

“Ok I won’t worry any more.” Jazz said then she went back to her bench.

“Kody, you are sitting the next shift. Can your ankle handle all this playing?” Our coach asked.

“Yeah yeah, it’s all good.” I said as I walked onto the bench. Once I was there I sat down next to Ciaran.

“So why do you care if I know that you like me? I won’t pull tricks on you.” Ciaran said.

“Ciaran can we please just drop this?” I asked.

“No, because I’m still curious. But I can drop that question. What if I said I liked you?”

“I don’t know. Do you?” I asked.

“I’ll tell you at the end of the game.” He said.

When the third period started I was so stressed because I wanted to know Ciaran’s answer and I wanted to win. When the last period started Andrew won the puck and started racing towards the net. He then scored. We all started cheering for him, because he showed us we still had a chance.

At the next face off he won it again and did the exact same thing. We had tied it up! So the team was going nuts.

Jazz came out to play for her team so Ciaran and I went out onto the ice. We still had 15 minutes left in the period so anything could happen. Jazz got the puck but Ciaran and I fought back to take it from her. “Kody!” Ciaran yelled then tiled his head towards the Notre Dame bench. I knew that that meant. So I positioned myself next to the Notre Dame bench and got ready for the pass. When he passed it, it went right under Jazz’s stick and to me. I then passed it to Nick. That was another good thing about Ciaran; I could read almost all his body language.

When Nick started going towards the Notre Dame net, Ciaran just looked at me and nodded. I knew this meant good job. When Nick shot it the goalie froze it and Jazz got off the ice. I then followed Ciaran off and sat on the bench next to him. “Good job, Kody. You picked up what I was saying almost immediately.”

“Thanks. I was just guessing.” I said.

“Well it was a good guess. How’s your ankle?” He asked.

“It hurts a lot but that doesn’t matter. I can deal.” I said.

“Well that stinks. You sure you’re ok, because we can sit the rest of the game if you want?” Ciaran said. “I wouldn’t mind.”


“Yeah. We are a team. You sit I sit. I really don’t mind what we do though, your choice.”

“Well I’ll keep playing for as long as I can.” I said.

“Ok just don’t injure yourself trying.”

“Too late for that Ciaran.” I said. Then he looked down at my ankle. He then looked up at my face and was reading my expression.

“Well, don’t injure yourself anymore.” He then went to take a drink of his water bottle. “Want some?” He asked as he held the water bottle out in front of me.

“No thanks.”

“You never drink when you’re on the bench. It’s weird, I couldn’t live without my water bottle.” Ciaran said as he put the bottle back.

“Well if I drink then go to play my stomach hurts so I’d rather not.”

“Go guys go! Don’t let her win on the breakaway.” Our coach said.

Right as he said it I jumped out over the boards. Pat was already out and attempting to get it from her. Then he lost his edge and fell. Ciaran then raced after Jazz. He lifted her stick then Mikey passed it to me. I then passed it to Nick and he passed it out of the zone. Even though one of the Notre Dame players got it, they couldn’t try to score until Jazz was out of the zone. She took, her time getting out of the zone. Then Chris passed it to Jazz and she took a shot on goal that surprisingly went in.

“Aw come on. You two are the worst defensemen in the league!” James yelled at us. Ciaran just let it go, so I did the same.

When I looked at the clock the next time I saw that we only had 2 minutes in the game. “Dakota and Ciaran stay out there and finish the game!” Our coach yelled at us.

We then did the face off and Pat got it. Jazz then took it and started racing back towards our net. Ciaran and I took it but then we needed to wait for our team to get out of the zone. Chris wasn’t in the mood to wait so he took the puck from Ciaran and went back towards our net. When I looked up I saw we only had 40 seconds left in the game. We then stole it from him and passed it to Pat. Pat then raced towards the Notre Dame net. He shot and scored. It was a tie!

All of us hadn’t even noticed the Pat wiped out and didn’t get back up. Ciaran was the fist to notice and I followed him to where Pat was. Pat was lying on his stomach and he was barely moving. His only movement was his breathing. “Pat how’d this happen?” I asked him even though I knew he most likely wouldn’t respond.

“You saw him Dakota. He was flying, probably didn’t stop in time and hit the boards.” Ciaran said as he sat down next to his brother.

“I’ve hit the boards before.” I said to him.

“I know you didn’t hit them as hard as he just did. It’s like a shock that just jolts through you.” Ciaran said. That was when Pat made a noise. It sounded like a sob and he started crying. “Come on Pat we’ve got a game to win and we can’t do it without you.”

“Come on Pat please get up. We need you. I’m sorry about all the goals I let in and all the nasty things I yelled at you yesterday about how we didn’t need you. I now realize that we do need you. I’m sorry.” I said. At this point I was almost crying too because I felt bad for Pat, it takes a lot to make someone as strong as him cry and I also knew without him we were dead.

“Don’t be sorry Kody, some of those goals were hard to defend against and no worries I shouldn’t have been involved in the fight yesterday.” Pat said as he rolled over onto his back. When he was face up you could see how much of a mess he really was. His face was pale with splotches of red, which were probably from crying. He also had fresh tears that were running down his face. I then started to cry because I hate seeing other people cry especially when they are one of my closest friends. When I started to cry Pat said, “Don’t cry for me. I’m fine. I just got the wind knocked out of me. Now help me up both of you.” He said. Then Ciaran and I helped him up. As soon as he was on his feet he shuffled left and hugged me and said, “I’m fine Dakota there is nothing to worry about. I’m fine, Ciaran’s fine and you’re fine. Let’s win the game”

I then let him go and he skated up the side to talk to the coach. “You like my bro too?” Ciaran asked.

“No but I want to stay friends with you guys and I felt really bad.” I said.

“You sure?” Ciaran asked as I bent over and picked up Pat’s stick.

“Yeah I don’t like him. I just felt really bad, and stuff like that. And I was so nasty to him yesterday, because I thought he started that whole fight.” I said and I skated over with Ciaran.

“Hey dude Kody thought you started the fight yesterday.” Ciaran said to Pat and they both started laughing.

After Pat finally stopped laughing he said. “No I was trying to defend you yesterday, with Ciaran and Mikey. I wouldn’t start that. Andrew started it.” Pat then made Ciaran stop laughing.

“Wait Andrew? Seriously?” I asked.

“Yeah. He felt threatened by something you wrote so he tried to get the team upset at you. It was supposed to be a joke.” Pat said.

“The whole team wanted to kill me yesterday! That was the worst joke ever!” I said.

“I found it pretty amusing.” Andrew said as he skated up behind me.

“Well I didn’t.” I said. Even though he was 6 inches taller than me I was still trying to size up to him.

“I did and that’s all that matters.” Andrew said as he stood over me.

“You know, you aren’t the most important person on this team. Without all of us at our top we don’t win.” I said.

“Well there is one of us that we don’t need and that’s you. We could win this game with out you. You are practically worthless.” Andrew said.

Then Ciaran spun around and slammed into him. Andrew then fell on his butt and looked up at Ciaran and me. “Dude what was that for?”

“She’s very useful. We love having her on this team, my bro, Mikey, Nicki Minaj, James, Jon, Jack, Scotty and Me. Before I came here your team couldn’t win a single game. I show up and this team is amazing. Back off of her because you would be nothing without her.” Ciaran said.

“Fine, I’ll back off but you’ve still got to remember who the traitor is.” Andrew said and he winked at me. I felt a chill go down my spine because he was talking about yesterday but I had to let it go.

Andrew then skated away and Ciaran skated up next to me. “You serious about all that?” I asked when Andrew was nowhere nearby.

“Yeah I am serious. We need you. Whether or not you believe that is your choice. Now come on let’s go finish this game.” Ciaran said and we went to line up for the next face off. Pat was lined up with us, which means he must be ok. We only had 57 seconds left in the third period. The puck went into play and both teams went nuts. Pat got the puck, then Josh got it, Nick took it then passed to Mikey and the last play before the horn was Jazz taking it from Mikey.

When the horn blew Ciaran, Pat and I all slammed our sticks on the ice as hard as we could. None of the sticks broke but they all made a really loud noise. We then went over to the bench. “Ok guys you can’t fall apart now. You guys are all amazing players and you deserve this more then them, we were the worst team in the league let’s come back and take the first so we will be worst to first.” My coach said to try to motivate us.

“Yeah guys how awesome would it be to get off the ice and run around screaming ‘Worst to First!’ at the top of our lungs. We deserve it more than them and it’s our prize to win.” Pat said trying to add to it.

“Very well put Pat. We need this. Just try your hardest to score. Anyone! Just keep the puck out of the zone and score.”

“Yeah guys let’s make them regret showing up today!” I said.

“Exactly! Make them wish they stayed home.” Pat said and he gave me a high five.

“Oh by the way Pat and Dakota I need to talk to you.” Our coach said and he led us over to where the team couldn’t hear us talking. “Are you guys ok to play? Because I want to put, Dakota, Pat, Ciaran and Alec out to play all the overtime.”

“Yeah I can defiantly keep going.” Pat said.

“Same here. I can handle it.”

“Ok so you know the lines. Get out there and win that game!” Our coach said.

We then pounded knuckles then went to line up. Ciaran was already lined up with Alec. And we were ready to go. The other lineup was Jazz, Josh, Chris and Brian, their 4 best players. When I was about to line up Jazz came over hugged me and said “Best Friends. No matter what happens, right?”

“Yeah dude no worries. Best Friends, no matter what.” I said.

“Ok good. Good luck. You’ll do great.” She said.

Then she pounded my knuckles before I could wish her luck. That was when I noticed my whole team staring. They probably think I was strategizing. “What? She’s my best friend, she can wish me luck.” Most of them then relaxed but a few were still suspicious. I looked at Ciaran for help but he just gave me an approving smile. Alec rolled his eyes and Pat gave him a shove.

The ref then blew his whistle to start the overtime. Overtime was only 5 minutes then we would drop it down to 3 on 3. Ciaran and I were playing defense and there was no stopping us. When Jazz shot the puck into our zone, so they could attack us for it, I took the puck and carried it back up to their zone. Once it was there I whacked towards the net. Alec got it and started firing shots at the goalie. None of the shots were able to get passed the goalie but we still kept firing. “Hey Kody! Hang back!” Ciaran yelled when he jumped up to offense to try to help them score. I hung back and did exactly what he said. I kept the puck in the zone and wouldn’t let them pass me.

When the horn blasted behind me I jumped forward and hit into Josh who gave me a hard shove backwards. I was getting ready to punch him when Ciaran came over and said. “No don’t. It’s not worth it.” I looked back at Ciaran and his brother then slowly skated backwards over to them.

“Sorry but he just makes me so mad.” I said and I slammed my stick on the ice.

“No problem. Just save it for in the game. Get back at him by kicking his butt.” Pat said and he gave me a playful shove. I shoved him back just for the fun of it but he barely moved.

“So I’m guessing I won’t be playing now?” I asked them.

When I asked the question Ciaran looked shocked and Pat just shook his head like he was upset. “What type of stupid question is that? Of course you’re going to play. The coach isn’t allowed to split the three of us up. It’s on his paper.” Ciaran said.

“Ok you guys go line up again.” The coach said.

I then started to realize how truly important I was to them but it wasn’t until the both took the wings and Pat nodded at me to take the center, did I realize how important I really was.

I took the center spot against Chris and I was pumped up and ready to go. When the ref dropped the puck I took it and passed it to Pat. We then went back into their zone. Pat passed it to me and I passed it to Ciaran. Ciaran then took a slapshot and scored. We all threw our sticks and hugged Ciaran. Even the kids who were on the bench busted out and attacked him. “I just scored the winning goal!” Ciaran yelled as he jumped up to show how excited he was.

We all lined up then to pound knuckles with the Notre Dame team. They all pounded my knuckles and when we were done all the guys went and jumped on top of the goalie. I didn’t do this because I thought it would be weird. When Ciaran stood up and came over I knew what he going to do. “Come on you should celebrate too.” He said and he gave me a push towards the pile that was still celebrating.

“No I think that would be weird.” I said and I backed up into him.

“Well then we can do this the hard way.” He said as he backed away from me by only a few feet. He then skated forward and tackled me into the pile. I then started celebrating with them and it turned out to be a ton of fun.

When the ref blew his whistle we knew it was medal time. We all stood up and each team lined up on the blue lines. It was time for us to get our medals. I lined up next to Ciaran and Mikey. We all took our helmets and gloves off which just showed how much of sweaty messes we really were. I was ready this was the moment I had been waiting for. They went through the Notre Dame names first and when they said Jazz’s name we all cheered for her.

They finally moved on to the Michigan team. When they got to my name I was almost unprepared. I skated up and all that was passing through my mind was. I’m defiantly going to like lose my edge and fall on my butt in front of everyone. But I didn’t. AT gave me my medal and I skated back next to Ciaran, and Pat gave me a thumbs up.

After they were done giving out medals Pat skated over and hugged me before I could get any of my stuff back. “Hey it’s my turn to give her some love.” Ciaran said. Pat then backed off and Ciaran came over and hugged me. While he was hugging me he lifted me up and spun around a bit.

When he stopped spinning me and put me back down I backed up just a little bit. “So what’s the answer to my question?” I asked. He still hadn’t let me go completely.

“Um, I hope this is the answer you’re looking for.” He said as he leaned forward and kissed me. He only kissed for only like 5 seconds but it was better than nothing. It took a few minutes after for us to talk again.

“Yeah that was a really good answer.” I said. He still had his hands on my hips and I didn’t back out. He smiled when I looked at his face. He still had sweat rolling down the side of his face and he was breathing heavy. I wonder if I look the same. I thought. I went to look and see if I was sweating by turning around and looked at my reflection in the glass but his eyes were still locked on mine and I refused to break it. It didn’t matter what I looked like anyway.

When he broke I turned around and looked in the glass. I had sweat rolling down my face and my hair was an absolute mess but I couldn’t change it now. “I thought you might like that answer.” He said and I nodded. “I think Pat is shocked that I did that.” He said and he nodded towards Pat. Pat’s mouth we wide open and he was staring at us. “Want to mess with him?”

“Defiantly.” I said and we skated over and hugged him.

“Dude did you really just do that?” he asked Ciaran once we let him go.

“Yeah I did.” Ciaran said.

“Wow I never expected that especially from you.” Pat said and he looked over at me. “And you didn’t run away screaming?”

“Why would I do that?” I asked. Even though he was sweating I wasn’t grossed out because we were both like that.

“I don’t know. It was just a question. Good job bro.” He said then we cleaned up our stuff so we could head back to the locker room.

When I walked in Jazz ran up to me and asked “Dude did Ciaran kiss you?”

“Yeah man. How awesome is that?” I said.

“That’s amazing! you guys played a great game today.” She said and we pounded knuckles. Then I started to get undressed to go home and celebrate.

“That was the best championship game ever.” I yelled and that was the end of our championship game.

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