I’ve played hockey on and off since I was five – always a goalie. I've had some great moments over the years: being named best goalie in the league a couple times, being the starting goalie for a team that plowed its way through tournaments and finally winning its way to third best team in the province of Quebec in our age group (no small feat) and being celebrated by our small town upon our return.
This year, way WAY past my prime I had two huge moments. In January, some misguided soul decided I was good enough, and so I was asked by the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni to play in nets for a casual pick up game. It certainly wasn’t casual for me! These guys were the best in the world at their prime, and they still know how to blast a slap shot, and even though I'm trained to not fear the puck...I feared the puck!
But it was an honor and a huge thrill, and even better, I returned to play with them several times more and even went along with them to a dinner party with Nikki and rubbed shoulders with a bunch of old legends!
It is truly a glorious experience to have THE frontest row seats possible to watch sublime hockey skills and then to become part of it when they fire one of those wicked slap shots at my head. Its heaven on earth for me.
Then in Feb I was selected for the All-Star Game of the Chicago Outdoor Hockey League – a league I play in (I was the 2nd oldest player on the ice). That alone had me beaming, but then, the game was held at Soldier-freakin-Field!! Icing on the cake: we won 5-3
Chicago Outdoor Hockey League All-Star Game at Soldier Field
Playing in nets during a Chicago Blackhawks alumni pick-up game