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  • Hunter Cresswell

Better skate than never

I thought I hit him in the nuts.

The puck came right to my tape, I was in the crease with no one in front of the net and my brain screamed, “Shoot!”

I let loose a wrister and my eyes followed the puck as it lifted off the ice and hit a stranger in the crotch. Shinny play on the Centre Wakefield La Pêche rink stopped. My hand covered my mouth as I croaked an embarrassed apology.

My friends skated up to me asking why I shot.

“What do you mean? We’re playing hockey,” I thought.

“You don’t shoot when someone is in front of the net,” my friend Phil said. “It’s an unspoken rule.”

It seemed so obvious, a total no-brainer. I skated up to the guy I hit as he shook off the hit by skating a lap and I apologized again. Luckily the shot only hit him on the upper left thigh and he was bruised but fine. Play continued. I didn’t shoot for the rest of that game.

The learning curve for outdoor hockey is more wild than the blade on Joe Sakic’s stick.

I’m 30 years old and I’m just now learning how to ice skate and play hockey. Before moving to the Gatineau Hills from California in fall 2018, I had only ice skated twice and played goalie in a roller hockey le