Portrait of A Hockey Player

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Portrait of A Hockey Player

The year is 1992.

I am ten years old. I am with my brother, Stephen, and my Uncle Seamus. We are in my uncle’s BMW on our way up to his winter home in Pennsylvania. It is around ten o’clock at night and we are starving. We decide to stop at a small restaurant on the corner of this dark road.

This stop changes my life.

During our meal my uncle mentions he knows Mike Richter. Mike is the goalie for the New York Rangers, a great professional hockey team. I’ve always liked hockey, but I never thought about playing it. I know now is the time to start, considering I have an advantage over other kids. I can meet Mike Richter from time to time and ask him questions. For the rest of our trip all I can think about is starting to play hockey.

The year is 1991.

Before I began playing hockey, I was the shyest person in my fifth grade class. I was always the one in the corner playing by myself. I had no friends, and more significantly, I had no confidence. Every year before I started playing hockey I was a terrible student. I never got higher than a C in school. The only things I looked forward to were playing video games and hanging out with my Uncle Seamus. I always had a great time with him.

I finally get home from Pennsylvania, and I call the only person I know who plays hockey, my best friend Kenny. For the first time I tell him that I want to play hockey. From then on I play hockey every day after school. Until I can afford real goalie pads, I use a pair of couch cushions. I really start to get good.

It also gives me the one thing I lack, confidence. In school, I start making friends, and we put a hockey team together. We start playing every day in a vacant parking lot up the block. I really know I am capable of being a good goalie.

The year is 1994.

I have decided to move from playing hockey in the streets to playing hockey on the ice.

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