Sunday, March 23, 2014

HOME GAME

There was a home game in front of the same fans that support the local team Mekkar was a defenseman of. The opponent that night was the mighty and experienced USSR National hockey squad. Yes, that one that had been victorious against international teams from all around the globe. It was also the same group that had a high winning percentage versus professional teams from top leagues everywhere. The Soviets delivering the goods on a consistent basis in international tournaments too! Many considered Mekkar’s opponents on this night as the best squad in the world, including the National Hockey League.

At first, Mekkar thought it was a prank setup by some of his teammates and didn’t believe it. Soon enough, he found out the game was on and the true foe was confirmed. The teen from the Arctic made a crack to a media acquaintance of his, “Maybe we are just a warm up until their next match versus a top notch adversary.” The Stars team Mekkar was playing for during this time was young in comparison. A scant number of members on his squad had not even participated in any matches outside of the country yet. However, the home side was still a quality minor league equivalent professional team with a winning record.

Mekkar was still not awed by the Soviets as many in the building and most of his team were. He had encountered wild animals in their habitat, so to him no person could ever intimidate him. Even though Mekkar was quite aware that his team was greatly overmatched, he always strived for victory each time. Still, it would take a massive effort for his club to defeat their rival on this evening. Mekkar expected a monumental upset to occur.

When the game began the Russians jumped on the Stars early and often. It was quickly become a rout. At least, Mekkar salvaged a little local pride by scoring the only two goals for his team during the first two periods. One of the defenseman, on Mekkar’s side, had previously faced off against powerful squads in the Soviet Union and had experienced this same result. Mekkar was not amused and by the third period, he turned physically vicious and continued to hit everyone on the other side. He crossed the line himself in regard to the rule book, but it didn’t matter to him at this point. He told a friend afterward, “I was returning the favor for the nasty stickwork and uncalled cheap shots that were not penalized. You know me; I will not tolerate that under any circumstances.”   

The Stars coaching staff was not happy with the team’s on-ice performance because the Soviets crushed them 10-2. They also told Mekkar flatly, “It is not your job to pot goals and be that deep into the offensive zone. That is, so close to the opposition net. Your main task is to prevent scoring by the other squad against us. Look at the scoreboard, they tallied ten.” Mekkar snapped back, “Those guys did not score any goals versus our team while I was on the ice. I was a plus two in the plus/minus rating for the match. Exactly, what is the problem?” This response by the insolent youngster infuriated the team coaches and administrators that were present and embarrassed. They were indignant with Mekkar’s remarks considering the fact the Stars simply got their rear ends whipped.

Team management responded forcefully before Mekkar left the bench area by telling him that he was suspended a game for each goal he had scored that evening. Thus, the suspension was for the duration of two matches that he would miss as a result. Mekkar was ticked off after hearing these words and shouted at the club officials. Anyone who was close enough could hear his response of, “Screw You!” He proceeded to the dressing room and rapidly changed out of his gear. Next, the young hothead avoided everyone, including any reporters, and left the arena in a foul mood.

Mekkar interpreted the situation and overreaction by the club as being extremely unreasonable. The Arctic Warrior felt that he had performed very well against a high quality opponent for the first part of the match. He also saw his ferocity in the last portion as a type of exhibition in civic pride. Mekkar refused to return to represent that Stars team in any more games remaining on their schedule for that particular campaign. He stated that he might consider coming back, in the future, if those in charge and the coaching staff were replaced. Therefore, Mekkar went back to play for his regular regional squad. He felt they better appreciated for his all around contributions while continuing to pile up victories because Mekkar loved winning more than anything else.