Sunday, July 31, 2016

WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR - SAN DIEGO (K)

Continued from WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR –
SAN DIEGO (PART J) in July, 2016.

He had the impression that the trend further helped and molded the blending process of individual player’s talents, teams, playing styles, preparation, and more, as Mekkar referred to it. Now, all of the big boys (NHL) play the game and follow suit in this ground breaking path along with other sports, like basketball, etc. that was began in great measure by the WHA. Perhaps Mekkar thought, unlike many other people, that he caught a glimpse of a future big picture way ahead of time in some respects. Well, it is important to note that the teenager was partially named after the shaman who helped deliver him at a precarious birth, after all. Could this be a factor? Did Mekkar have any special insight abilities that were not developed yet? Only time would tell. [Playing Hockey The World Over … wha.htm; whahockey.com]

Lasse’s best friend, Mekkar, became more excited and antsy as game time approached. He usually got revved up prior to the start of a match similar to a boxer warming up in his dressing room before arriving at ringside in tow with their entourage. Despite the certainty that Mekkar’s recent injuries would significantly cut down his playing time didn’t matter in this regard. Added to the fact he would get to face off against one of favorite hockey players Andre “The Magician” Lacroix. Mekkar’s eyes would be peeled on Lacroix’s number seven jersey. The number seven is also worn by the icon in the team logo. Mekkar didn’t believe this was a coincidence but intentional to honor the superstar of the home team. The youngster thought that Lacroix was so smooth, fluid, and made the game look so effortlessly on the ice. Mekkar also disagreed with one of Andre’s previous team’s coaches that knocked on Lacroix’s lack of skating ability. The arctic warrior esteemed his Mariner rival’s on ice movement as elusive and plus he could stickhandle in a phone booth to set up goals. [whahof.com]

Statistically Lacroix and Mekkar were fairly similar in size, yet they had different physical builds. Mekkar was stockier and one could hear the crunch of the razor sharp skate cutting into the surface as a result of a powerful stride that took a bit to get going to get to full speed. While The Magician or Magic Man as Andre was also referred to, seemed to float over the ice in comparison with a wick, wick sound of his skates in flight always looking to make a play. Lacroix, in Mekkar’s mind, resembled as if he knew where everyone was on the ice at all times. It also appeared that Andre consistently found the open man with a tape-to-tape pass. Lacroix had many capabilities that Mekkar lacked in his own skill set and thus the reason why San Diego’s number seven was one of his favorites. Mekkar admired strengths and talents in areas that were weaknesses in his game and used that to improve in those abilities. Alf commented that Andre had qualities that were totally different and even the complete opposite from his older sibling. This was very evident on the frozen pond too. Lacroix wasn’t called The Magician when he had the puck on his stick for no reason!

The match began but Mekkar was not in the starting lineup as he hoped. The adrenaline was pumping in Mekkar’s body as he was still dealing with his seriously injured right hand suffered in the match right before this one. The team trainers did an incredible job wrapping the hand extremely well and put Mekkar’s glove over it. However, they were unable to tie it down and left it, as is, for the duration. They were able to hide the extensive tape job inside the glove and told Mekkar to not tie down the left gauntlet either. This way it would not stand out as odd and possibly keep it from the immediate view of opposing players. The idea was to not make the hand a target for further injury through slashes or other devious stickwork.

Fortunately, the Selects opposition on this evening was more of a skating team and not a flat out brawling; goon squad that Mekkar’s team encountered earlier on this tour. The Mariners had some individuals who could play the rougher style if desired, but thankfully for Mekkar’s sake they didn’t.

Trouble was Mekkar’s injury made him less effective in his on ice responsibilities than he normally was. The other physical aspects of meds, plus alcoholic drink, were used in combination to create a pain numbing effect. Added to that, his fatigue combined with that impairment made The Arctic Warrior more unpredictable and outright goofy in his behavior.

The first time Mekkar climbed over the boards for his shift in the game was during a stoppage in play. After a score by the hometown club and before the drop of the puck at the center ice dot, Mekkar looked at the Mariners’ center ice logo. Part of the emblem resembled a wooden steering wheel of an old fashioned boat. The somewhat out of his mind youngster chanted in an audible voice, “Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rum”. The referee nearby told him to shut up as the puck was about to be dropped for the face-off. But. Mekkar, rebel that he is, defied authority and continued the same chant again. The ref responded with the same answer in a stronger tone to, “Zip it or you will get an unsportsmanlike penalty.” Wouldn’t you know it, Mekkar did it once again. Alf called his older brother a stupid moron from the bench. Lasse shouted his own response. Since, Lasse had been ready and waiting for the face off to take place. Before playing one official second of this match Mekkar had incurred a trip to the sin bin. It was for delay of game infraction against his team. Guess who scored approximately forty-five seconds later as a result of Mekkar’s two minute minor penalty – Lacroix. The Selects coaching staff was not amused and after the goal against they made Mekkar skip a few regular shifts and get comfortable sitting on the bench. It was punishment for taking a foolish penalty and costing his team.

Later on in the game, during another stoppage in play, Mekkar had the gall to skate near Andre and offer him money to purchase the Mariners star’s game sweater right after the match. The response back to Mekkar was not what he expected at all. The reply went something like the following, “One previous owner deserted us during the season. We, for a time had no owner and were playing for free. So, there is a possibility I might not be able to replace it or any of my gear with the way things are.”