First of all, it was going to be dicey just getting there. This was the week of the three snow storms, and this one was number two. I had to wake early to clear the slab and the snowplow ridge at the end of the driveway and then bulldog low the length of the unplowed driveway. And when I got to “Weakie’s,” his association hadn’t been plowed yet either . . .
It was a state tournament nostalgia trip for us. “Weakie” (with Viv on the left) and I were the beginning of the Super Fans way back when, and he hadn’t been to a tournament, or even any local games, for a few years. Something about approaching 80 now (next week), he’s not quite as nimble in Minnesota winters as he used to be – at 70, I’m not very good at it anymore either . . .
Here we are celebrating the 2008 championship team at the St. Paul Hotel . . .
[OK, on to the venue at hand. To be perfectly honest, we’re there for lunch at Cossetta’s. This is probably my photo of the trip. Have you ever seen such a look of adoration for a sandwich?]
[Oh yeah, the game! We’re in!]
[TV coverage comes with being in the semi-finals . . . ]
[Thanks to a reminder from Sue Justice, I remembered to wear my lucky pink hockey socks . . . ]
[Our Cards take the ice . . . ]
[Family photo ops – looks like the O’Kanes . . . ]
[Then another surprise – Andrea Toft stopped by, carrying her twin sister Sara’s baby daughter, to say “Hi” and “You guys are still coming to these things?” The Toft sisters were among our all-time favorites in the “old days.” They graduated in 2006 (geez, they’re 30 now) and starred in what “Weakie” and I say was the greatest game ever played. The high school league stuck Totino-Grace in our section that year (to get more metro teams in the state tournament?). We beat them in the section final – 2-1 in double overtime. The Toft sisters got both of the goals – on their 18th birthdays. Here’s Sara (19) and Andrea (44) readying for their radio interview. That spring, we went to their graduation party.]
[OK, back in the moment. The Cards are introduced (from the scoreboard screen), beginning with Meg Shercliffe (5), sophomore. The rest all have their names on the photos . . . ]
[Since we’re playing the No. 1-seed, we’re in our road uniforms. While Warroad is a much smaller town that Alexandria, they have been playing hockey long before Alex recognized ice could be used for something other than just putting it in drinks . . . ]
[And away we go . . . ]
[Josie carries it up . . . ]
[Face-off in the Warrior zone . . . ]
[Alexis has the puck behind the goal, Kristin and Allison on both sides out front . . . ]
[Now where’d it go?]
[Olivia on point in the offensive zone . . . ]
[Arms in the air in your immediate area generally indicates your team has done something good . . . ]
[Yes, GOOAAAALLLLLL, by Kaci!]
[Cards led 1-0 . . . ]
[On the replay, there it is in the net . . . ]
[While that would turn out to be our only goal, we did have the usual foray in on net . . . ]
[Card fans on “TV.”]
[Mid-ice face-off – just a chance to do double hyphens . . . ]
[It somehow all fell apart after this? After we successfully completed a 5-on-3 penalty kill, the Warriors scored two minutes later. Then it seemed like everything they shot went in? The final score, 7 – 1, was way worse than the game stats, but it wasn’t good. Both class championship games featured the top two seeds – and they were terrific games. In our class, Breck beat Warroad 3-2 in OT. Remember we played Breck even in a regular season game, though we lost we outshot them. Weird stuff happens . . . ]
[Channel 45 broadcast team: Joe Schmit, Winnie Brodt-Brown, and Krissy Wendell . . . ]
[And it’s true, we have a young team. But Breck and Warroad only had five seniors between them. Yet we hear good things about our upcoming talent, so we’re already looking forward to next year. I’ll have to retire my pink socks, however – they were from a different era . . . ]
[On the plus side, “Weakie” said he really had a good time despite the loss. We left early when the outcome was not in doubt – we do not like to travel in the dark. We came home on Highway 55, to avoid all the trucks on the interstate. We stopped in Paynesville for an A&W on the way. Also on the plus side, the Cards have finished 3 of the last 4 seasons with a win! We had two 1-0 victories in consolation championship games, and this year we beat Proctor-Hermantown in the 3rd place game, 1-0! Yes, we play good defense!]
I was thinking of making a comeback, until I pulled a muscle vacuuming. ~ Johnny Bench
Up Next: Back to Panama cruise?