Three Strikes, You’re Out!

No, I am not mixed up with my sports terminology! The picture and title don’t match, but you will see the connection soon!

The passing of Johnny Bower, the hockey goalie (shown above), brought back memories of my Dad. He was a diehard hockey fan and I became one as well watching it every Saturday night at dinner. It was the only time we could eat and watch TV!

Dad knew everything there was to know about the old-time players like Bower, Bobby Hull, the Richard brothers, and so many others. In his later years, he would forget current players but he never forgot the ones from his past!

But his love of the game didn’t stop at watching NHL games on TV. In his university days, Dad was the 3rd string goalie for the College of Pharmacy team. Being 3rd string meant he didn’t have to dress in uniform and skates unless one of the other two goalies wasn’t there. However, he got to play in practice games and be considered “one of the team”.

My parents attended most of the games and Dad was asked only once to suit up and sit on the bench but wasn’t called into the game.

Now, this was in the mid to late 1940’s and there were no rules about helmets or goalie masks. Also, being a college league things were usually pretty tame.

Then there was the game like no other. It started off with the first goalie getting hit in the face and knocked out on the second shot of the first period. He was taken out and his replacement took some practice shots.

My Dad asked if he should go get ready and the coach said no, he was sure it was not going to happen again. Famous last words as they say. When the new goalie was warmed up and ready, the game resumed. On the third or fourth shot on goal by the opposing team, once again the goalie got a puck in the face and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.

My Mom begged my Dad not to go in. She liked his face the way it was. But Dad did suit up and stopped some practice shots like a pro. The game once again resumed and sure enough, the first shot by the visiting team hit him right in the nose. He didn’t have a concussion but apparently, he had a big black eye for a little while and got very little sympathy from my Mom! LOL

One thing for sure, that was Dad’s first and last hockey game. He left the goaltending to the likes of Johnny Bower, Jaques Plante and in later years Roberto Luongo (when he was a Canuck) to name a few.

Lydia!

PS Oh, ya, Dad’s team had to forfeit as they didn’t have any more goalies!

12 Replies to “Three Strikes, You’re Out!”

  1. Another sad day in hockey and Canada to see another legend go for sure. As a Canadian and my family being huge hockey fans, especially my dad I love hockey too. My husband also played college hockey. Believe he was right wing??? My memory fails. :/ I didn’t know him back then it was before we met, but he said his best skill was skating. lol Although the game is not what it used to be, it has even changed since my time. I have lost interest in it the more they buckle down on fighting, no touch icing and more rules. I am not saying I don’t care about the health of players, but fighting is a lng debate, and so many things that helped build the sport they now want to take out. Flyers never would have won the cup back in the day, they became the roughest team, they knew they couldn’t beat talented teams like Montreal, Toronto etc so as early on as that they became a team to fear. Which resulted in wins and cups. More players get hurt by board hits, and I fear with no one to fear on the ice more cheap hits and injuries will happen if they take fighting out all together. The players don’t want it out, yet the debate continues. I think it speaks for itself that Crosby has gotten more concussions in one year than some fighters have in their entire career. Why? Crosby has no one to save him, no fighters on his team. Sure Malkin’s tough but he is a big shot from Russia and needs to play too, can’t afford a 5 min penalty. When I considered that argument, I am like hmm even gretzky had back up. When Gretzky got traded to LA he refused a trade without his enforcer. LA didn’t want the enforcer, but they wanted Gretzky so both were in the deal. Speaks for itself really. yet NHL and some fans continue to crack down, complain and I fear it will happen until it is taken out of the game completely. Enforcers are apart of hockey and they volunteer their bodies. Yet we feel like we can tell them how they feel and what to do. Sorry for ranting but it is one of the many reasons why I don’t watch much hockey anymore. I grew up a die hard Montreal Canadiens fan, loved other teams but always the Habs and you can blame my dad. But listening to his stories of back in the day are always nice to hear how hockey use to be. It still was kinda that way growing up, but it continues to change and I it’s fear for the worse, not the better. So unless it is a chance to go see hockey live which is an experience on it’s own, I don’t keep up much with it anymore. Think it’s been a year and half since I sat and watched a whole three periods. Very odd for me. 😦

    Great post and thanks for sharing your story! I wish I had more experiences when it comes to hockey to share! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just take your time, and try it out only if you really feel like it 🙂 I know you have a lot to deal with as it is… I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and your blog 🙂

        *Big hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

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