"Did good out there," came the voice as I sat down in the concourse. "Appreciate that." A handful of other folks who had been playing on our team said similar things as I un-strapped the pads from my legs. Forty-five minutes earlier I was volunteering to play goalie in a chaotic casual broom-ball match because only one had shown up. Instead of four teams, we played as just two. I had never played the sport nor the position before.
We won 3-1. I don't remember the one that got by me, but I think it was deflected in. My reaction time sucks, but the ball doesn't move as fast as a puck, so I could catch it or swat it away. The defensemen were also very "stay at home" thanks to the ridiculous number of folks playing aside (20 or so), so that made my job relatively straightforward.
My groin stings a bit. I honestly thought the other team was stacked, particularly the 6-foot-4 guy that parked right in the slot for most of the game. A friend of mine played on the other team (because of the spontaneous position move, I switched sides on him) had come along on a whim, but seemed to enjoy it. The hardest part was that my glasses kept getting stuck in the mask.
It has probably been 20 years since I did anything in sports worth being congratulated or thanked. And even then, it was seldom for a win. I'm still kind of processing that.
The ice melts on Monday. I would love to play again, but that may have to wait until the fall. I think I'd stay in goal.