I devote this entry to all of the hockey moms in the world. Because I have no idea how you all don’t have multiple heart attacks every time you watch your child play, no matter how old they are.
Prior to last night, I had never said the F-bomb. I had gone nearly twenty-seven years of existence without saying that word. No one around me really ever swore. The only person in my family growing up that was a big swearer was my Great-Grandmother, but if you were 90, your maiden name was Hooker and you couldn’t get your National Enquirer in the nursing home, you’d have some spicy language too.
Then, last night, around 8pm in Conte Forum, at Boston College (a Catholic school, mind you – my CCD teacher would be screaming at me for this), I said the F-word for the first time. No one heard it – not even my partner-in-crime, who was next to me. But I said it, and didn’t realize it until the k was leaving my mouth.
However, if there was anytime for me to involuntarily say the F-word, that was it, for I had just witnessed just about the worst hit I had ever seen live in a hockey game. On my favorite player, no less.
The game was chippy right from the start, as Boston University and Boston College games usually are. BU took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, on freshman Corey Trevino’s first collegiate goal, which was fun to see because his entire family was two rows in front of me.
The teams came out for the second, and after BU killed off a power play (something they did a ton of last night), the two teams were skating 5 on 5. Jason Lawrence was along the boards, playing despite suffering a nasty shot to the lower leg at the end of the first period. From my recollection, he didn’t have the puck – BC was busy passing it into the BU zone. He was hurrying to help defend the goal. All of a sudden, BC’s Nick Petrecki comes flying in from Lawrence’s right side. Petrecki launched himself into the air towards Lawrence.
And then you heard a disgusting, horrible sound against the boards. Lawrence, who thankfully had kept his head up, was horizontal in the air, his head being smashed up against the glass by Petrecki’s elbow, his body having been knocked off his skates by Petrecki’s airborne hit. We heard a thud, and both players were on the ice.
Petrecki hurried up and skated in the zone. Lawrence didn’t get up.
All of us in the BU section stood. We were silent. The BU players on the ice noticed their teammate on the ground and started throwing punches towards BC. The referees blew the whistle.
And I have never seen a medical trainer move so fast in my life.
That’s when I said the F-word.
I’ve seen some bad hits in my life. I’ve been watching hockey and football since I was a little girl. I’ve become somewhat numb to them. The only one to really upset me was when Steve Young, was knocked unconscious to end his career back in 1999. I was watching it live on Monday Night Football, and until last night, I hadn’t ever felt my heart just drop into my stomach like that again. Then I saw last night’s hit, and I felt that again. Maybe it was because I was actually seeing it in person, just five panes of glass or so down from me. I just was stunned.
For a split second, of course, you think the worst. You never want to see a player get hurt, let alone injured enough that he can’t carry himself off the ice right away.
The trainer spent a minute or two on the ice with Lawrence. We saw him somehow get to his knees and made it to the bench. The BC fans were too busy cheering, “Sucks to BU, ” to clap politely.
Petrecki got 2 minutes for boarding. That was all. To say I was surprised was an understatement. Many fans (including some pretty legit and knowledgeable hockey fans) in my section believed it should have received at least a 5 minute major or a game misconduct. Lawrence didn’t have the puck, he was by the blue line, not near the action, and thus, there was no reason for Petrecki to hit him.
And then, three shifts later, Lawrence was back out on the ice. You could tell he was kind of woozy, but he was out there, and he played the rest of the game. That took real guts. If he had a concussion (which I don’t know at all if he did or not, but from the look of the hit, I wouldn’t be surprised), that would explain how he felt okay enough to keep playing. Concussions get progressively worse, and you don’t feel the worst effects until a hour or two afterwards. Then you feel like you are going to die. (Side note: I had two concussions as a child, including one where I hit my head on a window while pretending to be a gymnast on my couch. That was the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I was out of it for a few days. That may be why I can’t do math. If I could give any little kid advice, it would be that your couch is not a balance beam. Don’t launch yourself off it, head first, for any reason.)
On our way out of the arena, I turned to my partner-in-crime and said, “After seeing what I saw tonight, Lawrence is like a Saturn. You may dent him, but he pops right back up.”
Although the referees thought the hit was only worth 2 minutes for boarding, they made another bad call that definitely paid BC back. A little later in the period, BC had a goal. It definitely looked like a goal. Everyone reacted like it was in the goal. The referee ruled no goal, and let play continue. I was surprised BC coach Jerry York didn’t argue the call – he would have had a legitmate appeal. Overall, it was a night of horrible officiating, affecting both sides.
Some additional notes from Saturday’s game:
-The Boston College starting lineups are sponsored by Waste Management. Umm…that just is kind of unfortunate. I don’t know if that was the best choice for that sponsorship.
-A note from my ongoing obsession with Hockey East mascots: Baldwin the Eagle, BC’s mascot, wears a hockey jersey with basketball shorts.
-My partner-in-crime always wanted to hear the BC Superfans’ powerplay chant in full force (it sounds muted at the Beanpot.) Why he wanted to hear it, I have no clue. About a minute into a powerplay, he turned to me and said, “I have no idea why I wanted to hear that. They sound like overly rambunctious mosquitoes.”
-One of the Conte Forum Zamboni Drivers reminded my partner-in-crime of the Gordon’s Fisherman.
-Conte Forum isn’t a bad arena at all. I like how it is set up to share a concourse with Alumni Stadium – that should be labeled an architectural good idea. They also have a pretty darn awesome display of the history of every single BC varsity sport along one end of the concourse. I’m by no means a BC fan, but I spent a good five minutes looking at the display. It wasn’t all trophies, but old uniforms, equipment, programs, newspapers, photographs. Every Division I school ought to be doing this.