It was a wonderful weekend in the sporting world. Not only are the Leafs on a 5-game winning streak, but the Spatulas - the hockey and soccer teams of which I am a part - had some admirable success as well. Coming off an 11-4 win in ball hockey and a 3-1 win in soccer against a team that included a tryout member of the Portuguese and Canadian women's national teams, we headed downtown for the Toronto Central Sport and Social Club's annual ball hockey tournament. This was our second appearance in the tournament, and we were eager to improve upon last year's result, where we went a perfect 4-0 in round robin play, only to lose the semi-final, drained and exhausted.
Sporting our new team jerseys complete with personalised numbers and Spatulas logo, we went into our first game and came out with a solid, if not routine, 5-2 victory. We then followed that with a 2-1 victory in very tight match. While the official score read 2-1, popular opinion on our squad is that our opponent's lone goal, which supposedly found a microscopic hole between the post and my hip, actually found a gaping hole in the mesh at the side of the net. Reconstructing the scene, the laws of physics seem to agree with our assessment. So, we'll just count that as a shutout.
We followed that win with an 8-3 pounding in game 3, and then a solid 6-3 win in a semi-final game I consider the greatest we have played since we started as a team a little over a year ago. So, we headed off to the tournament final with victory on our minds. Unfortunately, the fatigue began to show at this point, and with only about ten or fifteen minutes remaining in the game, we had fallen behind 4-1 to a team with plenty of speedsters.
However, it must have been at that point that we all remembered our collapse last year and decided that we didn't wait a year, come all this way, and put in four solid wins only to lose in the playoffs again. Our resolve and team chemistry really then started to shine. Some quick-moving saves on my part and five - count 'em, five! - unanswered goals later and the Spatulas had their first ball hockey tournament championship with a 6-4 win!
The crowd cheered, the ticker tape flew, and as we hoisted our Cup... err... t-shirts above our heads, we celebrated our team's second sporting success.
It doesn't end there, of course, as the West Toronto S&SC playoffs begin mere weeks from now, and our next regular-season indoor soccer game was the very next day. Still exhausted and soar from yesterday's marathon tournament, I let a teammate take the goaltending duties to relieve a bit of the soarness, and rewarded the team's offensive effort from yesterday by contributing a hat trick in our 6-5 win.
Go Spatulas! Let's hope for more of the same for our next games Wednesday and Thursday.