The Salmon Hockey Association has historically had 2 adult teams — the Tuesday/Thursday night Good Guys, or more experienced, competitive players, and the Wednesday night Wheelchair League, or more novice players. The Kelts, or spawned out salmon, bubbled up from the ooze of the Wheelchair league. When they challenged the Cold Muthas to a good-natured match, I felt good about our music selection being in order, the fact that we all had helmets and most of us shin guards, and we’d all been on skates at least twice.
It was the late hour of the game — a 9:15 p.m. start — that had me worried. First, there was the issue of our coaches being middle schoolers and not being able to stay out late to line us out. Then there was my own bedtime hour to consider. I’d started the U79 beginner ladies league to avoid the late-night, bleary-eyed shenanigans amateur hockey was famous for. But there is a certain No Crybabies code Cold Muthas must adhere to, so we pulled up our breezers for our first game.
We were beginning to understand why Coach Keyra and Assistant Coach Katherine had wanted to teach us how to play offense and defense.
I won’t lie, our team had some mishaps in our first two outings with the Kelts. The inability to stop became nothing short of a hazard. And our copycat cool move of sitting on the boards instead of on the bench resulted in at least a minor disaster, with some players (namely my sidekick Lucy) falling backwards, and others (namely Pippi Broadknockings) falling into the rink in the middle of play.
But we had an unstoppable ace in the hole. Scrapper, the maker of our territorial beach towel flag, also just happened to be Salmon Hockey’s talk show personality on Podunk’s only radio station KSRA. During the Thursday morning program Penalty Box, Scrapper described our huge margin of victory and the humiliation of the Kelts. Scrapper, as it turned out, is a world-class shit talker.
We were winning the public relations war, and we had the soundtrack to prove it.