The kids had two hockey games over the weekend. They had to win one out of the two to qualify for the state championship tournament in March. Winning both would produce a high seed.
So to make it exciting they lose game one. Nasty game played under nasty conditions. The teams didn't take to the ice until 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Right out of the gate you're starting with kids tired from a week of school and in this case the opposition came with a reputation for cheap shots and fighting.
To add to the drama, the head ref was incompetent. It's really interesting the role refs play in a hockey game. The really good ones know how to maintain control. Keeping everything safe and under control are far more important than making all the right calls. The worst of the refs can actually contribute to a bad situation and can even make matters worse.
Fortunately there were no injuries.
In game two, our guys pulled together and even looked impressive. We had the best refs we've had all season. The game stayed close and went back and forth until the third period when our kids pulled away, finishing off a rival and earning a spot in the state championship tournament.