Thanks to everyone who has been asking how Rock’s hockey game went this past weekend. It was so awesome and super fun. I had to share some of the excitement with you.
As you may remember Rock was part of a high school hockey team that won the state championships 20 years ago against their cross town rivals. The two teams (many of whom are now great friends) decided to join forces and do a reunion game against each other. They were able to also secure a pretty awesome venue, the United Center, for this rematch.
Saturday evening we were invited to one of Rock’s teammates homes for a pizza and pasta pregame dinner. Just like the good old days but without a curfew and it was legal for everyone to have a beer with their meal. Let me just say that each and every guy (and his wife or girlfriend) were the nicest, classiest of people. It was so fun to see a part of Rock’s life that I have heard so much about over the years but couldn’t quite put a face to. Many of the “boys” brought articles and other fun stuff from their winning year to share with the team.
Sunday morning it was up bright and early to get ready to leave for the United Center and later to catch a flight to NYC for work. The doors opened at 9:30am and when we arrived there were a lot of giddy hockey players there ready to fill into the rink. The boys were lead into the visiting team’s locker room and the families were allowed to hang out in an otherwise empty rink.
As a former figure skater I have to say that one of the best feelings ever is to walk into an empty ice rink. The smell and sounds (or lack of) really gets your heart racing. The only better feeling is to actually be the only one on the ice of the empty rink.
All of the hockey players were able to get on the ice and take pictures with their teammates and bring their children out to take in the sights. Our family members arrived shortly after us and the nieces and nephews had an absolute blast running around an empty United Center. When else will they ever have the chance to be the only ones in that facility?!
When the game got started both teams took to the ice in their old high school jerseys. Let me just say this is a huge testament to these guys keeping themselves in shape over the years and also to their mom’s for hanging onto a very special piece of their boys’ hockey memorabilia. Both teams met center ice and honored their fallen teammate who they were playing the game in memory of and working to start a scholarship fund in his name.
The game: Well the game started out pretty darn well. Rock’s team Loyola Academy to a great 2-0 lead in the first period. Things were looking pretty fantastic. But in the final period New Trier came from behind with some slick goals and took the lead to win 4-2. In all seriousness it was a great game and some pretty decent hockey was played (for old, slow men……just kidding Rock!).
My husband did make 2 appearances in the penalty box. I of course took some pictures and the nieces and nephews pounded on the glass to harass him. It was pretty funny. What is a hockey game without a visit to the penalty box?
The game was a true success and the two teams managed to exceed their goal for the scholarship by quite a bit. It says a lot about a group of boys who were once fierce foes on the ice that they are now grown men and friends, and came together to honor a fallen hockey player. Thanks to their hard work and dedication other boys will be able to continue to enjoy the sport they love so much for many years to come.
A big shout out goes out to our runner friends who ran a very frigid and windy Shamrock Shuffle 8k. The race ended with some sleet and rain, because what else would you expect from a Chicago spring race?! But they showed up in great spirits to cheer Rock on (although they might have been lured in by the promise of a post race beer at the United Center). It was so fun to have them there and we were all able to get out on the ice after the game. Not many runners get that post race experience!
A huge congrats to both teams for a great game.