Thursday, April 16, 2009

Defending their title at the "EGGCUP" !

The "Eggcup" trophy

de . ter . mi . na . tion - the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose....
The annual ball hockey "EGGcup Tournament" took place as per usual on Easter Monday. The only problem this year was the fact it wasn't taking place closer to home, rather four hours away from us instead.

After our move here back in December, our son still held high hopes for participating in this beloved tournament with his friends, the traditional Easter Monday tournament where an entire small community/town came out to show support for their youth, the tournament that shut down Main Street for several years but this year it would be held at a new venue.

A new venue offered plenty of game
play and parking for spectators

The brand new local ice arena parking lot was perfect for three games to be in progress at one time, allowing for more teams to enter into the tournament.

There was plenty of parking and safety for the players without vehicles moving around their location. A concession stand was set up, and all enjoyed the food fare with hot meals available to them in between their games.

I suppose after reading this introduction you've been able to deduce we did in fact rise and get on the road before 6am to drive towards this year's hockey tournament. Everyone was on board, all except for my hubby who was summoned to work the evening before to problem solve a situation in his territory. For me, it seemed such a long drive this time though the traffic was lighter than usual with folks not yet returning to work after the Easter weekend.

The sun was up, promises for a wonderful day. And it was, all except for the wind kicking up later in the morning, leaving one a longing desire to seek shelter for warming up from time to time from the outdoor elements whipping through the open space.

It was interesting to see how competitive some of these players became while showing an intense love of the tournament from years past. Some of the teams got real fancy with the creation of their team shirts for identifying themselves. Last year, our son's team made their own and called themselves the FLAMES, after the Captain's love of the Calgary Flames ice hockey team. This year their team was sponsored by a local business and player names were even located on their backs. Defending the cup for this team was in high order, and excitement reigned high when we drove into the parking lot, everyone very pleased to see our son. He was greeted by many with high fives and even warm hugs, so cool to see such a warm reception for him. And fun too.

By the noon hour, it seemed an entire community was in full attendance, an estimated 500+ were cheering from the sidelines, enjoying the famous hockey entertainment before them. The tournament began at 10am. and was supposed to end by 4pm. Overtime games were in progress by the end of the day with our son's team heading for the (later than planned) playoffs. Unbeknown to us the tournament ran quite a bit later than expected and we weren't on the road for home again until almost 6pm.

After running everyone around all day long, including great amounts of fresh air, it seemed an instant physical meltdown occurred with everyone's entry into the vehicle for the return trip home again.

The word "exhaustion" was an understatement for our son who had pounded the pavement for eight hours during his tournament, for others who enjoyed a great visit with friends on a farm which included ATV riding, baby kitten play in the barn, bike riding, trampoline and so forth, energy well spent being absorbed with their pals and still more who visited several other friends in between my driving sessions.

Flames win again in 2009!

The sacrifice for taking such a road trip seemed huge as the initial desire was not to go at all when my hubby was called into work and with other happenings taking priority after a big weekend beforehand. We were pooped before we set out on our drive.

Buddies; Captain and Assistant

But, mother here decided at the final hour to get it together and all was worth it in the end when our son's team took the cup again this year, defending their title and he was also voted the MVP of the tournament having a 34 goal scoring point lead for the day.

The local press was on hand to take photos and information from the boys after the final game. What fun it was to see them win, but also to see other friends playing for opposing teams and all having such a good time. Overall sportsmanship levels included hearty old fashioned competitive fun.

Gifted with the MVP award by the Tourney Organizer

Local press gathering name verification information

Our son was presented with a terrific new hockey stick, one valued at one hundred dollars as his MVP prize, though it was a righty and he needs to exchange it. We're hoping he can at the chain store it was purchased at for his lefty preferred stick soon. Any new hockey stick is a boon to a player, and a ching-ching savings to a parent. (wink)

Congrats & hugs from Tournament Organizer & Friend
(notice the gloves....brrrr by the afternoon)
New Stick = Happy Guy!

Waking up the next morning, another experience visited our son after the physical exertion he gave to play in the tournament. With the wind factor kicking up during the outdoor tournament, many of the players experienced muscle cramping in between games.

Muscle cramping visited all the players

Our son felt sudden muscle seizures a few times during his play, and by the next morning, he could barely get out of bed. He was so stiff, so sore and in great pain, any movement didn't allow for comfort or grimacing of the face. If recovery was his only commitment the following day no problems would have resulted from his extreme hockey playing movements. However, this was the day when he was scheduled to attend an appointment later in the afternoon at the local University College with a counselor and also take a tour of the campus. I was his ride and companion tag along as per the counselor's request and a few times watched in amusement when he began to half snicker/half groan realizing there would be stairs instead of ramps, and no elevators in certain parts of the sprawling buildings located on the grounds.

Oh the joy of the hockey tournament, but what fun he had assisting in defending his team's title as winners from last year's tourney. Go Flames Go!

Go Flames Go!

Already there's talk of next year's tourney, no guarantees but be assured if we do attend, he'll have appropriate warming devices to keep his muscles from seizing up. At least he had a tuque on this year... smile.