Lupul flying high

This story was written for my Creative Writing class at Delaware County Community College.
Joffrey Lupul celebrates his overtime game-winning goal to send the Philadelphia Flyers into the second round. (The Hockey Writers)

Joffrey Lupul celebrates his overtime game-winning goal to send the Philadelphia Flyers into the second round. (The Hockey Writers)

The game is tied at 2-all. It’s sudden death overtime in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The next goal wins it. Whoever scores sends their team to the next round and the other home to think of what could have been. This is it. It’s do or die.

Joffrey Lupul skates along the crease in front of Capital’s net-minder Cristobal Huet, watching the puck bounce back to his defenseman at the point. Kimmo Timonen shoots and Lupul tries to stealthily deflect the puck past Huet, but misses the opportunity. The puck slams into Huet’s left pad and slides across the crease right in front of Lupul. His golden opportunity arrives.

Lupul hurries to get his stick on the puck before any Capitals player can swipe it away. He wins the battle against two defenders and shoots with his backhand.  Huet is at the top of the crease and looks around in desperation to find the puck. But it’s too late. Lupul’s swift backhand slides the puck behind Huet and into the net.

As soon as the puck crosses the goal line, Lupul leaps into the air. He throws his stick out of his hands, too overjoyed to hold onto it. He continues to jump around the ice until he slams into a mid-air hug with Timonen. Teammates pour onto the ice and jump on top of the ever growing pile that pushes Lupul against the boards. Hands are patting him on his head, arms being flung around his neck. Hands and sticks are waving in the air from the pile.

As the group slowly disperses, Lupul’s smile can be seen radiating around the Verizon Center. He knows what he just accomplished. He knows that he just helped send his team, the ones who were counted out of the playoffs, to the next round. There isn’t a happier, more ecstatic person on the ice.


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Short Stories, Sports

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