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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bouncing To Game Five

I started getting the pregame jitters for tonight's game around 2:00 this afternoon, while I was sitting in my Con Law class. We were playing our archrival, USC, and we were taking our second shot at winning the Crosstown Cup.

UCLA hockey has not won the Crosstown Cup in eight years. But this season, we jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Trojans in the annual five-game series, taking the first two games at our home rink. Our last game of the 2004 calendar year was our chance to go into USC's building and take the Cup from them. And we lost.

We had over a month to think about that loss, and we came back to USC's rink ready to play. There was no way we were going to let them even the series up, not after we won the first two games.

We lost again tonight, 2-1. It was a tough loss, because we outplayed them for most of the game. But we happened to catch them on a night when the bounces went their way and their goalie turned in what had to have been his best performance of the season.

Down 1-0 entering the third period, we scored a power play goal about a minute in to tie it up. And despite pressure and good goaltending from our end, we still couldn't push ahead. Then, with a little over six minutes to play, the puck was flipped high into the air - about 15 feet above the ice - and when it came down, it took a bounce right onto a Trojan stick, which flicked a quick shot into the net. A fluke bounce that could have gone either way went to the bad guys. Even with a minute left and an extra attacker, we still couldn't tie the score again.

Perhaps it's because we're meant to win the Crosstown Cup in the fifth and deciding game, on our home ice, in front of a couple hundred eight-clapping Bruin fans. At least, I hope so.


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