“This is it boys,” Kevin said through his helmet as they stepped onto the ice. “Time to step into the big time.”

The Delta Center crowd then roared to life, as Guns N Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” blared over the sound system.

Both Boston U. fans and North Dakota State fans, equal in number, were cheering their teams on.

After the player introductions and a short warm up, Kevin adjusted his helmet and got ready to go.

His helmet was something special. It was red and had the white numbers 11 and 17 on it, one on each side, as a tribute to Sean and Scott.

Strangely absent from the helmet tribute were the names of his old girlfriends, Jess and Krista, which were painted over and replaced with ‘Cammie.’

As the puck was dropped, Kevin had no idea what hell he was going to have to endure.

Almost immediately, Kevin was bombarded with shot after shot by the Sioux, which he was able to stop as they slowly wore him down.

In fact, in the first period alone, North Dakota had 20 shots on goal, but Kevin stopped them all.

Slap shots, wrist shots, deflections, he blocked them all.

However, the B.U. offense just could not get it going.

The North Dakota defense was too strong. They played a trap-style defense, which the Terriers were not able to penetrate until the third period.

So, all Kevin could do was weather the storm, which he did, and tear into his team in the locker room during intermission, which he also did.

He stopped a total of 41 shots through the end of the second period.

North Dakota was getting frustrated as a scoreless game remained that way heading to the third period.

As Kevin sat in the locker room, Coach Trent Davis furiously yelled at his team.

“We have only 14 fucking shots on goal!” he screamed, as the team collectively hung their heads. “How the hell can Staley block 41, and you can’t even give him one god damn goal of support?”

“If you want to win this championship, you all have to step up your play,” Davis continued. “If not, then you will come back in here losers…a bunch of fucking losers!!!”

Coach Davis then slammed the door, leaving the team alone in the room for the final 10 minutes of the intermission.

Immediately, Jake came over and sat next to Kevin.

“Yo, Kev, we’re sorry,” Jake said. “Their D is really tough.”

“They…killing us,” Rico chimed in, attempting to speak English.

Sweating heavily, Kevin took a slug of water and glared at both of them.

“I am fucking sick and tired of playing alone out there,” Kevin yelled, throwing his water bottle to the ground. “How bout some goddamned help?”

Kevin said nothing after that. He just got on the locker room phone and called up to the press box and told the assistant coaches up there four simple words that would ignite the entire team: “Play that fucking track!”

The players immediately knew what those four words meant, and they all came out of the locker room fired up, ready to play.

Coach Davis knew what happened.

Kevin had done this a dozen times before when the team was playing bad.

He would have the press box play Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin (Urban Assault Vehicle)” and that would boost their adrenaline so much that they would win the game.

It was Kevin’s antidote to solve the problem.

And it prevented him from having to do the alternative—kicking all their asses.

Needless to say, the team that came out for that third period was not the same team that was out there the first two.

The Terriers took the attack to North Dakota and blasted 21 shots on goal in the third period alone.

Kevin only faced 10 shots this period, bringing his game total to 51.

The problem was no one was able to score on either side.

Both Kevin, with his 51 saves, and John Harkey, the Sioux goaltender with 35 saves, were perfect.

Which meant that the two teams would be playing sudden death overtime to determine the championship.

As Kevin led the way, he was clearly getting exhausted as neither team could score.

Still knotted at 0-0 heading to double overtime, they played deep into the night, with the clock approaching 1 a.m.

Kevin’s great play continued, as he tallied his save total up to 60, when North Dakota’s Blake Hardy stole the puck from Jarrod and made his way in, one-on-one.

“Shit Jarrod! Not again!” Kevin yelled as he came out to cut down the angle, but Jarrod caught up to Hardy this time and pulled him down, and the ref immediately signaled for a penalty shot.

“FUCK!” Kevin yelled, as Jarrod skated past. “NOT AGAIN!”

The North Dakota faithful erupted as they knew their captain had the chance of a lifetime.

Kevin was in serious trouble.

Fatigued, he had no idea how long he would have before he passed out from exhaustion.

All he knew is that nothing would stop him from making this save.

He just had to.

His whole career was riding on this one shot.

Stop it, and it would be on to the NHL.

Give up a goal, and it would be back to the adult leagues in Boston.

The crowd came to a hush as Hardy took the puck.

For a moment, you could hear a pin drop in that arena.

Hardy skated in and did what appeared to be a simple deke, which Kevin played easily.

The problem was, Hardy double-deked back to the glove side and totally fooled Kevin.

Which meant that he had an empty net to shoot in.

Screaming out of his mask, Kevin gave all his energy and dove back to the glove side.

The puck was on its way into the upper corner of the goal, when--

At the last minute, Kevin’s glove came swooping across, and he snatched it up for the biggest save of his life.

The B.U. fans erupted as the Terriers practically emptied their bench to congratulate him on the huge save.

“Not this time!” Kevin taunted as Hardy stood dejected at the side of the goal.

As Jake skated over, Kevin looked up and said four words to him: “Score a fucking goal.”

That immediately inspired Jake, who was determined to prove the scouts wrong and come through in the clutch.

He dove to block a slap shot from the point, then it was off to the races, as Jake took off with incredible speed.

No one could catch him, and as he came across center ice, he knew he would be one-on-one with Harkey, who had 44 saves of his own.

As Jake crossed the blue line, he began to plot his strategy.

He knew that every previous missed, going low glove-side, low stick-side, high stick-side, and high glove-side.

As he got near the crease, he remembered that none of them tried going five hole (between the goalie’s legs), and when he saw his chance, he took it, and fired a smoking wrist shot right between Harkey’s legs and into the goal.

The B.U. faithful erupted as Blur’s “Song No. 2” blared over the loud speakers and the team went absolutely ballistic.

Kevin must have jumped five feet into the air down in his crease, before speed-skating the length of the ice to celebrate, despite not having much energy.

The Terriers won it, 1-0, in double overtime.

The players and fans went hysterical as the team mobbed Jake at center ice.

The celebration was on.

“Yeah! Jake, I told you you could do it goddamnit!” Kevin yelled.

“It was that fuckin’ song Kev! That fuckin’ song!” Jake yelled back, referring to the Limp Bizkit song that gave the whole team a shot of adrenaline, despite being the clean version of the song.

Rico was on the opposite side of the pile yelling “We Did! We Did!” as he tried to say, “We Did It! We Did It!”

He was cut off by Jarrod, who yelled, “YEAH BABY! I’m going to Disney World! ”

Soon after, Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” blared on the sound system, and the Terriers did the ceremonial handshake with North Dakota State and accepted the championship trophy.

Then came time to announce the Most Valuable Player.

As they all gathered around, the PA announcer revealed it: “And ladies and gentlemen, the Most Valuable Player this year, with 61 saves, is Boston’s No. 35 Kevin Staley.”

Kevin immediately went over and accepted the trophy, which he surprisingly shared with his teammates as they gathered around both trophies to take the team picture.

As they huddled, Kevin then realized something as he had a huge smile on his face.

He felt great.

For the first time in a long time.

Way too long.

Proceed To Chapter 4
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