Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

As they lowered into a spot outside the arena and Jeremy’s father shut the hove’s engines down he continued to give his son the pep talk. “A year enslavement. Do you even know what that means? Of course you don’t,” he answered himself. “You haven’t ever had it tough, haven’t ever lost a playoff series, haven’t had to go live in a place where everyone hated you and picked on you and abused you every chance they got.”

“Yeah, I know dad,” he answered as he procured his hockey bag and sticks from the hove’s luggage bay. “Don’t worry, we’ll beat these guys.”

“Well you’d better, is all I can say. Me and some of the other dads need at least half those kids in the factory by morning if we’re going to make our quota. And god forbid, if you lose? I don’t even want to think about that!”

“We’re not going to lose dad. I’ll be home safe tonight.”

Suddenly Jeremy’s mother appeared with his little sister. They had been waiting at the arena entrance. Both had tears in their eyes.

“Oh baby,” Jeremy’s mother cried, “I hate playoffs so much.”

As the game progressed things got heated in the stands as well as on the ice. Parents from both sides hurled insults and expletives at each other as their children skated their hearts out in one of the roughest and most hard fought playoff finals in the junior league’s history.

And in the end, the ten to one underdog Mooseport Rockets scored a dramatic overtime goal to trounce their richer, better coached and far better fed rivals from Upper Eastplane.

And as mother, father and daughter huddled in tears amongst the other crying families in their bleacher section, the heavily armed on-ice officials escorted the losing team to the far end of the arena.

“My baby! My baby boy!” cried Jeremy’s mother over and over, while his father wondered worriedly how he was going to continue to deal with the labor shortages at the factory.

The Upper Eastplane Eagles weren’t even allowed to change out of their gear as they were taken, skates and all, to the waiting prison transport. Jeremy gulped. He heard they had some god awful sweat shops in Mooseport. Why oh why hadn’t he just skated a little harder?


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