‹ Prequel: Chances Risked
Sequel: Life's Chances

The Three C's

Chapter Twenty Six

This was it, this was the finals, we had just won our game against Finland in the Semifinals, it was a tough game, but we won in overtime with the final score of one to zero. Quick was happy about his shutout and we were too, Canada won their game against Sweden and Team USA and Canada were going to be fighting for gold.

We were in the locker room getting ready for warm ups, my parents were in the stands with my brother supporting the red, white and blue with my name on their back. I had seen them right before I left for the locker room and I saw the excitement in their eyes. I was nervous as hell but I couldn’t wait to get out on the ice and win it all for USA.

I was just about to put my skates on when the locker room door opened, “Maggie!” I heard and snapped my head up and my eyes widened.

“Oh my god!” I smiled brightly as I jumped up and ran towards Emma, Amber and Dana, I couldn’t believe they were standing in front of me, “You’re here! In Russia- Oh my god, you’re in Russia! What the hell?!” the guys chuckled and I hugged them all and looked at my cripple cousin in the middle, supporting herself on her crutches, “Ah, girl I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all right, I’m just pissed with myself,” Amber said and I hugged her, she was supposed to be here with me, but a few weeks ago, she busted her ankle while trying to do some move and she was out of the Olympics for figure skating, “I’ll just have to wait another four years.”

“Hey ladies,” I heard and turned to see Patrick coming up next to me.

“Pat! Hey, taking care of Maggie for us?” Emma asked and I smirked and rolled my eyes.

“Everyday, but she’s a handful,” he said and the three giggled, “See you finally made it.”

“Yup, flight was a little late, but we made it,” Dana said and I looked at them confused and then towards Pat.

“Huh?” I asked and Pat smiled towards me.

“You didn’t tell her?!” Dana asked and Pat chuckled and shrugged his shoulders, “Aw! Pat flew us out here.”

“He- You- What?!” I looked towards Pat and hugged him and then hugged my family, happy that they were here, “Where’s Troy?” I asked Emma, seeing her babyless hands.

“With my parents, they flew up to watch him for me,” she said and I smiled brightly, “I wanted to surprise me girl!”

“I’m so happy you’re here! Where are you sitting?”

“With your parents and brother,” Amber said and I smiled, “All six of us will be cheering for ya!”

“Two Canadians goin’ for USA, this is fun,” I said and heard the guys chuckle.

“Now, now! I didn’t say that!” Amber said and I laughed, “I said I would be cheering for ya, I didn’t say that I wouldn’t be cheering for Canada!”

“Amber!” I groaned and she laughed.

“I’m staying neutral in this and wearing a Penguins shirt with your name,” Amber said and held up her shirt that she wasn’t wearing yet.

“I-,” I giggled and shook my head, “All right, I’ll live with that.”

“Me too!” Brooks said as he came up behind me and wrapped his arm around my shoulder, I felt bad that Paul had broken his hand in the Semifinal game and wasn’t able to play in the finals.

I finished getting dressed while the girls talked to the boys; Dana was having a blast getting pictures with all of the guys, saying how she couldn’t believe she was standing her. I giggled and looked up at her, “Hey D,” she looked at me, “Maybe this’ll be you in the 2018 Olympics,” I said and she squealed and the guys laughed.

“Playing right next to you!” she said and I laughed.

“Damn right!” we both high fived, but then it was time for them to get to their seats and time for us to get on the ice for warm ups.

The ice was fresh when my blades touched the ice, I looked over towards the Canadian team and sighed, I figured it was going to come to this. No one really said or did anything other than warm up and study their opponent. Usually during the warm ups I liked to goof off, but not this time, not here, this was the finals, this was for gold and I’m all serious.

The warm ups were over and we headed back into the locker room, having fifteen minutes to finish up getting ready for the game. We were pumped, we only got this chance once every four years, we couldn’t do it four years ago, losing to Crosby’s goal in overtime, we needed to do it now.

When the clocked ticked down to five, Coach came in and said we were going to pray to the hockey gods. We all stood and held each other’s hands in one big circle, “Who wants to say it?” Coach asked and we looked at one another.

“Mags will,” Orpik said as he held up her hand.

“Jerk,” she breathed and I chuckled, Maggie took a deep breath and we held down our heads, “Our father who art in USA, hockey by thy name, thy will be done, the gold will be won,” most of the guys were chuckling, “On ice, as well as in the stands. Give us this day our hockey sticks, and forgive us our penalties,” I laughed, “As we forgive those who cross-check against us. Lead us not into elimination, but deliver us to victory. In the name of the fans, the gold and in the name of Team USA, Amen!”

“Amen!” the guys yelled and we laughed and clapped started to get ourselves pumped up for the game.

Coach chuckled and patted Maggie’s shoulder, “Couldn’t have said it any better.”

Everyone was ready, Praise pounded fists with everyone as we walked out of the locker room to head down the hall. Just before we were seen by then crowd, before we walked onto the ice for our final game in Sochi, I grabbed Maggie’s hand and turned her around.

“Hey,” I breathed and she giggled and looked at me.

“Hi,” she said I took my helmet off and pressed my lips to hers.

“I love you,” I said and heard the guys around me chirping me.

“I know,” she giggled and winked towards me, “I love you too.”

“All right love birds, we’ve got a game to win!” Kessel teased and Maggie smirked towards me and then turned back around.

When the doors opened and we were given the all clear to head out onto the ice, we did and we listened to the roar of the fans in the stands. Canada and USA flags being flown all over the place, this was it, I had one last chance to score a goal in the Olympics, I needed to do it in this game.

Both teams met at the blue line and looked each other up and down, these were friends, teammates, fellow NHLers and we were here to fight for our country. We slammed our sticks on the ice and then headed for the bench, Coach had announced that Praise’s line was going to start and Kessel’s line was going to be next.

“Two minutes for holding the stick,” the ref called and I looked at him wide eyed.

“Are you serious?! I held it because he was slashing me!” I growled as I was being escorted towards the penalty box, ‘…This is fucked up!...’

I plopped down on the bench in the penalty box next to teammate Ryan Suter, he was in the box as well for the same as me. Shea Weber had attempted to slash both of us and we grabbed his stick to make sure he couldn’t go through with it, but Weber wasn’t in the box and now it was five on three.

We were a little over ten minutes into the first period and Pat was on the ice with Kevin Shattenkirk and John Carlson. I sat in the box and watched as he attempted a breakaway towards Carey Price, but was regretted it and the whistle blew, it was going to be a penalty shot.

“They gunna make Kane take it?” Suter asked from next to me and I sighed, “None of his shots have made it in this whole series.”

“He’ll be fine,” I said and watched as Coach waved for Pat to take the penalty shot and I didn’t know if it was a good idea. I groaned, dropped my head and shook it when Pat’s shot was saved by Price and I heard Suter mutter that Kessel should have taken it.

We could have been up by one if Price didn’t save Pat’s penalty shot, and I could see from the box that he was kicking himself for missing it. A few minutes later, the first was almost over, we were given another shot at a penalty shot when Oshie’s breakaway was illegally stopped.

I thought that Coach would have Oshie do it, or even have me take the shot, but no, Coach chose Pat to do it and he looked nervous. Pat was always good at penalty shots and shootouts, but ever since his grandfather passed, his games been so off. Nothing wrong with it, it’s to be expected, in fact I gave him a lot of credit for being here, when Mike died, I couldn’t even be on the ice. Again Pat’s shot was saved and we all groaned with disappointment. Pat looked angry and I just looked at him to see him glaring at the ice and I could tell by how he gripped his stick that he wanted to throw it.

When the horn blew signaling that the first period was over, we all skated off of the ice and headed for the locker room. I waited for Pat in the hallway, he was behind everyone. My hand was on his shoulder as we headed for the locker room, and I held him back before we walked into the room.

“Hey, just breathe, you’ll get your goal, even if I have to set one up for you, you’ll get it,” I said and Pat sighed.

“My Gramps was supposed to be here,” he said and I looked at him and sighed. I took my glove off and grabbed the golden cross that hung from my neck.

“Mikey too,” I said and he nodded his head, “We’re both playing for someone we love and lost.”