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November 2019
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Against all odds

There’s something special about being a parent of twins. I wanted to capture how I felt at this morning because it is something that will get lost in the mists of time. Maybe I need to explain the context before I go further.

Yesterday, against all odds, Millie’s ringuette team won the BKRA tournament. In fact it is only the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time they have won all season. I don’t think many would have laid money on them before the tournament, but they played amazingly and it all played out well in the end, but more of that later. As an assistant coach, you would think that I would be absolutely over the moon at the result, and in many ways I am for Millie, but there’s something holding me back – I’m thinking of Sophie, Millie’s twin sister.IMG_5010

You might think that being twins they would be on the same team, in fact at one point at the start of the year they were, Sophie as the goalie, Millie as a skater. But then things got messy with Sophie being pushed from team to team and in the end quitting her home association to play for Pointe Claire, one might say, the local rivals. But Pointe Claire welcomed her with open arms, and have made her feel wanted and part of a team. But Sophie spent the weekend watching the team that, at one point, she thought she would be part of win the tournament.

In the end, who knows whether the team would have won with Sophie in goal, it’s impossible to say, especially with the knock in confidence that Sophie received at the start of the season. Only now is she starting to get back to where she was last year with a shut out win in Monday night’s game, and then a win over Mile End on Saturday. Playing in goal, is a technical position, but more than that, maybe 80% or more, it’s mental. Knock the confidence of a goalie, and it’s a long road back, and it’s difficult, especially when you are reminded week in, week out of what might have been by watching your twin sister play.

You may think from this, that Millie and Sophie get on fine, all the time, never fight – some chance. They will fight over the silliest things, but when push comes to shove there is an inexplicable bond, that makes them stand up and fight for each other, and when one is dumped on, the other has always stepped up to support her. Millie would have quit BKRA to support Sophie, if it hadn’t been the first year she had the opportunity to play at the ‘B’ level. I guess the biggest learning topic for this year, is that decisions affecting one twin, have major consequences not just for her, but for her twin sister, and then the parents as well. It’s been a tough year from a ringuette point of view.  I guess you need twins to really understand the impact, decisions can have on them.

And so back to the final, it was an awesome game.  BKRA were down 5-3 with 4 minutes to play. Any other game and their heads would have dropped, but no, they clawed back to 5-5. it went to sudden death overtime, BKRA got a penalty, and were down to 4 players, they were trapped in their own end. And then a breakout, a couple of passes down the ice, a weak shot, a save, a rebound and then a goal, 20 secs left on the clock – they had won! They had won the Benjamin B final.

So as I left the bench to join the girls on ice for the medal ceremony, I hugged Millie and then looked to the stands for Sophie, knowing her time will come.


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