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  • Kaje Rockwell

Team Alaska Gets the Gold!


They swarmed around the rink, rocketing dozens of rubber pucks against the glass. 

We could feel their energy, swinging to the same beat of the overhead loudspeakers, cheering on our favorite players who we hoped would be champions in tonight’s male hockey finals between Team Alaska and the Northwest Territories. 

Almost superhuman, they slide to the center.  The first slapshot strikes the goalie, sending families, friends, and visitors into a symphony of applause. 


A scattered cluster slams against a corner, a helpless puck beneath their blades.  Their sticks cross, slashing mercilessly at each other’s feet.  They break free, gliding to the opposite side, Team Northwest Territories’ protected goal.  It’s a score for Team Alaska!

They chase the puck from one end to the next as if it has a mind of its own.  Another slapshot into the goal!  The referees convene in a sudden silence as the ice clears of players, and they wait to hear the final verdict for the shot.  Heroically, the announcer booms, “It’s another goal for Team Alaska!”


Alaska’s fans leap in excitement as a blue-jacketed fan runs down the first row of the stadium, waving Alaska’s flag with pride and joy. 

The rest of the first period is a mad rush of encounters.  They slam, slide, and slapshot at every move.  From the balcony, it sounds like bullwhips crackling below.  From the lowest front row seats, they are more like the popping of a small caliber rifle. 

The crowd screamed with the announcer’s booming voice, leading off the second period.  The score is already 4 to 0, a score that holds throughout the period. 

Coasting back to the center of the ring, then fanning out to Team Alaska’s home goalie, the Northwest Territories strike their first goal! 


Bursting into action, it’s a warzone of players, a race with every inch of their strength. 

Team Alaska sweeps the puck away from the Northwest Territories, hurling it into the goal.  Another point!  It was hard-fought through many penalties, through scrambling and scuffling and any number of aggressive scraps to change the odds for NWT, but here they shoot their shot and strike a fair point. 


NWT fires back into action, speeding ahead to defend their goal.  It’s well-defended, but a player for the blue and gold sweeps another slapshot into the net.  “Team Alaska Goals!  They never die!” bellows an elated announcer.  An aroused audience erupts with a rolling chant for Team Alaska!

Players stare each other down after a penalty.  The puck rolls carelessly into the clutches of an NWT player.  His slapshot sends it flying at the goalie for Alaska.  He saves it with a quick reaction, locking his left knee to the ice, sending it skittering back at the Northwest players.  The period ends a score of 6 to 1, one period closer to victory! 


Someone blares a horn at the start.  Northwest Territories has the puck—they swing and miss by a hair!  They make the attempt again and again, hewing chunks of ice from the ring, but to no avail.  Alaska surrounds them, chucking the puck away. 

It's an attack and retreat for Team Alaska, swift and effective.  NWT encircles, now swarms in, now fights for life!  Alaska nearly scores, but NWT is aggressive.  They are battling for their ground. 


Players clash in arm locks.  It’s a shuffle back to the goal, and to another penalty. 

In front, behind, and around the Northwest goal, Team Alaska fires another shot.  Another goal! 


3 minutes away from the end of the game is a chaotic scramble after the puck.  Another score for Team Alaska happens in a flash to the amazement of her fans!  The countdown strikes.  Team Alaska clearly wins, leaving a rink littered with gloves and helmets among their surrendered hockey-sticks. 

We turn to the flag of our nation.  Team Alaska hums the old melody, “Oh, say, can you see?”  We turn to these athletes now.  Oh, say, can you see our champions?  Sons, grandsons, brothers, and friends?  We see heroes in the making as they have gold medals hung around their necks.  Turning to the Northwest Territories, we see tomorrow’s champions, silver medalists after a well-played game. 

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