FTLComm - Yorkton - December 1, 2000

A hockey road trip is an experience to endure. All of the young men on Tisdale's Midget "AAA" team have already had at least eleven years of road trips and for each it is a ritual, pillows, food, homework, anticipation and boredom.

The team boarded the coach at the RecPlex at 4:00 with them were two fans, two coaches, play-by-play announcer from CJVR and Ensign's intrepid photographer.

Tonight's game was in
Yorkton and scheduled for
8:00. Someone had brought
Jim Carey's Liar Liar which mercifully used up more than ninety minutes as highway #35 turned into East bound on #16, the Yellowhead and we were in Yorkton's Agriplex at 6:45. Plenty of time to get the gear out, have a team meeting, dress and at 7:30 both teams were on the ice for warm-up.

The warm-up itself is a ritual, years of warm ups behind these competitive hockey players would see them on the ice looking after their standard drills in a ceremony as old as hockey itself.

Shots on the goalie, two on ones after the initial skate then rapid fire drill on the goalies from a semi circle a fast final skate and off the ice at 7:45 for the ice to be cleaned for the game.

These two teams had met in pre-season and the Mallers had beaten the Trojans but that was many games ago and it was like their first encounter with one another.

The Trojans have players from the Southern half of the province and like them so do the Mallers. Some Trojans actual have their parents at tonight's game as they live in the immediate area and for them it is almost a home game.

The parents are the first fans in the stands most were there for the warm up as there is a building anticipation as the tempo of the evening winds up. The home team have their groupies up in the sound system area blasting
out the "pump-up" music
and the warm-up's fifteen
minutes seem to pass in an blurring instant.

With the ice cleaned the officials move into the team keeper's box, the audio system is checked and the on ice officials skate on and do a quick few laps to warm up.

The announcer recites the programme scratches and changes for the game and the fans begin to fill in the seats.

The Yorkton Agriplex is a big facility and though a good crowd by Tisdale
standards was on hand the
placed looked empty as
members of the Terrier team and other Yorkton teams came into the stands and a few minutes into the game most of the spectators had arrived.

Then it was game time and hockey with its own special cadence begins to build momentum and the next two hours vanish amidst shots, saves, checks, whistles and head shaking.

With the game over it was time to pack up and for most time to eat as they had been on the bus and into the game since four in the afternoon.
At eleven the Bus is loaded and is easing its way back onto the blackness of pavement as players and passengers struggle for comfort, a video is on the night passes and just before two AM the bus is unloading at the RecPlex another road trip is history.
The story of the night's game is found on the "Second Page" click here or on the picture below.