Winter Dreams Episode 49
Miles Myers was grateful for the motivational talk that Rick Miller had given him, but he still felt very nervous as he left the dressing room and walked slowly to the ice surface of the St. Vital Arena. The two rookie forwards, Steve Hayes and Rod Langlois followed right behind him.
Miles informed Steve and Rod that he wanted to skate two laps around the rink before taking his place in the net to start taking warm-up shots.
Several fans of the Norberry Knights had already found seats in the arena. As Norberry was the visiting team, their supporters took the bleachers on the west end of the arena. The Maplewood Cougars were attired in their home team jerseys, a beautiful blend of gold with white trim. The Norberry Knights wore their visitor’s uniforms that were white with silver trim.
As soon as Miles, Steve and Rod took to the ice they could feel the hatred that the Norberry Knights fans felt toward them.
One of Norberry’s fans yelled out,” Hey Myers, you sieve, what makes you think you can play goal like Rick Miller?” Another Knights fan, a tall thin man in his early forties, put his hands together and bellowed, “You guys should concede the game right now before you embarrass yourselves.”
The Maplewood Cougars fans started to enter on the east side bleachers. There was a sense of uneasiness among the Cougars supporters. The fans knew that not having Rick Miller in goal tonight could be a huge factor affecting the outcome of this evening’s game. There were also concerned about the loss of team captain, Eric Coswell as he was serving a suspension. Eric was highly valued for his team leadership as well as for his outstanding skills as a defenceman.
The extra security staff arrived approximately one hour before game time. Two security personnel were already checking the fans entering the arena for concealed weapons, contraband or alcohol. One three hundred pound security guard had already stopped one fan who had a switchblade knife in his jacket pocket. Two other security personnel caught a teenager with a flask of whiskey in the pocket of his parka. The young man had wrapped the silver flask in a brown paper lunch bag. This was not too smart as anyone who sees somebody drinking out of a brown paper bag knows that it’s not Coca- Cola in their container. The young man hung his head in embarrassment. One of the older security guards who was likely well to his sixties turned towards the young female security guard and said, “I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad when our shifts are over tonight. I think a lot of these people are expecting to have an all out brawl like the one they had last game.”
“Don’t worry,” said a thirty year-old police constable with a slight tinge of grey in his black hair. The police officer was standing by a white wall and was also keeping a close eye on the crowd. “The first person that gets out of line and I pull out the handcuffs. My partner and I are ready to use physical force if necessary, to keep this crowd under control. If it gets really bad. we can always radio in for backup.” His partner, a fit young officer with red hair, nodded in agreement.