Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thought I'd seen everything. Apparently not!

I've witnessed a lot in my days calling games at the Western Hockey League level.
I clearly remember the first brawl I was asked to describe when the Swift Current Broncos were in Lethbridge in 1995 and both benches filtered out players until mayhem was on the ice and punches were being thrown with reckless abandon. Who started it all? Broncos forward Tyler Willis.

Calling my first WHL playoff game at the old Calgary Corral in 1999 with the fans packed to the rafters was an unforgettable experience. Winning two WHL championships in three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets and upsetting the heavily favoured  Calgary Hitmen for the Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2009 will never be erased from my memory. Oh ya, knocking off the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Conference final last season is also up there.

With all of those games under my belt behind a microphone, I thought I had seen everything. That all changed Friday night thanks to 18 year-old forward Tomas Soustal.

The soft spoken forward pulled off a move I've seen before, but only on video, to the delight, shock and amazement of the fans at Prospera Place.The undrafted forward had the puck behind the Edmonton Oil Kings net. Without an option to pass, Soustal quickly and deftly, slipped the puck on his stick and in one quick motion in mid air, delivered the puck - lacrosse style - behind a startled Oil Kings goaltender Payton Lee. Not many fans realized what they had witnessed until it was quickly showed on the replay screen for the 55 hundred fans to watch from several angles.

Often times over the course of the season, games in November can be dull and at times lifeless. On this night, fans were treated to something special, something that this broadcaster has never witnessed in person in my 21 seasons of calling WHL games on the radio.

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