Good picks—and driving tips

After weeks of faulty predictions and suspect logic, I finally came through with a good week of prognostication. I’m pretty pleased with myself right now, so let’s take a second to review my prediction for the NorWOSSA boys’ hockey final which took place over the weekend. I wrote in this space last week: Muskies sweep the series 2-0 but both games are one-goal affairs. Now, my detractors will point out that I only got my prediction half-correct. I nailed the number of games correctly but Friday night’s 4-2 win at the Ice for Kids Arena here wasn’t a one-goal affair. Fair enough. I could try and make an excuse like, “if Muskie goalie David Moen doesn’t make several quality saves on an extended Eagle power play at the end of Game 1, the Eagles pull to within a goal,” but that would be petty. I was just plain wrong. However, I certainly wasn’t wrong with a prediction I made to Muskie head coach Shane Bliss between the first and second overtime periods of Sunday’s marathon, series-clinching win. I was mulling around the Muskie locker-room when Bliss emerged. We got to chatting and he asked me what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t hesitate in responding that the Muskies were going to win. Now before the detractors pipe up again, this game was by no means a cut-and-dried affair for the Muskies. Eagles’ goalie Curtis Lambkin had been playing out of his mind for just over three hours at that point. And while the Muskies were carrying the majority of the play, there was a growing fear that Dryden just might come down the ice and score a goal to steal the game and force a third-and-deciding that would have been played last night back here. It’s a scenario that happens all the time in the National Hockey League and I’d be willing to wager that there were more than a few Muskie fans who were getting nervous in the stands. However, and this is the good part, Bliss then asked me who I thought was going to score and be the hero. Again I didn’t really hesitate. My answer—Kevin Bobczynski. The newest addition to the Muskies had had a pretty good game, scoring the second Fort High goal on a laser of a shot to the top corner. However, that’s not why I picked him. No, the reason I chose the lanky Muskie forward is that he’s not afraid to shoot the puck. It doesn’t matter if he’s standing at the edge of the opposition’s crease or he’s a foot inside the blueline, Bobczynski will fire the puck on goal. Therefore, it came as no surprise to me when Bobczynski intercepted an errant clearing attempt and wired shot through Lambkin’s five-hole for the win. Yep, I was feeling pretty good about myself. It almost makes up for the $10 I lost to fellow Times’ reporter Melanie Béchard wagering on Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts on Saturday night. Sigh. In a somewhat related story, I’d also like to thank the Turgeon family for helping get to Sunday’s game in Dryden. I made the ill-informed decision to pull over on Highway 502 to fiddle with my iPod for a second on the way to Dryden and wanted to make sure I was out of the way of other traffic. Unfortunately, the shoulder of the road was only solid for about three and-a-half feet. The other foot-and-a-half was just soft snow. So, when my tire got into the soft snow, I slid into the ditch. This could have been very troublesome had the Turgeons not seen me standing on the side of the road looking rather vexed. They stopped and took the time to pull me out with a tow rope. Thankfully we all got to Dryden in time for puck drop. The lesson in all this is that even if the shoulder of the highway is plowed to five feet, don’t trust it. Or, the lesson could be to just leave the iPod alone while driving. You decide. Anyway, thank you Turgeon family for helping a city boy out of the ditch. Without you, I’d probably still be standing on the side of the highway with a puzzled look on my face.

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