I was lining a game in the Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey
League during the 2002-2003 season. It was a normal game and
everything was going along well until I got hit in the skate blade
with a clearing shot at the blue line. Something felt funny as I
took the next few strides. When I stopped and looked down, I
noticed that my skate blade had been broken in half by the shot.
Now what? We carry a lot of things in our referee bag, but a spare
set of skates is not one of those things you usually take with
As it so happened, one of the timekeepers had just finished
doing a game before us and offered to let me use his skates. I am
over six feet tall and have an extra wide foot, so suffice it to
say that there was great apprehension on my part as I hobbled over
to the referee dressing room to retrieve the skates.
Yes the skates fit, but I am sure the skates were older than I
was. And, thankfully, the person pointed out that there wasn't
much blade left. I looked and realized that unless I was standing
perfectly straight, I was going to be touching plastic to the ice.
Not a good situation in a Junior A game, but what could I do.
I finished the period with the borrowed skates, but it was
extremely difficult to turn on plastic.
At the next intermission I decided that it was better to have
one good skate, so I went back on the ice for the third period
wearing two very distinctly different pairs of skates. This wasn't
a game that will go down in my records as one of those in which I
displayed impeccable form and appearance, but it will certainly be
one that I will recall whenever someone asks me if there are any
special games that I remember.
After all, a skate is a skate.