Visited the Roseville, MN, ice arena Saturday to watch the Roseville High School boys take on Stillwater. I arrived during warm-ups and trekked down to the far end to see if I could find some semi-transparent glass to shoot through. The glass sucked, but what got my attention was the lack of netting to keep pucks inside the playing area. There are no seats at that end, but it is open to spectators to stand at the glass. The scoreboard is also at that end and I found it unusual that it would be left unprotected.
Made a mental note to watch for flying pucks and pulled out my D4 to get ready. While I was attaching a lens, a puck deflected up and over the glass, apparently hit a steel roof beam, and ricocheted straight down onto my head. Ow. It left me a little woozy and I had to sit down for a few seconds. A major league knot quickly formed and there was a small amount of blood, but the cut was small and nothing that would require stitches. Damn, tough sport, hockey. Even the photographers bleed.
Late in the third period with Stillwater leading 2-1, and down at the other end where my sore head was protected by a net, a classic hockey moment unfolded. Roseville was killing a penalty at the far end. The penalty ended, and the offending player was freed from the box with perfect timing to take a great pass from a teammate and break in alone on the Stillwater goalie. Glory awaited. But the puck never settled down, rolling and bouncing the entire play, and the eventual shot went wide.
Massive bummer. I left feeling a little worse for the wear, but no way I felt as bad as that Roseville shooter.