“But I hardly touched her!” Stephanie complained as the ref let her to the penalty box. “She dove! Call her for the dive too!”
Her team was losing the game 4-3 in the third period.
“How about cutting us a break of once?” Stephanie yelled as the timekeeper closed the door. Exasperated, Stephanie threw her gloves and stick on the floor of the box.
“She’s called us for twelve penalties in the game,” she muttered. “No wonder we’re losing. This happens every night!”
She looked up at the clock. Only 30 seconds left in her penalty, the team had nearly killed it off. Stephanie picked up her gloves and stick and got ready to jump on the ice. 10 seconds. 5 seconds.
The other team scored with 1 second left on her penalty. Furious, Stephanie stormed out of the box onto the ice.
“Nice reffing,” she snapped as she passed the ref heading to the bench.
“What did you say?” the ref demanded.
Before she could reply, one of Stephanie’s teammates came over and put a hand on Stephanie’s arm.
“Take it easy… you don’t want another penalty,” Lea reasoned.
“But they’ve scored every goal on the power play! We’re losing this game because of her,” Stephanie said, gesturing toward the ref.
“I know. Take it easy,” Lea said. “Wait, what is she doing?”
“Two minutes, delay of game penalty.” The ref had given them another penalty.
“That’s ridiculous!” Lea yelled, chasing the ref. “You didn’t even give us a warning!”
“You can’t do that!” Stephanie yelled, following Lea.
“I can, and keep talking. I’d love to give you another,” the ref sneered.
“Who’s going to serve it,” another teammate sighed, skating up to them.
“I’ll do it,” Stephanie muttered, stepping back into the box.
Discouraged, the girls skated back to the bench where the coach had called a time out.
“One shift at a time, girls,” the coach said. “We’re not going to kill this all off at once, you just need to take it one shift at a time.”
The girls killed the penalty, but lost the game. Their season was over; they had lost their playoff game.
“That stupid ref!” Lea complained in the locker room after the game. “It’s her fault we lost.”
“She was out to get us,” Stephanie agreed.
“Well, we weren’t very good defensively,” their goalie pointed out.
“It doesn’t matter, we couldn’t have won with officiating like that,” Lea said.
“There were only two penalties called on the other team in the whole game,” Stephanie agreed.
“I know that,” Tania said. “But the point is we could have played better ourselves.”
“Good effort tonight girls,” the coach said, coming into the room. “You played hard out there and I’m proud of you.”
“Too bad the reffing was so lopsided, we almost had a chance to win,” Stephanie grumbled, and took off her skates for the last time that year.