Happy Mothers Day - Hockey Moms!


The final three games played at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport were shutouts. The Sound Tigers were losers in two of those games and didn’t win the third. A scheduling conflict at the XL Center in Hartford, forced the Whale to play host to the visiting Norfolk Admirals in Bridgeport, on neutral ice, in an unfriendly environment. The only player that might have felt at ‘home’ Wednesday night was Admirals’ forward Trevor Smith, who had played over 100 games here as a popular member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Admirals won the contest with a 4-0 shutout besting the Whale and their goalie, Cam ‘Tiger Killer’ Talbot, the very same Whale tender that got hot, and abruptly ended the season for the Sound Tigers. (Mark Katic-by Scott Slingsby/Flickr)

A neutral site far from Norfolk, lousy weather and a Rangers vs. Capitals playoff game on TV resulted in a very small crowd. Just over 1,100 of the heartiest of fans turned out and were joined in the cheap seats by the legendary Gordie Howe, Ray Bourque and Mark Messier. The game meant nothing to the Bridgeport team, whose season had ended, but celebrations were being held by Sound Tigers from Oklahoma to Ontario, and though not nearly a Guinness record, sixty-six candles were blown out.

Perhaps worthy of a mention in “Ripley’s-Believe-It-Or-Not”, is the fact that on May the ninth in three consecutive years from 1989 thru 1991 three young women were preparing to celebrate their  Mothers Day by (unbeknownst to them) becoming  ‘Hockey Moms’. Each entered labor, pushed when asked, sweated as required (I hear there is effort involved), screamed as necessary (I have also been told that there may be a bit of pain) and out popped a blue-liner. Islanders prospects Mark Katic (1989), Matt Donovan (1990) and Calvin deHaan (1991) all share May the ninth as their birthday. (Matt Donovan- by Pope Steve XXVII)

That they share a birthday is not that remarkable. That they play the same position, were drafted by the same NHL team, share the same locker room as Sound Tigers and have each realized a dream shared by all young players by ‘making it’ to hockey’s highest level the NHL, would even astonish Mr. Ripley. I hope that some day in the not to distant future they get to share their birthday and blow out the candles together. A May birthday shared as teammates means they are in the playoffs and what better present could they ask for.

So, if getting up at all hours of the night to bring your son to practice is acceptable, good. If it won’t bother you to have your son leave for perhaps weeks at a time to billet with another family, fine. If you don’t mind repeated trips to the doctor for the application or removal of stitches, perfect. If inventorying teeth can become an acceptable daily routine for you, fantastic. Perhaps you would make a good hockey mom. (Calvin deHaan- by Pope Steve XXVII)

Be prepared for failure. Of the many thousands of young men that become draft eligible each year only a couple of hundred get drafted. Of that select group, only an elite few will make it to the NHL. Fewer still will enjoy a career in the bigs. Still interested in the job? A little piece of advice.

This summer in late July or early August, take a week and get away. You and your life’s partner should find a nice cabin in the woods or lakeside resort and relax. Escape from everything and enjoy each others company. Eat well and when you want to, sleep long and hard. Take long walks together and make every moment matter. Enjoy it all and make it memorable, for in nine short months, perhaps on May the ninth, your life may change forever. We can always use another blue-liner.

Happy Mothers Day, Hockey Moms!

- Mike Flannery

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