His team won the first two games of the series, so there was pressure on the other team to turn around the series with the two games at their rink. Aaron once again knew that he'd be the focal point, as he had helped to shut them down. Now, it was going to be an all or nothing game, as his team would potentially take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series; he knew that it was going to be an all out war to win the game tonight.
In the locker room, iPod headphones in his ear, music blaring, Aaron was getting mentally ready for what he knew would be a real battle tonight. Guys running him over in his crease to throw him off, plenty of screens so that he couldn't see what was going on, and anything and everything he could think of-all of it he was about to face. He knew that this would be a series
From the opening faceoff, his pregame worries came true. Their first goal came off a deflection from the forward infringing on Aaron's living room, the crease. The next goal came from a shot that a defenseman took while Aaron was faliling around, hoping to actually see the puck. To Aaron's credit, he had faced an astounding 35 shots in the first two periods, so he wasn't doing necessarily bad; he just gave up two hard goals by a hungrier team. Besides, in the frantic scrambles in front of the net, the two on ones, three on twos, three on ones, he had held his own.
After two crazy periods of nonstop, frantic action, the scoreboard read: "Home-2, Away-1". Between the periods, Aaron was preparing himself for the third period, which would be the critical period of the game, even the series.
His team came out of the gates, firing everything on net. They knew that this would be a huge period for the whole series, and that they could essentially win the series in the last 20 minutes of this game. However, the opposing goalie had been playing spectacular, as he had only yielded a single goal through the first 40 minutes. In his own net, Aaron was silently praying for an equalizer goal, as he desperately hoped that his team would bail him out for his earlier mistakes, mistakes that had put them in a hole.
With five minutes left in the game, the scoreboard still read 2-1 in favor of the other team. As each second wound down, Aaron gradually got more nervous; he was blaming himself for the loss, as he probably should have made just one more save.
One minute left on the clock. The puck was in the other team's zone and Aaron was on the bench for an extra attacker. The critical moment was there-would his centerman win the faceoff? The centers were square to the faceoff dot, waiting for the ref to drop the puck, jostling around for the key position. For Aaron, time seemed to slow down as the puck fell to the ice. Then it all seemed to unravel. His center lost the faceoff, as it was sent back to the defenseman. The defenseman then waited a little bit, made a pass to the forward, who then skated past Aaron's defensman, and shot it into the net.
On the bench, Aaron just sat there, stunned. "It was all my fault that he scored. If I hadn't sucked and stopped those two goals, we never would have had to resort to pulling me for an extra attacker and he never would have had an empty net to shoot in."
Final score, Home-3, Away-1. The series now was 2 games to 1, with another road game. Would the next game bring a win? Or another loss?