Things are suddenly going all wrong for the Mars team. The league president just enforced a ridiculous rule banning Alexia, the Stars’ captain, from playing. And with their best winger off the ice, the Marsers don’t have much of a chance at the number one spot. Can the Marsers skate their way to the trophy?
Excerpt from Slapshots #4: Cup Crazy
You could just see the players coming back to life. These were the Stars that we knew and loved. Brian anchored the rush with speed and confidence. Kyle’s backward attacks confused the defenders. The forwards made precision passes, opening up great scoring chances. Josh was solid as a rock in the net.
The clock showed thirty seconds to play. Oh, man, I wanted a goal! Sure, we would still have a chance in overtime. But right now the Stars were totally dominating the play. This was our best shot at finishing off the Bruins before they could regroup.
Then Baker’s Auto Body caught the Stars off guard halfway through a line change.
“Go back!” bellowed Boom Boom.
But it was too late. Our first line was out of position and out of play.
Heroically, Trent stopped on a dime and hurled himself at the puck carrier in a desperation diving poke-check.
The puck came loose and dribbled over to Virgil, who stared at it like it was a live grenade. After all, this was the first time he’d touched it all game, and there were only fifteen seconds left in the third period.
“Shoot it!” It came from me, the coach, and about half the players.
And he did — a weird, clumsy golf shot that slid to the corner in slow motion.
Well, talk about a stampede! Everybody forgot their positions and went after that puck. Pretty soon, two whole teams were crammed into the corner, digging away.
Eight seconds! Seven — six —
Big Cal muscled himself free and snared the puck with his stick. He looked out in front for Mike, his center. But since all this was happening in the middle of a botched line change, Mike was still on the bench. The only one out there was Jared, who was supposed to be on the other line.
“I’m open!” Jared banged his stick on the ice.
Four — three — two —
Cal feathered a perfect pass. Jared didn’t even stop it — there was no time. He whacked it past the Bruins’ goalie and into the net a split second before the clock ran out.
Final score: 4–3, Stars.
The Stars from Mars were moving on to the next round.
Text copyright © 2000 by Gordon Korman. All rights reserved.