1. Caleb

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A trail of powder snow followed my skates as I glided across the ice. Two defenders stood between me and the net, where the goaltender represented a final obstacle.

Taking on three opposing players wasn't an easy task for most hockey players, but I definitely wasn't most hockey players. As the top scorer of the Oakcrest High Chargers, I had plenty of experience in these scenarios. Each attempt played out differently, but the result was the same: a goal for Caleb Dawson.

The defenders continued to backpedal as I advanced. At the blue line, the defenders finally realized that skating backwards only opened up more space for me. One of them stepped forward and tried to take me out with a powerful but clumsy hit. The other defender, expecting contact, stopped to watch the hit unfold.

To both players' surprise, I made a quick little sidestep move and easily avoided the first defender. A few quick strides and I breezed by the other flatfooted defender.

Two down, one to go.

The crowd rose to their feet and the noise level grew as I stormed in on the goaltender. Everyone was anticipating a show. With plenty of tricks up my sleeves, I never disappointed my fans.

A head fake forced the goaltender to freeze momentarily, expecting a shot that never came. This was my bread and butter move. It was a simple trick, but it was also a simply effective trick.

I continued to handle the puck, but purposely left it dangling on the end of my stick. To the goaltender, whose timing and focus was thrown off by the fake shot, it must have seemed like I was losing control. Without thinking of the consequences, he lunged out and tried to poke the puck away.

Rookie mistake.

With practiced precision, I pulled the puck back like a yo-yo on a string and away from the goaltender. He made one last effort to trip me with his skates, but it didn't connect. Twenty four square feet of open net now became fully visible to me.

Before I put the puck where it belonged, I glanced over my shoulder at the goaltender. Most of his face was hidden behind the protective mask, but nothing could hide the desperation and helplessness in his eyes.

I finished the job by lofting the puck into the net. It bounced off the underside of the crossbar and fell straight down, just past the red line for a goal. Bar down beauty.

The goaltender got up and brushed the snow off his jersey. "I'll get you next time, Dawson!"

No, you won't.

I glided around the net and joined my teammates in a celebratory huddle. The crowd cheered approvingly and I heard a few fans chant my name. This only further annoyed the goaltender, who grunted in frustration as he got the rubber out of his net.

As we skated back towards the bench, the goaltender suddenly made eye contact with me and I took this opportunity to rub some salt into his wounds. With the chant picking up volume around the arena, I put a glove to my ear and leaned in towards him.

"You hear that? Caleb. Caleb. Caleb." The goaltender turned away and ignored me. "You don't hear it? That's fine. You'll be hearing plenty more of this later today."

That caused him to snap and utter a long string of curse words. I took that as my cue to leave. Mission accomplished.

At the bench, the rest of my team began to congratulate me on the goal. I saw moving mouths, but I couldn't hear a single word. The arena was buzzing with excitement and individual voices became inaudible noises. It was difficult to separate my supporting cast from my supporters.

When play started up again, Coach Stone strolled over to my spot on the bench. He gave me a quick pat on the helmet. I looked up and was greeted by his usual deadpan expression. Coach definitely lived up to his last name. Stone cold as always.

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