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A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
By Kamlesh Patel
November 2 1999
 
        It was one cold January day in 97, I had received an
 important phone call from my friend Real.  I had been waiting 
for that call to let me know when our hockey league would 
begin play for the winter season.  The news was not good, 
our league had folded and we were left hanging!
 
To say that the news was devastating would be an understatement.  
I was in shock!  No hockey league?  It was as if the world had ended.  
The next few days I was desperately trying to recover emotionally. 
 And I must say that it was a futile effort.
 
Then about a week or so later, I received another phone call from
 Real.  I think it was a week, although I’ve no clue as those days 
felt like years to me.  Apparently our friend Ronen had been 
playing in a league at Westmount High on Friday Nights and his
team was short of players regularly.  He was wondering if we 
would be interested in playing with him.  At the time I certainly 
didn’t understand the importance of that phone call.  It was one
of those significant moments in one’s life!  I realized that soon 
afterwards.
 
Okay so the next Friday, Real and I went down to Westmount to 
experience playing in this league that Ronen had invited us to play
in.  I saw the gym, pretty good size for 4 on 4 hockey.  While 
watching the game being played, I noticed that there was almost 
no violence.  This was revolutionary to me as I had spent a couple 
of years of avoiding being hospitalized rather than enjoying 
playing hockey in our former league.
 
Wow I was really excited to get out on that gym floor.  That 
night we were going to play with the Screaming Maniacs.  Real 
and I met their Captain Peter Knapp, and he introduced us to 
the other players Paul, Chris, Angelo and Joe.  They seemed like 
a friendly group, but I had only met them and was uncertain.  
We have all witnessed the Jeckle and Hyde transformations 
that some people have been known to experience when they 
play hockey.
 
That first game was too much fun!  I had the privilege of 
playing with some excellent players.  There was Peter Knapp 
accepting a mediocre pass from me and scoring a beautiful 
goal.  Then there was Paul Iacurto, who fed me a pass in the 
slot that was so accurate, well you couldn’t place the ball 
any better if you carried it and put it on the floor with your 
hands.  And I managed to score on the play, actually I could 
almost say that Paul deflected the ball off my stick and into 
the net.  Then of course there was Real blocking shots and 
smothering the opposing forwards as he always does.  In the 
third period I scored off an accurate point shot, it was more 
luck rather than skill of course.  But no one knew that and 
I wasn’t about to enlighten anyone.  In retrospect it was a 
“NIGHT” to remember!  I was having the time of my life!
 
It was a great place to play, no question.  After the game 
Peter asked us if we wanted to continue playing with them.  
There was no question, we were going to play there anytime!  
And the fact that we were asked to play for the Screaming 
Maniacs, well it certainly was an honour.This was our 
introduction to the CASC!
 
This was a "NIGHT" that I'll always remember.
 
 
        Kamlesh Patel