Casey at the Crease
A hockey version of Casey at the Bat
This is a hockey version of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's classic poem, Casey at the Bat. If you are not familiar with it, you might want to read it first here: Casey at the Bat
It was looking pretty nifty for the Moose Hat team that day
The score was three to two with one minute left to play
If they could hold off Medicine Jaw, they would win the game
The crowd was on their feet now as they hoped for hockey fame
The ref he coolly dropped the puck between the center men
The disc was scooped up quickly by the Javian they called Glenn
He flicked the puck to Petrov, a Russian emigré
Who rushed around the Hat defense. He would have his way.
He snapped his wrist with a quick flick and the rubber it did fly
Petrov’s aim looked good and true, there was a twinkle in his eye
But good as the winger’s shot was, luck was with the host
The goalie quickly raised his glove and the disc it hit the post!
The crowd was on its feet now, thirty seconds left to play
“Moose Hat! Moose Hat!” they all cried. This would be their day.
But that pesky Petrov now had the puck again
He slapped it back to Jonesy who fed it back to Glenn.
Glenn let fly that hard black disc even though he was falling down
And Jenkins the Moose Hat goalie, wore a taciturn frown
There were too many players in the way of big Glenn’s shot
And Jenkins couldn't see the puck as it slapped in through the slot.
It slipped into the five hole just beside his skate and sock.
Medicine Jaw tied the score with just seconds on the clock.
The roaring crowd they booed. The hissing crowd they stomped.
Lordy this was looking bad. The home team had got chomped.
But hope it springs eternal. The game would turn out fine.
For the game was not yet finished. There was still overtime.
Their hopes all lay with Casey, the Moose Hat home town star
He was the league’s top scorer. He’d brought the team this far.
He’d scored not once but twice so far in this very game
A Hat trick seemed in order to reflect the home town’s name.
If he could only get his stick deftly on the rubber
They knew he’d score the winning goal, they knew he wouldn’t flub ‘er.
Ten minutes passed too slowly. It really seemed to drag.
They wanted to see their hero score and put this in the bag.
Now the strobes started swirling as the teams came on the ice
Those Javians thought they had a chance. The home crowd thought “No Dice!”
The game it see-sawed back and forth. The game went end to end.
Neither team would give an inch. Neither team would bend.
But Casey had not been called up yet, Coach kept him in reserve.
And the crowd was on its feet now shouting “Coach, you’ve got your nerve!”
“Bring on Casey!” they all screamed. “Bring on Casey!” they all cried.
The coach he waved to the cheering crowd, nodding to Casey as he obliged.
Casey stood up to the adoring cries, and waved back to the crowd.
The fans they hooted and hollered. By God that crowd was loud.
Casey stepped on the ice with swagger. He knew what the home crowd wanted.
He knew they set their hopes on him. He knew that he was vaunted.
He gripped the stick and took his place, right there at center ice
He won the face-off as expected and passed the puck to Rice.
Rice moved up on the left side deking ‘round a Jaw defender
He whipped the puck across the ice to the winger they called Bender
Who passed the puck back to Casey, who slapped it with great gusto
But it was tipped in the nick of time and the hoped for goal was busto.
Once more the home team rallied as they circled round and round
They would win this game they knew. With Casey a way would be found.
But the Javians also rallied and Petrov stole the puck
He found a gap and raced down the ice. A breakaway! What good luck!
But Casey he was faster. He soared on up the ice
He pressured Petrov to take his shot. Forced him to roll the dice.
Petrov wasn’t ready. The shot was off its mark.
If Medicine Jaw thought they would win, they were whistling in the dark.
But Casey in his bravado, thought he’d whack it back
Send it long on up the ice and take the game like that.
But hubris comes back to haunt us and Casey’s swing was thin
And horror of horrors, the crowd gasped as in his own net it tipped in.
The lone wolves howl in the prairie field, howling to the moon
We know not what they howl about, it is a mournful tune
But in Moose Hat it seems fitting, that most depressing sound
For their hopes rested on Casey, no longer playoff bound.
Note: This is one of three epic poems I have turned into alternate versions. The other two were the retelling of two classic fairy tales. Check them out.
- The Ugly Duckling told in the style of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven
- Little Red Riding Hood told in the style of Alfred Noyes' The Highwayman (In this version Red is a pistol-packin' gal who takes no guff from the wolf!)
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About the author
Marco is the published author of two books on investing in the stock market. Since retiring in 2014 after forty years in broadcast journalism, Marco has become an avid blogger on philosophy, travel, and music He also writes short stories.