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HOCKEY HUMOR
The Magic Rug - Ronnie Slipchuk Story
by StatsHockey.net
The Hockey Dream

Years ago there was a player named Ronnie Slipchuk who played center for the Elk Nose Lumberjacks, a minor league hockey team. He always dreamed of playing in the NHL, but Ronnie's talents were limited; he just wasn't good enough to make to the big leagues.
Coach Prunes once said "He had the heart of a lion and the head of an Edsel." Ronnie unfortunately was never drafted by the NHL & spent the last five years in the minors & knew it was only a matter of time before the Lumberjacks would ask him to move on. Now Ronnie was still a pretty good second line center, averaging about 50 points a year for the last five years, but his time was running out if he ever wanted to make it to the NHL before his 26 birthday.

Ronnie was also a hard working person off the ice, where he would always donate his time helping the disadvantaged there in Elk Nose, plus, on top of that, he had a part-time job at the local eatery called Ecoly Burgers. On one particular day during the Lumberjacks' regular hockey season Ronnie was doing what he always did after a practice or game, was take a shower, wash his hair, then take off, but this time was different because Ronnie saw for the first time the back of his head and noticed he was losing his hair, and he was only in his mid twenties. This really bothered Ronnie because his Dad didn't start losing his hair until he was in his early forties.

One day after working his typical Sunday morning shift at Ecoly Burgers, he left out the back door to throw out some garbage into the large blue garbage bin, but when he opened the lid and looked down he saw this mound of blonde hair just lying their amid the garbage. After picking it up and inspecting it closely, he realized it was a hair piece somebody must have thrown out. Ronnie wasn't the most brilliant guy around, but he knew he was losing his hair now and needed something to hide his balding head so that his teammates wouldn't find out and start making fun of him, so he decided to take the hair piece home. When he got home he washed it, dried it, then tried it on, and it seemed to work by covering up his bald spot and then some. There was this tingling sensation he had in his arms and legs when he put the hair piece on, but it would all together stop when he took it off, and Ronnie just chalked it up to him being excited about his new do.

Well, the next day Ronnie decided to wear his new hair piece to practice, and hopefully the players wouldn't notice. Here it was January 22, 1984, and Ronnie was probably heading for his typical 50-point season because he had 25 points up to the mid point but knew this might be his last season on the Lumberjacks or hockey in general if something didn't change in a large way. When Ronnie got on the ice that morning, he realized he was skating faster than all the other players on his team and not only that ... he could skate backwards for the first time in his life and couldn't understand why. If that wasn't enough, he began shooting the puck at break neck speeds and that prompted his goalie Jean-Pierre Manning to tell Coach Prunes, "I won't stay in net if he keeps shooting puck like dat."

Well that night it was the big game against their biggest rivals the Hoediddy Birds, and Ronnie's whole family was there, including his girlfriend of the last 5 years, Rebecca Statchatori, who was also celebrating her 16th birthday. Believe it or not, Ronnie went out and scored a Hat Trick and added three assists for a six point night, the most points he ever got in one game. Well, this went on practically for the rest of the regular season and Ronnie knew it was all because of his new hairpiece, the hairpiece he named "The Magic Rug." He was heading for a career 100 point season and his team was going to make the playoffs for the first time in 23 years. Ronnie was so proud of is accomplishments that after every game, when he got home, he would take off his Magic Rug and put it on this plastic head and start combing it out faithfully like it was part of him.

On the second last game of the regular season the Lumberjacks were to play the worst team in the league, the Witchata Tripods, which had one of the toughest guys in the league on their team, Harley "The Gap" Lowique, who got the nickname "The Gap" because he was missing six of his front teeth and never wore a bridge. The game started and sure enough Ronnie got the puck and went on his patented end to end rush and scored, to the delight of the fans. In the second period Ronnie scored again by drilling a slap shot over top of the opposing goalie's shoulder. Here it was the third period, and Ronnie had five points already, and the Lumberjacks were up 5 to 1 on the Tripods with only 3 minutes to go in the third period. The Tripods then got a penalty and were down one man and guess who scored ... it was Ronnie with his Hat Trick and his 100 point of the season. The crowd went wild and started to chant RONNIE! RONNIE! and Ronnie was in his glory. His life started to flash before his eyes; NHL teams were fighting to sign him; the woman he loved was in the stands, and he was probably going to be making big money in the future. But somebody forgot to tell Harley "The Gap" Lowique how happy Ronnie was because with just over a minute left in the game "The Gap" hit Ronnie with a thundering shoulder check, which was so hard it sent Ronnie's helmet flying up in the air one way and his hair piece the other. There was stunned silence from the crowd at the Rent-a-Reck Arena, which turned into screams when the fans and players thought the blonde hair piece was one of the local rats which must have found its way onto the ice. Just then a heroic Linesman named Quackendouche grabbed one of the players' sticks and skated toward this menacing rodant and started hitting it over and over again until somebody shouted, "I think it's dead." The crowd went from screams to laughter when they realized, after getting a closer look from the Jumbotron, that is was Ronnie's hair piece. Ronnie was totally embarrassed when the Linesman brought it over to the bench and handed it to Ronnie. Well, Ronnie, having one hell of a sense of humor himself, stood up and took a bow showing his bald spot to all the fans. "Who cares if people know I wear a hair piece? They will never know it was a Magic Rug." Ronnie then headed toward the dressing room to get some repairs and straighten out  his damaged hair piece. After somewhat fixing his Magic Rug , he put it on a realized that, for the first time, he didn't get that tingling sensation all over his body as he did all the other times when he put it on. "I think the rug is dead," declared Ronnie.

Well, sure enough, in the last game of the regular season, Ronnie was terrible. He couldn't skate, shoot or pass the puck at all. It was just like old times again. Lumberjacks did make the playoffs but they got beat 4 straight and Ronnie got no points; it was a terrible way to impress the NHL scouts that were there watching him. Even with Ronnie's poor showing in the playoffs, he did get a try out at one unnamed NHL team's summer camp for undrafted players, but Ronnie failed miserably, prompting one coach to say, "If he was any worse he'd be dead."

Poor Ronnie's life came crashing back to earth big time, but that was only the beginning because the Lumberjacks decided not to renew his contract saying he was to old and slow, which basically ended his hockey career, and, on top of that, the woman he loved, Rebecca Statchatori, ran off with her paper boy.

All was not lost with Ronnie Slipchuk. He eventually moved back to rural Canada where he is now selling bottled water door to door. Ronnie looks back at his life today with no regrets saying "It's better to live life like a Lion than a like an Edsel."
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