Boom! The locker rooms roared last year with the sounds of cheering, music, coaches’ pep talks. But today, as I sit outside the rink getting dressed, I notice the locker rooms lay dormant. They are empty and silent.

Papers are signed. No fever, no sore throat, no loss of taste. Check, check, check. All dressed and masked up, I can now enter the rink. My family is missing from the stands. One spectator allowed per player.

On the benches this year are two Glades teams playing each other. Our jerseys are the same, but with different colors. We are playing our friends and league members who are one year younger than us. We are not in Boston, Cape Cod, or Rhode Island. We are not allowed to travel. We are in Stowe.

Yet when I leave the bench and step out onto the ice, hockey feels the same again. My goal is to be the best defenseman I can be, score goals, and win. This part of hockey can't be changed by COVID-19.

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