We were tied at 0 in overtime. During the entire 60 minutes of play we absolutely dominated. It looked like an easy win. This series was ours. Success was just one goal away. Then tragedy struck. One mishandled backhand landed the puck in the wrong net. One misplaced goal rendered us powerless. The Avalanche had won. How could this have happened? How could something we worked so hard for be handed over to the enemy so quickly? It just didn’t seem fair. How would we ever live down this moment? The entire NHL had just witnessed history and at that moment, history stunk. Mr. Boyle went to his dressing room stunned and defeated. His team had worked so hard. Now they would have to work harder. On the morning after that fateful gaffe, Boyle had been asked how he was going to recover from his devastating loss. With fierce determination in his eyes, he answered, “I have to get back out there and I have to play again.” He knew that the story wasn’t over, that he had a job to do, and that his team needed him.
As luck would have it, the Sharks bounced back almost immediately in the next game. Less than two minutes into the fist period, Boyle himself scored the first and only goal in regulation. The game went into overtime and the puck sailed into the net to score the winning goal. The Sharks had overcome their adversary with a seething vengeance. I am absolutely certain that their win can be attributed to Boyle’s perseverance and resilience. He knew that his blunder was not the end of the story, that his victory would not be stolen by a mere fluke, and that all of his team’s hard work would not, could not be in vain. The San Jose Sharks returned home champions. They had outplayed their opponent again.
There was a man who spent his entire life fighting for his cause. He worked so hard for so long and then one day it happened. The enemy won by a fluke. A crowd that had praised his name 24 hours earlier was now condemning him to die. Hell laughed in his face and flaunted its victory. All the saving lives, saving souls, healing diseases- all of it had been stuffed into the enemy’s net with a misguided backhand. The hero hung on the cross stunned and defeated. Then the curtain tore, the earth quaked, and the entire world trembled. The man stood up and walked out of the tomb. He wiped off his hands, shook the dust off his clothes, and emerged triumphant. Out from the ashes he climbed, beaten, bruised, and bloody and silenced his opponent with one simple act. He got back up.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”