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Spraks Fly

Malkin Back To Letang, Shot, Score!

"Hey Renee," Annlie said coming up behind me, fumbling to put her phone and keys in her purse.

"Hey Ann," I said as I gathered my hair all to one side, something I did when I was nervous.

"What made you decide to come out tonight? I've been asking you to come for weeks."

"Well, Kris really wanted me to come tonight and I decided it was time."

"Well, I'm glad that Kris was able to convince you to come out. It's so much fun and the girls are really nice."

That's right, I totally forgot I would be socializing with the players wives and girlfriends. I was after all one of them now. Before I could second guess myself we were making our way to the private press box.

Sitting down in the seats in front of the box I placed my purse between my feet and took it all in. It had been a long time since I had sat in these seats for a game. This was where dad took me for our special dates. This was the one place where we were able to be alone and just talk and have fun. He was the reason I had wanted to work with the Penguins in the first place, working with them meant I was close with dad again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the main event", streamed over the sound system as the lights in the arena went out.

"Are you excited?" Ann asked over the music as she sat down next to me.

"Yeah, it's been a while since I last came to a game. I forgot how exciting they are."

"You've been before?"

"Yeah, I used to come all the time with my dad, before he died."

"Renee, I'm so sorry. I didn't know that."

"It's alright. I don't tell many people. It was a couple years ago now."

"Oh love, no wonder you never wanted to come. I'm sorry."

"It's fine, really."

"Does Kris know? About your dad?"

"No he doesn't, not yet anyway. I was planning on telling him tonight. He doesn't know I'm here now."

"Oh, then we need to make it known that you're up here," standing she screamed, "Yeah Kris, woo!" at the top of her lungs, scaring the people in front of us.

Laughing I joined her, "Woo! Let's go Kris! Go Penguins!" as the guys took the ice, the camera man panned right on us. There we were screaming like fools on the big screen for every one to see. As I looked back down at the ice I saw Kris looking up at me from in front of the bench. I waved and blew him a kiss, maybe this night wouldn't be as bad as I anticipated.

~Kris's Point of View~

"Hey Geno, isn't that your girl?" Aaron Asham yelled across the ice to the bench where we were standing, pointing towards the big screen. Looking up I was shocked to see Annlie and Renee dancing and cheering together. She had shown up after all. Looking across the ice I saw her. She was looking back at me and our gaze met, she blew me a kiss and I went weak at the knees.

"She showed up eh?" Sid skated up next to me and said, looking over at Renee.

"Yeah, she did. She's amazing."

"That's awesome man, let's see if we can give her something to cheer about huh?" he said patting me on the shins with his stick, signaling it was game time. That was Sid's subtle way of telling me to get my head in the game and focus on her later, I had a job to do.

The buzzer sliced through the sound of skates on the ice and the linesmen blew their whistles signaling face-off. Both teams fled to their bench, leaving only their first line. The puck dropped at center ice and the first period was under way.

Sid darted up the ice with the puck on the end of his stick, weaving past a defenceman to get the first shot on goal, a high wrist shot that caught Khabibulin in the right shoulder pad, a couple more inches and it would have been in the back of the net. He passed it off to Whitney and the Oilers soared down to the other end to make an attempt.

The first period came with a lot of back and forth movement of the puck, with no one capitalizing. I had had a few good shifts and a couple of hard hits against their power forward Jordan Eberle. We were playing good hockey, there was no doubt but we weren't giving it our full potential. We needed to be playing great hockey.

"You boys need to want this win. I know there are a lot of outside things going on at the moment but you need to clear your heads. Every one close your eyes."

Everyone did as the were told.

"Clear your mind of any outside thoughts you may be having, just get rid of them. Now envision the next period. What are your goals to achieve this period. How are you going to play apart in this team's success tonight? Picture yourself with the puck if you're a forward, what plays are you going to make? Do you have open ice to take a shot? Defencemen, think of your mark, he's coming at you. How are you going to stop that puck and get it in the other direction?"

Dan had us sit there for half of the intermission envisioning what we were going to do and where we wanted this team to go. It was how we re-grouped and re-focused ourselves. By the start of the second period, we were ready to score.

For my first shift of the second period I was thirsty for blood. I knew I had to stop anything and anyone that came in my way. The first victim happened to be the 2010 number one draft pick Taylor Hall. He was flying up the ice with speed comparable to Tyler Seguin of the Bruins when I body checked him hard into the boards, causing him a couple extra seconds to get up off of the ice. I, on the other hand took the puck and skated up the ice.

I passed it across the ice to Malkin who was flying up on my right side. He finessed it in around Gilbert and set up the play with me at the top of the circle on the left, he at the right. We passed it, from me to him, watching the defencemen shift from one side to the other. Tyler Kennedy slid through the middle, Geno passed it down. Tyler couldn't get a shot off so he passed it back, Malkin to me, the adrenaline was pumping. The crowd was starting to get into it, yelling at us to "Shoot!"

As Malkin passed the puck back to me Potter was out of position and I took my chance. I fired the puck at Khabibulin, a hard slap shot that found it's way through the crease into the back of the net.

The red light went off and I threw my hands up in the air, we were on the board.

"Penguins goal, scored by number fifty-eight Krrriisssss Leee-tannnnggggg, assisted by number seventy-one Evgeni Malkin and number nine Pascal Dupuis. Time of the goal three minutes and fifteen seconds of the second period." the announcer's voice boomed through the arena.

It never got old hearing my name announced to hundreds of people. There was just something about hearing your name called and hundreds of voices cheering that sent a chill down my spine, especially knowing one of those cheers was Renee's.

The second period whizzed by and we were still on top, our lead climbing to three goals and Fleury with twenty-seven saves. We were playing like defending champions, the way we were expected to play.

"Alright boys, way to play in that second period, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. This game isn't over yet, we still have another twenty minutes of hockey to play. We need to keep up the momentum and hold onto this lead. I want to see every one of you skating your hearts out until the final buzzer sounds. Alright?'

"Yes Coach," they said in unison.

"Alright, then let's go play some hockey boys," he said smiling as he walked down the hallway to the bench.

Fleury managed to stop another fifteen shots in the third, earning himself a shut-out and Sid had managed to get the empty net goal for a final score of four to zero.

Back in the locker room I took a quick shower and put my street clothes on, slicking my hair back with a little bit of gel that I kept in my bag. I put my watch on and tied the laces on my dress shoes. Picking up my phone I turned it on, I had a message from Renee that read;

From: Renee
Meet me in the lobby when you're ready?

I replied:

To: Renee
I'm on my way.

Grabbing my dress coat I made my way out of the locker room to the lobby.

~Renee's Point of View~

As Annlie and I stood in the lobby waiting for the boys I couldn't help but feel like a little kid. This is what me and my dad used to do, stand here and wait for a few players to come straggling through and maybe, just maybe they'd sign something for me. Tonight had been fun, I had enjoyed watching Kris play and Annlie had introduced me to a lot of new people. Tonight marked the beginning of a new me, I only had one thing left to do.

"Renee," I heard Kris's voice call my name, causing a large smile to form across my face.

"Hey," I said giving him a hug when he reached me. He smelt of Old Spice and had that fresh out of the shower look. Damn he was sexy, just the smell made me want to mount him right there. Calm yourself Renee, I thought to myself.

"Thank you for coming tonight."

"No problem," I said smiling, "It was a lot of fun. You played amazing, great goal," I said touching his arm. "So I was wondering something,"

"Yeah?" he asked looking into my eyes, a half smile forming at the corner of his mouth.

"Well, I was thinking, since you opened up to me earlier and told me your life story. It would only be fair if I told you mine."

"Renee, I don't want you to feel pressured to tell me because I was open with you," he said expressing genuine concern.

"I know, I want to tell you Kris."

"Alright, then come on, we'll go back to my place and we can talk."

"Okay," I said as he put his arm around my shoulders and we made our way to his Jeep.


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