Last weekend I attended the annual Biwako Cup Hockey tournament in Otsu, Shiga. My team, the Hikone Lakestars, has entered the tournament every year. This year we were in B-pool, with 3 other teams: Fukui Club, Torspor from Osaka and the Bam Bam Bigelows from Kagawa! We played 3 games, losing the first 2 and winning the 3rd. The 1st game we lost 2-1 versus Fukui Club. It was a close game with neither team giving the other any chances. It was a real nail-biter, right to the bitter end. It was also a wake-up call for us, having beaten the same team a week earlier by a score of 6-0, we realized that we needed to play better. The next game was versus Torspor, who beat us in last year’s tournament as well. Knowing they would be a tough team to beat, we came out flying but unfortunately we just couldn’t beat their goalie. One of the members of Torspor is a retired professional who played for many years in the Asian Hockey League and the difference between pros and amateurs was clear. He scored many times and we ended up losing 6-1. Torspor also have great defence-men, making it difficult to generate good scoring chances, and when we did have chances, their keeper stone-walled us. The 3rd game, versus the Kagawa Bam Bam Bigelows, was also a tight race to the end, but this time we stayed ahead of them and ended up winning 8-6. I scored 2 goals and had 2 assists and felt much better than I had after having been shut-down in the first 2 games. Actually- the score was 7-6 going into the last minute of play but having pulled their goalie we were able to seal the deal with an empty-netter in the last 30 seconds. Usually we play hockey late at night but this tournament is daytime and so our families and friends could attend. It was nice having so many spectators cheering us on. I can’t wait for next year’s tournament.
Tired and sore but happy!
Edward, SSE OTSU
The bitter end: 最後の最後まで、とことん（まで）、死ぬまで
Wake-up call: 重大[深刻]な警鐘
Tight race: 接戦
Seal the deal: 契約を結ぶ［調印する］、取引を固める