The Hoot Owl Sprint took place Sunday evening. This well-liked event was highly anticipated back in the day, but like the QRP movement it’s popularity has faded a little over time. I’m not sure why QRP-ARCI reduced it to a one-hour operation this time around though they recently polled members about contest and sprint activities and maybe this was a suggestion from the peanut gallery?

No matter, I skipped it as another more urgent matter required my full attention.

My wife and I have become fairly rabid Winnipeg Jets hockey fans. We’ve traveled around the US (pre-COVID) to see them play in the States and even spent one week in Winnipeg a few years ago where we got to see them play two games at home.

Last night they played game three of their best of seven series against Edmonton in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I might have made an exception and gotten on the air but going into last night the Jets were leading the series 2-0 with the third game going back to Winnipeg. Game 3 was going to be critical as Edmonton has proven to be not only the better team this season, but they seem to really enjoy beating the Jets.

We pay for an NHL TV package that permits us to watch most all of the regular season Winnipeg games, but the playoffs move to other networks. Watching games called by non-familiar announcers and commentators is often frustrating as our team never seems to garner much love from them.

So when Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period last night, the announcers were tossing up ominous warnings that while Winnipeg had held the Oilers in scoring the previous two games, tonight they would face the full-wrath of the much vaunted scoring duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, (they are league leaders), and for the first fifty minutes that was indeed the case.

Midway thru the final period Edmonton was leading 4-1 with less than ten minutes to go in the game. And then, Eureka! The Jets scored three times in a span of just over three minutes and suddenly the game was tied and headed to overtime. Just a few minutes later the Jets scored again to finish the comeback and take a commanding 3-0 lead in the playoff series.

Obviously it ain’t over until it’s over and Edmonton could still turn this thing around. They are that good. But for right now we’re savoring the moment and looking forward to game four. Of course we would like to see the Jets close it out tonight, but even more than that, we’re looking forward to seeing those smug smiles and snarky comments wiped from the faces and lips of those TV commentators…

And that’s why I wasn’t in the Hoot Owl Sprint last night.