Cup Crazy


 From the book:

"If we get past the Bruins," Josh mused, "then we play the winner of the Sharks against the Kings."
"So long as it's not the Penguins," breathed Jared.
Everyone nodded in agreement. If we had to face the mighty Powerhouse Gas and Electric, it wouldn't be until the final round. That was the way the match ups laid out.
I'll bet we could have stood there all night, figuring the angles while the place emptied out.
Boom Boom grew a little impatient with us. "All right, zip up your whatsits. It's time to get out to the heejazz." Zip up your coats. It's time to get out to the truck.
"Hold on there, Bolitsky. I need a word with you and your team."
It was Mr. Feldman. Uh-oh. Happer's uncle was one of those guys who had voted against letting Mars have a team in the Slapshot League. If he had something to say, it was probably bad news.
"Bolitsky," began the league president, "we're all really happy to have Alexia Colwin as your captain. And no one is more proud of what she's accomplished than me."
Don't believe a word of it. The only reason the league let her on the Stars was because the Supreme Court says girls can play anything they want.
Mr. Feldman went on. "But it has come to my attention that it's illegal to have her in the league."
I was so shocked I was tongue-tied. The players were too. But not Boom Boom.
"That's a load of whatchamacallit!" he exclaimed.
"Garbage," Alexia translated quietly.
"I'm just as upset as you are," lied Mr. Feldman. "But the law is the law. It's a Waterloo statute. Take a look." He reached into his breast pocket and produced a photocopy.
We gathered around Boom Boom and stared at the sheet.

Bylaw 14A, paragraph iv: No female personage shall be permitted to hold, or otherwise wield, a length of wood exceeding three feet, with the exceptions of mops, brooms, and butter churns.

Approved April 14, 1887. Yea 4, Nay 1.

"What does this dingus have to do with Alexia?" Boom Boom demanded.
"It doesn't even say anything about hockey," added Trent.
"A hockey stick is a length of wood," Mr. Feldman explained, trying to sound reasonable. "This law states that she can't carry a stick inside city limits." He chuckled. "You certainly wouldn't ask her to play without a stick."
"This is so bogus!" howled Jared.
"That stupid law is over a hundred years old!" added Josh.
Mr. Feldman got that superior-adult, snooty look on his face. "The law against murder is even older, and it still counts."
And that's how those rotten Waterloo types kicked Alexia out of the league.

Copyright © 2000 by Gordon Korman, used by permission

The Mars Stars have proven themselves throughout an incredible season of hockey, moving from last place to one of the top teams in the league, but now, with the Mars Stars finally in the play-offs, the league has found another way to attempt to destroy their chances at victory.

This time it is via an obscure and previously unenforced law over a century old, meant to protect elderly women from harm. The league uses it to force the Stars' captain and star player, Alexia, off the ice. To replace her, league officials dump the slowest, smallest, least experienced wanna-be in the entire league on the Stars just days before the playoffs.

With their Cinderella-story season already facing overwhelming odds, is there any way the Mars Stars can pull together and win even their first play-off game? They'd sure better hope so, or the Mars team will probably be sunk without a trace!