As if the emotions of an adolescent aren't enough of a mixed bag, toss in high-pressured athletics and it can be a bit of a train wreck.
Breck goaltender Jack Kenney felt the business end of it a week ago. The senior was pulled in the third period of the Class 1A, Section 2 championship game after allowing five goals on 17 shots in an eventual overtime victory for the Mustangs.
Given a chance at redemption on Wednesday, Kenney stopped all 18 shots Duluth Marshall threw at him in the state quarterfinals, preserving a 7-0 shutout.
"It feels pretty good to bounce back," said Kenney, who improved his record to 19-3-1 for Breck (25-3-1). "The goalie coach just told me to relax and just play and everything will take care of itself. And I think that went for the team today, too. A lot of the guys just took it easy."
Well, for the most part. Kenney admitted he was nervous to start. "I don't know if you saw, but I took a spill like 30 seconds into the game," he said, drawing a snicker from teammates. "Luckily, the puck was in their zone. After that, I settled in and played pretty well."
Especially in the second period, when he denied a pair of scoring chances by the Hilltoppers (21-8) just outside the goal mouth.
"He's our guy, we're sticking with him," Breck coach Les Larson said. "We love him. We're not trading him. There's a little bit of a blip on the screen that is ancient history."
Six Mustangs accounted for the scoring, with Matt Colford netting two goals.