OLDS

Record Observer - - Sports -

high-sticked, flipped and taken out prac­ti­cally any­where in the open ice. Cor­ner work is more con­fined — and po­ten­tially more un­for­giv­ing. The act of re­triev­ing the puck, spot­ting a mov­ing team­mate, then try­ing to thread a pass onto the tape of his stick may sound easy enough — if you’ve played the game. But cor­ner play is of­ten about grind­ing while try­ing to pry a 5½ to 6-ounce piece of vul­can­ized rub­ber that mea­sures 1 inch thick, 3 inches in di­am­e­ter out of the cor­ner, usu­ally with your head down and back turned.

It’s about try­ing to lever­age an op­po­nent out of the way while try­ing to gain trac­tion on a pair of over­sized ra­zor blades. It’s about main­tain­ing fo­cus while seem­ingly all around you are tak­ing whacks at your legs, arms, back, and head, throw­ing el­bows and cross­checks, or at times even fly­ing from across ice with the idea of slam­ming you into a wedge of glass — that has lit­tle give — or the boards — which have ab­so­lutely none un­less hit by a run­away Zam­boni — in an ef­fort to pos­sess the same thing you’re af­ter, whether in the of­fen­sive or de­fen­sive end.

“He’s a guy that will throw him­self into a play when maybe it looks like he can’t make it, and he finds a way to dis­rupt things,” Sturges said.

Cor­ners are dan­ger­ous. And it’s where the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Olds has done some of his best work.

“I think that’s the funnest part of the game,” Olds said. “I think go­ing out there and be­ing able to just prove you’re the big­ger, bet­ter man that’s able to push harder to get that puck, and get it to your team­mates for the over­all goal, it just says a lot about you; that you’ll never give up on any­thing.”

The win­dows to give up have been there. There were in­juries. He par­tially tore an ACL at age 12. That same year Olds took a hit that left him par­a­lyzed for a stretch from the waist down, ac­cord­ing to Dan Olds, a fire­fighter and EMT of 21 years. He was loaded into an am­bu­lance and taken to a hos­pi­tal, where he re­mained for about seven hours un­til the feel­ing re­turned in his legs.

His se­nior year at Eas­ton he got checked head-first into the boards dur­ing a travel game, in­jur­ing his neck, but was back in time to play in the state fi­nal for the War­riors.

Olds be­came well-schooled in the heal­ing process. He in­jured his shoul­der to­ward the end of his fresh­man sea­son at West Vir­ginia, but didn’t learn the ex­tent of the dam­age — a torn labrum, sep­a­rated AC Joint, dam­aged ro­ta­tor cuff — un­til a month be­fore he was to be­gin his sopho­more year. He de­cided to put off surgery un­til af­ter sea­son, but was in­ex­pli­ca­bly benched right be­fore the post­sea­son was set to start.

“He benched me out of nowhere and I didn’t re­ally know what it was for,” Olds said of his then-head coach. “He wouldn’t re­ally ex­plain it to me while on D2. So when I ques­tioned him about it he wouldn’t even give me a re­sponse.”

That silent treat­ment could have been enough rea­son for Olds to quit, but he stayed, the frus­tra­tion spurring him

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