The Puck Hogs
(2009)

SHORT VERSION:
The Puck Hogs defeat the Ice Holes 5-4 in overtime to win the Kinsmen Cup after the team loser Eddy scores the deciding goal. Eddy is named MVP of the tournament, and the team’s victory saves them from being folded. The documentarian Gyan feels that, through his time spent following the Puck Hogs, he has understood why ice hockey is so integral to Canadian culture.

LONG VERSION:
While Jeremy (Jeff Geddis) is visiting Caroline (Rachel Wilson) one day and attempting to reconcile with her while helping her pack up to move to a new house, she asks him how far he would go to be with someone he loved. She then drops the news that her new home is in Calgary since her new job is there, but she is hesitant to go because there are other things more important to her that want to keep her here, implying that she still loves Jeremy. He then gets a phone call from his teammate Sergei (Daniel Kash) demanding his help, and she tries to tell him that she doesn’t want to go while he is talking to Sergei, but she feels like he is ignoring her and assumes that he is still putting the team before her. As he starts to leave, she informs him with disappointment that her plane leaves tomorrow night.

Just before the Puck Hogs take the ice to square off with their rivals, the Ice Holes, for a berth in the Kinsmen Cup playoffs, Terry’s (Joe Dinicol) mother Gladys (Judy Marshak) shows up and tries to engage in her usual overly-mothering ways with him. When she tells him that she told Cynthia (Theresa Joy) – an exotic dancer whom he is mutually attracted to – not to come see her son play anymore because her presence is ruining his concentration, Terry officially reaches his limit with her. He harshly tells her that he has let her baby him all these years because he felt sorry for her after his father left them, and he adds that, just because his father left, it doesn’t give her the right to make his life miserable, and he lastly states that he doesn’t need her for anything. The Puck Hogs lose to the Ice Holes due to everyone not being on the same page, but the team loser Eddy (Johnny Gardhouse) finds out that they are in the playoffs because they are in the midst of a three-way tie for fourth place.

The Puck Hogs make it to the finals and find themselves up against the Ice Holes again, and Jeremy privately meets with the tournament convener, Irv Mason (Colin Mochrie), and makes a deal with him where, if the Puck Hogs win the Cup, he won’t fold the team. Two hours before game time, Jeremy – inspired by a conversation he just had with Eddy about how you can’t choose the things you love – leaves the arena and goes back to Caroline’s house, and he shows her that he has bought a plane ticket to Calgary and wants to forego the game and join her there. He tells her that he thought he was most alive whenever he played hockey, but he knows now it is whenever he is with her. She responds by kissing him and assuring him that they’re good, then encourages him to get to his game while she follows after him. Meanwhile, Terry gets a surprise visit from Cynthia, who says that Gladys brought her here. Gladys then appears, and Terry apologizes for his outburst while she promises to let him be the grown man that he is.

Since Jeremy is absent, the Puck Hogs take a beating from the Ice Holes for most of the game, trailing 4-1. Jeremy finally shows up near the close of the second period, and with him on the ice, the tide turns in favor of the Puck Hogs. Come the end of the third period, the Puck Hogs tie the game at four goals apiece, forcing an overtime period. Albert (Jason Blicker) ends up getting hurt, leaving the team no choice but to let Eddy take over defenseman duties, but Eddy – having no confidence in himself – tells the team that he just can’t do it and leaves the players box. While wrestling with his decision in the hallway leading to the locker room, his wife Joyce (Geri Hall) comes up to him. Eddy calls himself a loser and says that he is sitting this out so he won’t ruin his team’s chances of winning like he did in the past, but Joyce threatens to beat him up if he calls himself a loser again and encourages him to play, then kisses him and says she believes in him. His confidence bolstered, Eddy gets out on the ice, and he manages to get control of the puck (and gets over his fear of corners in the process) and takes a shot at the Ice Holes’ net. The goalie catches it between his legs, but he doesn’t have a firm grip on it, so it slips behind him and into the net, giving the Puck Hogs the victory and the Kinsmen Cup.

Nine months later, Gyan (Sanjay Talwar) – the British documentarian who has been following the Puck Hogs to get a better understanding of why ice hockey is so integral to Canadian culture – interviews the team as they are having a barbecue at Eddy’s house, and he learns what has been going on in the players’ lives since the tournament ended:

Gyan ends his documentary by saying that he believes he has found his answer as to why the sport of hockey is so integral to Canada’s culture: Hockey itself is beautiful to watch, but it is the life fundamentals that the game instills that are truly a measure of its influence, such as sharing, teamwork, sacrifice, and the capacity to have fun. He says most people don’t believe that Canadians are passionate people, but when the puck drops, he sees the passion, for the game, their teammates, and their heroes.

Thanks Tornado Dragon!