A/N: Okay, everyone, here's my new story. I'm going to try to update weekly, probably Saturday afternoons. I'm not making any promises, but I'll try my hardest. You know the drill . . . please read and review!


"Name?" a man wearing a USA Hockey shirt asked the hockey player standing on the opposite side of the table.

"Mark Johnson."

The man scanned the list, checked off Mark's name, and handed him a number and a towel. "The locker room is down the hallway and on the left."


Mark headed to the locker room and on his way saw quite a few familiar faces. They were all in a hockey arena in Colorado that sunny day in June to tryout for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. Mark Johnson really wanted to make the team, but he knew he would have some competition. All of the guys that were there to tryout were talented hockey players, which he knew because he had played against them again and again in college.

Not only that, but Mark was debating whether trying out was really the right thing to be doing. Making the team would be great for him, but not necessarily for everyone else in his life. The 'what ifs' that began running through Mark's head were interrupted by someone that had just walked over to him.

"Hey, you're Mark Johnson right? Magic?"

"Yeah," Mark asked, turning to the guy that asked.

"I'm Robbie McClanahan," he said, sticking out his hand. Mark nodded. He knew of Mac.

"Mac, right?"

"Yep," he replied, then commented, "I had no idea I was so famous." Mark gave him a look that asked what Mac meant before he explained. "A lot of the guys I've met already seemed to know me."

"Well, I guess it's expected. Most of us have been playing against each other for four years now."

"Yeah, I guess you're right. Well, good luck. See you on the ice," Mac said, and walked off in the direction of the rink. Mark finished getting ready and then headed out to the ice himself.

Mark thought the tryout was halfway easy, and hoped the coach, Herb Brooks, saw how well Mark did and how hard he tried. Not that playing well and putting forth effort completely mattered, because Herb and Mark's father were bitter rivals, and if Herb wanted to cut Mark based on that, he would find a reason. Mark hoped that Herb wouldn't let a rivalry cast a shadow on Mark's ability, but he wasn't sure. He wasn't cocky, but he knew he was a good player and that he played better a number of the other guys there. Mark knew he deserved a spot on the team.

When the guys were getting showered and changed in the locker room afterwards, someone came in to tell them to meet in the stands when they were done. A rumor quickly spread that Herb had already picked the team and that tryouts were over a few days early.

Sure enough, Craig Patrick began calling names once the guys were settled in their seats. Mark didn't feel nervous, because he felt that he deserved a spot, so now it was all up to Herb. As soon as Mark heard his name called, he breathed a sigh of relief, a breath that he was unaware of holding. In a week, he'd be off to Minnesota.


That night, Mark went to a local bar with his new teammates to celebrate making the team and to get to know the other guys. Almost everyone was working on the psychology tests Herb was making them take.

"Do you guys think Herb is just making us take these, or is he really going to read our answers?" Bah wondered out loud.

"I don't know. It's a lot to read through, but why would he make us take them if he wasn't going to look at them?" Buzz said.

"Maybe he just wants to see if we did it. He might not read the actual answers," said Christian.

"Why don't you see? Just write a really stupid answer for one, and see if he says anything," joked Mac.

"This isn't one of those tests to see how well we follow directions right?" Buzz said out loud. "There aren't any directions at the beginning that tell us to only answer a couple questions, are there?" Buzz said as he flipped back to the beginning to check.

"I already looked, Buzz. That was the first thing I thought of after we got these thick packets," Mark told him.

"Oh well. It looks like we're back to finishing," said Mac.

"I know!" Buzz exclaimed, sounding like he had a good idea. "How about we each answer a page, then we'll share our answers."

"Better yet, let's copy Verchota's and Jannie's. They're already done," said Bah.

"Yeah, and then we'll really know if Herb reads them or not. He's not stupid. He'd know we all had the same answers," Mark pointed out.

"Well, only the five of us. The rest of the guys will have different answers."

Although the group thought of several ways to get out of finishing their tests, they all ended up finishing them anyway. It was getting late by the time they were done though, so most of the guys left instead of hanging around. Mark got to know most of the guys from Minnesota that he didn't know already, but he had yet to even meet some of the guys from Boston. The Boston-Minnesota rivalry clearly divided their team, and Mark hoped that by the time they began practicing everyone would get along. He overheard Rizzo earlier, saying that a few people in particular were still upset about the '76 championship. Mark had seen the game, and knew all about the feud between Boston University and the University of Minnesota. Mark also guessed that the "people in particular" that Rizzo was referring to was actually probably only one person, OC. Mark hoped for everyone's sake that OC would find a way to forgive and forget soon.


The following Sunday morning Mark arrived in Minnesota, and carrying his hockey equipment and a suitcase, he got his room key and made his way upstairs to find his room. The whole flight, he wondered whether he was really doing the right thing. Leaving the life he had in Wisconsin for seven months was proving to be harder than he originally thought.

Mark noticed that the door to his room was already open, so he figured his roommate for the next seven months was already inside. It was Mac.

"Hey roomie!" Mac said happily.

"Hey Mac," Mark responded with slightly less enthusiasm. It wasn't that he wasn't happy with the rooming situation, because he liked Mac, but Mark just didn't have as outgoing a personality as Mac.

"So, do you have any pet peeves I should know about? I don't want to piss you off too much or anything," Mac said.

"Not really," Mark answered. "You don't snore ridiculously loudly or talk in your sleep, do you?"

"Not that I know of," Mac said. "But then again, if I'm sleeping, I wouldn't really know."

"Good point," Mark said and smiled. "How about you, any pet peeves?"

"Nope. Just don't bring different girls home every night. And don't get wasted too often, because I'm not cleaning up after you. It happened too often in college. My roommate-"

"Is standing right behind you," Verchota said, finishing Mac's sentence. Mac and Mark turned around. Verchota continued. "I know. I wasn't the best guy to room with at times. But now you don't have to worry about that anymore."

"Who's your roommate, Verchota?"


"Lucky him," Mac said sarcastically as Verchota walked into their room and flopped on one of the beds, making himself at home.

"Okay, so believe it or not, I didn't come to talk about my bad habits, but I actually came by here to see what you guys were up to tonight," He said.

"Nothing," Mark answered.

"Well, everyone's going down to McGuire's for drinks and some pool. And maybe a few girls," he added with a chuckle. "I know the Boston guys want to see what Minnesota has to offer in that department."

"They've actually talked to you?" Mac scoffed.

"Yeah, even OC. Of course, with him it was like pulling teeth at first. But I think he really only has a problem with you," Verchota said brightly.

"Of course," Mac said dryly.

"I usually don't like getting involved in this kind of stuff, and I don't like to take sides, but I think he needs to get over it," said Mark.

"Maybe Mac could speed things up by apologizing," suggested Verchota, though not directing the statement at Mac himself.

"It'll be a cold day in Hell before I apologize to him. What should I apologize for anyway?"

"Well, I don't know . . . cheap shotting him," Verchota said hesitantly.

"Well clearly you're on his side now," Mac told him.

"No, but if an apology for whatever, will get him to stop whining and make peace between you two . . . I just think you should do whatever it takes."

"He has a point Mac. We're going to be together for the next seven months, we might as well become friends," said Mark.

"But I don't wanna apologize," Mac whined.

Mark laughed. "You sound like my-" he said, then stopped quickly as Mac narrowed his eyes at him, seeing if he would continue.

"Like your what?" Verchota asked, wanting Mark to continue.

"Well, like my sister. She whines just like that," Mark said.

"And she's probably about five," Verchota said with a laugh.

"Yeah," Mark said and smiled. Maybe coming to Minnesota was the right thing to do. It would be a lot of fun with these guys.


Okay, let me know what you thought. Good or bad. I know it's a little slow starting off, but it will get exciting soon, I promise!