Words by Joe Close
Photos by Jacee Juhasz
With just a few minutes to go, Johnny Purcell knows it’s his time to turn it up. This is what he has been working towards his whole life. All that flatground in the basement with his board shooting out and denting the dryer; all those nights he slept with his board just so he was ready to go for the early morning session; all those summer camps and winter indoor contests, they all added up to this moment, this attempt right here and right now. They’d been behind for most of the session, but just moments ago, Johnny had cleared some space in front of the net, which had allowed his linemate Ian Tremblay-Murray to get an Ollie off and even the score.
Now it’s Johnny’s turn. Coming around his own net at the opposite end, he gathers a good head of steam and plows forward. At the hash marks, he has a clear look, and he lets one go. Heading for the top corner, he pokes his board out and pinches it into the crossbar. Hanging on, he lightly bounces out, absorbs the impact and rides away as cool as a cucumber. No hands in the air, no sweaty hugs, just the feeling of having accomplished what he came for—a Crooked Grind on the crossbar. Game over.