Steelheads Goalie Honours a Fallen Friend
Cincinnati scored 53 seconds into the opener. And the visiting Cyclones notched the game-winner with just 49 seconds remaining to capture the first game in the best-of-seven series at Qwest Arena.
But Beauchemin carries a constant reminder that goals allowed are not the statistic by which men are measured.
An image of Todd Davison, a Canadian hockey player and friend, is painted on the side of Beauchemin's helmet. Davison is smiling; his hair tussled as if he just finished another game.
Also inscribed are the years of Davison's birth (1986) - and his death (2006). Davison was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, synovial sarcoma, in 2004, just days after graduating from high school.
"It's a good thing to think about," Beauchemin said. "If you're having a tough time or you're a little nervous, it's not so bad. There's a reason to fight and be happy where you're at and be grateful what you're doing."
Goaltenders use their helmets as a form of self-expression and pieces of art, rare in a game where uniforms mean just that. Beauchemin's 3-year-old mask contains a Philadelphia Flyers logo (the NHL club selected him in the sixth round of the 2003 draft) and a picture of Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. "Power" is written on the guitar.
Davison's picture means more for Beauchemin. "It's in honour of him," the Steelhead said. "He obviously touched a lot of people."
And Davison continues to touch people. Before his death, he created the Believe in the Goal Foundation and organized a celebrity hockey game with his old buddies to raise money for the fight against cancer.
The foundation remains, as does the charity hockey game, which attracts NHL players from the Winnipeg area and those that played with and against Davison. The game attracted more than 5,000 last year. This year's game is Aug. 12 in Winnipeg, and NHL players, including Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews, are expected to play and participate in the accompanying golf outing.
Believe in the Goal has raised more than $200,000 since its inception, president Colleen Deckert said. The majority of the money has been used to create an adolescent room at a local hospital, as Davison found himself too old for the child units and uncomfortable with much older patients.
In addition, the foundation gives fleece blankets to any young adult fighting cancer - correcting another problem Davison found during his battle with cancer, uncomfortable blankets.
It also provides all-expense paid trips to NHL games for young cancer patients, often with all-access passes from NHLers involved in the charity.
"Rejean was with us right from the very beginning," Deckert said. "He's played with us every year. He comes home and wants to help out."
Right now, Beauchemin has a more immediate task, an opportunity to win a title.
Be grateful what you're doing.
After splitting time with Richard Bachman throughout the regular season - Beauchemin had 25 wins; Bachman 22 - Beauchemin opened the playoffs on the injured list and, when healthy, behind Bachman.
If you're having a tough time, it's not so bad.
When Bachman was injured in Game 4 of the National Conference Finals and then called up to Texas, it was finally Beauchemin's chance to shine. He led the Steelheads to victories in Game 5 and 6 against Stockton. He got the nod in Game 1 of the Kelly Cup Finals - and the pressure that comes with it.
"You've got to embrace it. The teams that go further in the playoffs and the teams that win are the teams that react better to the pressure," said Beauchemin, who backstopped Canada to a title in the World Junior Championships in 2005. "Don't play with that fear. Play with the hunger."
There's a reason to fight.
Down 1-0, the Steelheads and their goalie have plenty of fight left.