Saul has a new chore: cleaning the hockey rink before practice. He has to wake up very early to do so, but he never needs an alarm clock to get up. Saul loves breathing the crisp morning air. In secret, when nobody is watching, he’ll sometimes practice moving “frozen horse turds” across the rink with a stick. Late at night, before he falls asleep, he imagines himself becoming a great hockey player one day. In these moments, Saul no longer feels so lonely or frightened.
Saul slowly, secretly teaches himself how to play hockey. The game gives him a sense of purpose that he’s never felt before, and symbolizes his attempts to make sense of his life. Finally, hockey gives Saul something to aspire to, and keeps him from being consumed by despair, as many of his classmates seem to have been.