When Saul plays hockey, he leaves his misery and frustration behind. Father Leboutilier continues to take an interest in Saul’s development as a hockey player, and sometimes comes to watch Saul practice in the morning. He tells Saul that hockey is like the universe itself—it’s full of chaos and pain, but it’s possible to “harness” this chaos and control it with careful practice.
Saul continues to regard hockey as an escape from the miseries of his life at school. This passage reiterates the idea that hockey is a metaphor for life: a big, complicated, chaotic “game” that can be practiced, learned, and even enjoyed with the right training.
For the rest of the hockey season, Saul and his team do well in competitions against opposing teams. Even after the season is over, Saul continues training: he jogs every morning, knowing that he needs to strengthen his legs. He also practices his aim, with Father Leboutilier’s help. He becomes a celebrity at St. Jerome’s—the champion hockey player.
Halfway through the book, Saul already seems to be headed for a happy ending: his talents on the ice seem to bring him great happiness. But of course, Wagamese has yet to explain how Saul becomes the lonely, unhappy drunk readers met at the book’s start.