If you catch tonight's grand finale of the MacInnes Holiday Classic, you'll surely learn timing is everything.
A fraction of a second separates a successful one-timer from a very hard dump-in or missing the puck entirely.
In time, there's not a lot of difference between a clean hit and an interference penalty.
For the fans I saw standing in line to buy tickets, getting there early made the difference between catching the first five minutes from inside John MacInnes Student Ice Arena or the shadow of the SDC Multipurpose Room.
Timing matters for journalists too. The week between Christmas and New Year's is the slowest news week of the year, a time in which phone tag is elevated to an art form.
Because it's harder to get a hold of people to tell us what's new, the end of the year is a great time to take stock of what happened.
Our Daily Mining Gazette Year in Review section is coming in a few days, but until then, I ask for a moment of your time for a few special moments of time:
There was no greater feeling that timing was way off than when a March heat wave put a quick conclusion to all things winter, including sports.
I remember standing outside in shirtsleeves waiting for the Houghton hockey bus to return from the state championship game in Plymouth feeling like winter was melting all around me.
The night before, Michigan Tech's hockey team had advanced to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five. The week leading up to Thursday's quarterfinals was unusual, not only because it was in the 70s or because I was buzzing around trying to send staff hundreds of miles away, but because the community didn't exactly know what to do with the news.
A promising start to the regular season had fizzled into an underwhelming finale and a trip to the WCHA's farthest outpost in the Lower 48. However, instead of going gently into that good night, the Huskies handled the Tigers and gave Denver all it could handle in front of 11,489 fans in St. Paul.
Denver's Jason Zucker ended the winter sports season and most of 2012's biggest moments, but there were still little joys to come.
A few weeks later, the Harlem Globetrotters came to town to thrill and amuse a full house at the SDC Gym.
A few weeks after that, Stephen Anderson began the best coverage of concrete pouring in the history of journalism across the hall at MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
An unusual amount of Little League tournaments brought rare drama to an otherwise-serene July in the Copper Country.
The fall season featured a Michigan Tech soccer team that blossomed into a GLIAC co-champion, a Husky volleyball squad making major strides, a Tech football team that made just about every game interesting and prep football playoffs for the first time in a while.
Now, we're just underway with the winter of 2012-13, in beginning chapters of stories we may tell this time next year.
Who knows what good times may be around the bend?
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.