Monday, October 09, 2006

The good old hockey game.

It's Hockey Time Folks!

It's the "good ole" hockey game season all over North America; ears and eyes glued to either television, radio programming, or seated in the stands of hockey arenas, to observe and cheer for, favorite hockey game teams both in the NHL and locals. Living in the east, we're a strange bunch rooting still for our preferred NHL team; the Vancouver Canucks, rather than other more local NHL teams instead. Instead of checking game schedules to attend or cheer for NHL teams locally, we have the Canucks schedule and note when they are in town to play here, cheering them on in the east, utter diehard fans still, then eyes and ears too are watching or listening to every detail of those games. Yes lucky Canucks, our family's loyalty runs way deep!

Ready to play!

Yesterday was a busy day for our family, with the celebration of Canadian thanksgiving and turkey to eat, birthday celebrations for our daughter, then added in amongst the afternoon hours, was our son's first hockey game in the minor leagues. With his new hockey bag on wheels in hand ready to pull along, and two fresh wooden sticks to tape up, off he went through the doors, into a terrific and cozy arena used for Jr. B league team players, containing great padded theatre style seating throughout, many warm heaters overhead, keeping any area of spectators very comfortable.

Great arena with comfy seating for spectators.

Shortly after the zambony left the ice upon completion of the ice cleaning, many parents and families entered to watch the game. Our son was thrilled with "the crowd" seated and felt like one of the pros being cheered on with applause, whistles (blush), and action during his game.

We arrived a few moments early, the coach not there yet, so our son chatted outside in the halls with a few other players. Suited up in his older but beloved Canuck hoodie, the boys noted the symbol immediately and a conversation on the specific team ensued. Later in the change room someone asks to borrow our son's hockey skate towel for a second, only to view it was actually a Canuck playoff season’s white one, (one of those famous for being waved in the crowds to cheer them on) leaving his jaw open and falling to the floor. "You got to go to a Canuck playoff game?” he squealed, thus capturing the entire room's attention at once. More conversations ensued about recent trades of the players and the future of the team, our son taking note on how many other like-minded Canuck fans there were in the room with him, tallying them all in his head for future reference. Smiling easily, he was thrilled before he even entered the arena to skate. Helmet on; he was more than ready for this season of hockey to begin...

The 'boys' as we, 'girls', left shortly before the
end of the game, to complete our Thanksgiving dinner.

Not having prior knowledge of our son's exact team jersey color, as they were being handed out this day in the dressing room, we watched for him to parade out of the change rooms with both teams entering at once. Great! This was so many players to browse through at one time! When we spotted him however, the first thing we all did was find his player number on his back, number ten...Pavel Bure's number; Canuck of course at one time.

What other number to choose?
Ninety-Nine isn't available here!

Number 10 in action!

The player competition was intense and tough, just what he wanted for a better calibre of play. The game was fast and furious from the first face off, but he was in his element, geared up with full padded protection and ready to roll. This league features full contact with players so he's been having pep talks with his father on safety, positioning near the boards, how to take a hit and how not to keep a grudge when it's an accident (penalty will result otherwise).

Our youngest son loved the colorful goalie gear.

The periods were short, the game longer than usual lasting 1.5 hours with referees throwing anyone in the penalty box who required it. They were very fair and kept good order on the ice. The coaches were still accessing their players as well, making notes on each shift about each individual player, and leading pep talks briefly during each period.

Hoping for the puck again to get a breakaway like last time.

The final score? 12 - 7 win for his team.

Oh, and wanna know his final assessment of the day? He gave us the very same answer we've heard before from another older son, one who lives and breathes hockey along with his wife...laugh. Surprised? Nah....

I love hockey!

I love playing hockey!

I love watching hockey!

I love listening to hockey!

I love anything about hockey!

But especially - Vancouver Canuck hockey!

Then he asked to listen to the Canuck’s game on the computer the rest of the night after dinner chores were complete. He retired to bed holding his new 2006 NHL hockey stats book and dreamt hockey I’m sure as well.