Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rewind moment – Midget level; Hockey night in Canada

Midget Level
Hockey Night in Canada

One of our sons in hockey playoff action

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, it isn't difficult to realize we are quite the hockey-loving family. Ask a son of ours what type of hockey they prefer, they will likely tell you; ice hockey, roller hockey, ball hockey, street hockey, hockey card collecting, hockey stats, hockey pools, hockey tournaments, 3 on 3 hockey, NHL hockey, WHL hockey, Junior hockey, air hockey, tabletop hockey, hockey stores, hockey magazines, hockey newspapers, pretty much any hockey involving the sport itself. By now no doubt - you get the point. :)

As unbelievable as it sounds, our two older boys loved this sport and played it often in the neighbourhood, but they didn't play the actual organized sport of hockey until they were 14 and 12 respectively. The third son was on the ice at age 3 and the fourth had skates on his feet with black tape to protect the carpets at 18months old! Realistically they could be compared to his first shoes because he walked better in the skates than most shoes he wore at that time. How did we get younger and younger with this sport you might ask? My husband is the culprit! Imagine my shock and having to grow weak at the knees when I went off for a grocery shopping day and arrived home to my very young son walking about on ice skates at 18 months old! Ack! I remember that day with a vivid recollection. I entered the house. My young babe came walking towards me. I caught the huge smile on my husband's face across the room and then I put two and two together. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry right then, but instead turned on my heel and grabbed my camera. Yep, I got a wonderful Kodak moment and THEN I wagged my finger at my husband and duly chastised him for getting my baby into skates so young. What was our family coming to? All this not to forget of course; two other daughters loved hockey just about as much and also played ice/roller hockey as easily as the boys. The two others would/could join in whenever all those kids came to play at our house, and they did – a lot!

Here's looking at you kid! My husband really gets into the hockey game.

I have proof below....snicker, snicker

As I've posted before (mostly for the benefit of our family and friends out west), our older son here is currently involved in ice hockey playoffs. It's been quite a run folks! Never before have I seen week after week filled with many games and such an array of new series to enter for each team to play the best out of five games or five points leads the race. We are now at series 6 and still playing.

Last weekend was a super busy and very time consuming hockey time. On Saturday the team traveled by bus to a city four hours away and parents and family could accompany them on the trip. Naturally my husband took a seat on this bus and two others tagged along for the experience. The game was fantastic, great play by all and a win to carry them home with smiles and good cheer on their beaming faces, even during the extra long and slow process of traveling home in a blinding snow storm where 1 ½ feet of new snow fell upon us. Somewhere after 1am. the gang arrived home and crashed into bed! The following day a booking was already secured to challenge the same team to the next game in the series. I think I groaned at the whole idea knowing everyone was so very tired and I was concerned about my hubby getting too fatigued overall from overdoing it.

As the opposing team's bus traveled for the game, they too encountered a snow storm, a snow squall in fact and I myself almost turned around as I headed to the arena to meet the others there. You see my hubby had to leave earlier than I with our older daughter because they were called with an SOS to please come help in the concession stand as part of their parental obligation for volunteer work.

Mandatory family volunteer concession duty

I think I groaned again, thinking the same things as mentioned above, but my husband's enthusiasm over ensuring a commitment is accomplished left me in the dust. He assured me he would sit and take rest breaks, but that also meant no nap this particular day to recharge and refresh after a long day beforehand. Nope, he wouldn't hear of it and off they all went, the three of them, earlier than usual so together they could cover the first two hours as a team. Side by side they worked, selling junk food, hotdogs and French fries; new fast food restaurant training again for all, not to mention the math practice for money exchanges returned to the customer and keeping accountable for the cash register figures at the end of the day

Of course we patronized the stand...this pic is for you Denise!

As we arrived in the lobby, a sea of people met my eye. Lines were filing up to the concession stand and I overheard one woman tell another the guy in there (concession stand) made the best fries ever, and he gave her extra gravy to boot! I laughed and shook my head as I headed towards them the best I could with my camera in hand. You see they performed this task before and I wasn't there to capture a Kodak moment, but not this time. I was going to have some fun!

She was flustered by the crowded lineups but loved every second of this duty session

Crowds entered the building; a whole community was backing up this game it seemed. At the door every spectator was charged 3.00 per head, and it seemed so full both inside and out of the arena seating areas. I marveled at the noise there. Was I at a Canucks game? It was quite the sight to see with air horns wailing, whistles sounding, a guy playing a harmonica into a speaker system, spectators holding signs to cheer on the team, so many fun things surrounded us all to get us all into the hype of the day while running and jumping onto the band wagon.

Crowds gathered at the concession stand while the ice was being cleaned.

The score was steady all the way through. Neck and neck each goal was matched in the first period, right until the third. Every player on both teams played in a professional manner. The goalies gave stellar performances. The crowds roared. The concession stand line-ups grew steady while the ice was cleaned between the second and third periods.

Just like a Maytag man - someone's gotta do it!

Plenty of coffee was sold along with my husband's famous fries and my son's famous hotdogs. Over 400.00 in sales had been collected during that game just in food alone. My husband was able to escape to watch much of the game with us, but overall our concession family did a swell job keeping up with the hungry snacking customers before them.

Stellar crowds paid to get into this game

And then.....the other team scored two winning goals and we lost.

And then my husband has to claim defeat in admitting he had overdone the entire weekend. He needed to get back to the hospital to have a rest! And that he did.....

Lots of hockey continues to fill our calendar during playoff season

So soon afterwards the next series began, two days later in fact. I was the driver and another late and great hockey game was now history (they won). Friday evening this weekend, they played the same team again (lost), and tomorrow night is the third game in that particular series. I wonder how many more there will be? Our son came up with an enlightening conclusion however. It's been great moving and living in an all brand new area while playing on a new hockey team because much travel has already ensued and new towns/cities visited in the progress. Boy that is for sure!