On Saturday night we went to the Hockey with some friends after a very generous gift from some other friends! Thank you.
So, here's what I know about hockey before I came to Canada.
1. It was a girls sport, played in the winter on a muddy pitch, and involved those awful hockey socks and lots of running around.
In Canada, not so much.
More like national sport, institution on which this great nation is built and divided on depending on who you support, male sport, on ice!!
What I know as hockey is field hockey, not to be confused with street hockey and definitely do not taint the great game of Ice Hockey with either of those lesser forms of the game! Oh and do not call it ice hockey, there is no need for the ice, everyone in Canada knows what we mean when they say hockey......
So in Calgary the team is know as the Flames.
Here they are warming up.
And here are the LA Kings. From LA.
I do love that at every sporting event be it the hockey or the rodeo (probably others, I have only been to the hockey and the rodeo) they sing the national anthems of the teams. Canada has such a nice anthem that it's fun to be in a stadium with thousands of people singing away.
So the rules of Hockey still evade me, but I do know that you have to get the puck in the net.
There are 5 men and a goal keeper on at any given time and that they change over at any given time during the game. Tom assured me that there is a system to the jumping on and off the ice directed by the coach, but to the untrained eye there is a lot of spontaneous oning and offing!
The players are incredibly on skates I am not sure it should be possible to do some of the things that they can do.
Nachos taste so good.
Periods are 20 mins each, there are three, so the game lasts 1 hour. Except that there are commercial breaks, and ice scraping breaks and intermissions etc, so in effect you get entertained for 3 hours.
Oh and you can get sent to the other side of the ice and made to sit out if you do something bad like hooking.... although I am yet to be able to identify when someone is hooking. There were many people sent to the little glass box though throughout the game.
Which leads to me to my last observation, in a game where you are sent off for hooking, why is it that it is perfectly normal for teams to get into big punch ups when they do not like what the other team is doing? Look. Two teams not happy with one another. I maintain that I saw a fight, but no one else who saw the game will back me up. But I am pretty sure you are all wrong!
We loved it, it was a fun evening, a good game to see, fun people watching.
Lets not talk about the end result though.
Go Flames Go!
PS There is poetic licence for the last picture, it was taken right at the beginning and not at the end, but it fitted well there. The truth is I have never moved so fast as we did to get out of the stadium that night. Home to our babies fast asleep and dreaming.
PPS I am now reliably informed that all the comings and goings on the ice/pitch/field are on a timer. Clear as mud.