Ice hockey is everywhere in Canada, it's on their $5 bill and everyone from newborns to their grandparents enjoy going to matches. In fact they find it bizarre that I have to specify 'hockey' as ice hockey or field hockey.
|I think I know the Canadian anthem |
better than the UK's now...
Canadians are renown to be incredibly nice and polite people and this is because all their sports involve a large component of beating each other up, so they can take out any anger or stress out on the field rather than the streets. There are some rules in hockey regarding contact, for example you can't hit another player with your stick but when it comes to ramming them up against the wall at a high speed using all your 200lbs body weight then that's fair game. Anything that the referees deem as foul play though requires time in the penalty box to calm down. Now I know what you think, penalty box; that's a good thing though? Well no, in ice hockey and lacrosse the penalty box is the sin-bin zone.The sticks are massive and 'L' shaped so when I tried one I found it so difficult to do anything - and that was off the ice! Each team has six players on at a time and they are all meant to have positions but other than the goalie it's quite hard to keep track due to the speed they fly at!
|Kids come on at half time, all in Tim Hortons shirts|
Hockey is very fast paced and thrilling and I can understand why the country is obsessed with it. There isn't the stigma that football has back home of violence and 'lad culture', it is a full-family activity and the supporters of the different teams don't even have to be separated. I am hooked and have attended several matches here and I am already getting excited for the Winter Olympics next year. In the meantime Dundee Stars have a new fan!