Monday, April 08, 2013

Ice Hockey...Ice Hockey...Yeah...Yeah...Yeah...

I think it is fair to say that I have finally found a sport her in the US that I love every minute of.....
I tried American Football, but it is too 'stop/start' for my tastes and not a patch on my beloved Rugby Union....
I tried Baseball, but again, it took too long and I was bored within minutes....
I had high hopes for Basketball - after all it is a fast paced game, unlike the other two, but every time I sat down to watch a game on the TV, the team that was winning would suddenly start to lose and invariably lose really badly, so I felt like I was a jinx and had to give up....
My final hopes were pegged on Ice Hockey....
S used to play college Hockey and I was hoping that his love of it combined with the natural pace of the game would mean I could enjoy and appreciate it. We also hoped that youngest son, Handsome H, would find it interesting and may possibly show some interest in playing since my previously very sporty son has done practically nothing sport-wise since we moved to the US....

So a few weeks ago, S went online and got us all tickets to an Oklahoma City game, and yesterday was the day. Now Oklahoma City is not a quick 5 mins down the road from us - it is a massive 235 mile and almost 4 hour car journey from our home in NW Arkansas to Oklahoma City which strangely enough just happens to be in Oklahoma...lol


The OKC Barons stadium was great and really easy to find, and tickets were pretty cheap at $28 each compared to Professional team prices of $155 each. As it was a Sunday match, the stadium was no where near full. The Barons had also played on Friday night and from what I could gather this match had been packed with supporters. It wasn't as cold as I was expecting from an ice-rink. Hot Dogs and Soda's were $1 each and S's beer was only $2, so feeding the troops was a pretty cheap affair.

Just in case you don't know - as I didn't. An Ice Hockey match is an hour long, broken up into 3, 20 minute segments with a 15 minute break between each segment. Hockey teams have a pool of about 20 players, but only 5 players plus the goalie are on the ice at any one time. However, because the pace is so fast and furious, teams swap players in and out every couple of minutes or so without the need for play to be stopped. The basic rules are pretty simple - you are off-side if you are in front of the  puck, you can use any part of your body to stop a player from getting the puck but you may not deliberately trip him on the ice or use your stick to stop him. If you lose any equipment during play, you may not pick it up again until play has stopped. If you break your stick, you may not pick it up - a broken stick is seen as a weapon that can impale anther player. Fighting up to a certain point will be tolerated by the referees, of which there are 3 - a main ref and 2 side line guys. If a player is penalised he gets sent to the box and is excluded from play for 2 minutes - his position cannot be substituted by another player - his team must play with 1 man down for the duration of this period. For the team that retains all it's players, this period is known as a 'power play' because they have an obvious advantage. Just like in rugby union, the referee can see a penalty but can choose to play the 'advantage', if not advantage comes they can stop play and bring the players back to the original penalty side to re-start.

All in all we had a very long but really fantastic day. We have said that next time we will book a hotel for the night instead of driving for roughly 8 hours though, as that was a little crazy!

I didn't take my camera, but had attached a few photos I took with my phone for you all to see.
If you haven't watched a match before, I can highly recommend it - It was THE best fun!








Have a great day


1 comment:

  1. I can sense your love for hockey! You are willing to travel 8 long hours just to watch one game. It shows that no distance is far enough to feed your passion fr the sport. Do you have a favorite hockey player by now? It might sound cheesy, but my favorite player is my husband, who is now a goalie coach.

    ReplyDelete

Thanx for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading what you think of my posts.

Lou :-)