Today we drove to our local ice hockey rink and watched Zane Edwards play a game. Hockey is a sport that Linda and I have watched, but are not what you would call knowledgeable fans. The fact is, this game was our first venture into the world of youth hockey and we had a great time.
When we arrived at the rink Zane and Ryan were in the locker room and Holly and Anika had yet to arrive. We wandered around watching the end of the previous game. Within minutes Holly and Anika arrived and the education into youth hockey life began. We found seats out near the ice under the heat machine. Heat machine seats are very coveted. The rink is very cold and there are extremely limited seats under the heat machine.
The players entered the ice and started their warm-ups. The age group was made up of 8 to 10-year-olds. Zane is 10, but this is his first year on skates. As you might have guessed, the player's skills covered a wide range. I had to laugh because no matter what the skill level the players knew all the little things that the pros do while on the ice. Most notably, they all slapped their sticks on the ice telling everyone that they are ready for the puck. Even if they are on defense, they call for the puck by slapping their sticks to the ice.
The game began. Zane started playing the defenceman position. The whole game was so fun to watch. Players followed the puck and swarmed the boards. The puck slid around the ice and every once in a while would go in the direction that it was hit. Players followed, randomly falling down and always flailing with their sticks.
Away from the puck, you could see the players hitting the ice with their stick calling for the puck. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, they would slip and fall down. Immediately after hitting the ice, they would pop back up no worse for wear.
The swarming continued for three periods. Zane's team scored four goals and their opponents scored two. The goalie for the opponents was very fun to watch. He really liked to fall down on his knee pads protecting his goal. He did this all the time, even when the puck was on the opposite end of the rink. On one occasion, he went down into the perfect goalie position on the right side of the net but the puck was on the left side. Zane's team scored. The goalie stood back up, shrugged and grabbed his water bottle, not a bit concerned about the goal.
During a hard fought period, one player was smashed into the boards. As the player laid on the ice in pain and the officials came to their side, all the other players took a knee and watched. It looked so cool to see all players watching the officials and coaches assess the player's condition. The player was fine, and when they finally got up, all the players, while still kneeling, smacked the ice with their sticks showing appreciation to the injured player. It was the cutest moment of the game.
We had a really good time. We hope to get to watch more of Zane's games. Thanks so much to the Edwards clan for including us. Congratulations on the big win.