Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good Ole Hockey Game

Hello out there we're on the air it's hockey night tonite
Tension grows the whistle blows-& the puck goes down the ice
The goalie jumps and the players bump and the fans all go insane
Someone roars "Bobby scores!" at the good ole hockey game
Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game
Lyrics Stompin Tom Connors - signature song for the National Hockey League

There is something quintessential to small town Canada about a local ice hockey team. It embodies all that is good and bad or indifferent about a place (or is reputed to). Friday night is home game night for the Junior A South Muskoka Shield. I ventured to see them Friday for the first time fully aware of their record. They currently are doormats in the newly formed rebel hockey league of Greater Metro (Toronto). Players are being showcased for Colleges in the States and potentially the NHL. Two nights ago the Shield ran afoul of the Nipissing Alouettes, smooth skaters representing players from much bigger communities such as North Bay and Sudbury. 9-0. 4-0 by the middle of the first period. Yet the Shield goalie was good and made some excellent stops. At this point though the goalie was pulled to be banished to the end of the bench and sit in physical and mental isolation. The next goalie let in the fifth only two miniutes later but then did reasonably well. Alto-gether the Shield played with heart and some, but lesser skill. To be desparately trying to score late in the third shows that winning is not the only game in town. Go team go.

"Where players dash with skates aflash the home team trails behind" - for most of the season me thinks Tom.