One of things I embrace as I return to North America is the love of hockey. After spending a good portion of time in a country where soccer and baseball are the rulers of the sports scene, it’s nice to come to a place where hockey lives. Sure, hockey might not be as popular in some parts of the United States as it is in Canada, but at least you don’t need to say “ice” before hockey so as not to confuse it with its weaker cousin called field hockey, a sport played on grass and with sticks way too short for any human.
The above picture shows my very first purchase upon my arrival in Canada. Once I cleared customs and took a much needed bathroom break, I made a b-line for Hudson News in Vancouver International Airport to buy my favorite magazine. This purchase was preplanned for awhile now. Its $4 well spent!
My second hockey indulgence was actually taking in a live hockey game in Portland, Oregon. The Portland Winterhawks play in the Western Hockey League which is a major junior hockey league made up of teams from western Canada and the USA. It might not be a professional league, but the major juniors are an important stepping stone into the professional hockey world. These teenage players play like they have a lot to prove. The games are fast and physical, which is a great recipe for interesting hockey. The Winterhawks unfortunately lost the game to the Tri-City Americans by a score of 4-3.
It’s nice to be on a continent where hockey is appreciated. I do enjoy other sports, but for me there’s nothing like the “Good Old Hockey Game”. Just like the song says, its the “best game you can name”.