Hockey north of the US Canadian border seems to carry more sway than any political, national or international moment. Hockey is far more than a sport to most Canadians, it's a catalyst for memories of our youth. Whether it's playing hockey on a frozen pond after the snow has been shoveled to the edges, or playing on the street in between cars and until the street lights come on. Hockey brings back crystal clear memories for most Canadians. Used to be mostly boys, but times have changed, and with the rise of women's hockey, many grown women for this and future generations will be sharing those same memories. And, that's why hockey means so much more than just a sport to most of us.
It's a nostalgic reminder of a less troubled past, and a reminder of a happy youth. Not Just A Sedimental Journey Hockey is great sport first of all, for a variety of reasons. It's truly exciting to watch. Because of the ice surface it's played on, very few sports can match the speed at which the players move about the field of play. It moves as a game, really moves! Both the players and the puck. The tide can turn quickly in a hockey game, and you really can't let down your guard down for a moment.
There can be long periods of no scoring, with lots of back and forth action. But then, in a heart beat the other team scores, and maybe a second or third goal shortly after, and fortunes have been reversed. I can think of no other sport that causes such heart-stopping, breath-holding, sheer intensity as when another team is pressing for a goal during a power play or man advantage after pulling their goalie. Usually it resembles some kind of train wreck in front of the goalie, with shot after shot, as the goalie goes down and up time and time again. Defensemen sliding desperately, risking injury to stop the puck, in the hopes, that the final seconds will elapse and the hockey game will be theirs.
The Great Ones and The Great One Those nostalgic memories of hockey are not just of our own epic battles played between the street curbs and mounds of recently shoveled snow. There were of course the hockey legends themselves battling against one another. Hockey night in Canada is truly as much a national treasure, as any to this nation. During our formative years watching the great hockey teams and their rivalries were both a patriotic right and a duty. And then reliving those times in our own backyard rinks and streets, as we assumed the persona's of our favorite teams and players, to crush the opposing neighborhood kids with spectacular hockey moves, only to be followed only be even more spectacular goals.
Truly times to be remembered, and cherished. It's Not Just Our Game The game is shared now. With other players, and other nations. Everyone plays, and their current and future generations are building their own great hockey memories. Andthat's OK. I just wonder, if those memories will rule their hearts and nations one day as they do ours.
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