Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adventure 46: The Good Old Hockey Game!

Always loves getting her picture taken
Late fall brings the excitement of outdoor adventure down to a crawl, at least in our house. We don't ski, or snowboard. Of course snowshoeing is always an option, but the purpose of this challenge is to try different things and see new places. We have already gone snowshoeing several times during this year, last winter. With only a few adventures left our focus has turned to the indoor ice rinks in Courtenay. Courtenay has two ice rinks and offers public skating at various times of the week. I wished to bring her this week to give skating a try, but I was blessed with the harvest of another blacktail mule deer on Saturday morning, and by the time I was done dealing with the animal, I needed a break and we made other arrangements for the night.
My kid is a dog!
As most folks around the world know, Canadians are nuts about hockey. It is our unofficial national sport, with ice hockey at various levels being played coast to coast to coast, inside and out, from recreational beer league mens teams, youth as young as three years old and professionals making millions. When I was growing up, hockey wasn't a part of our family. Some of my youngest memories include hearing the familiar sounds of the C.B.C.'s "Hockey Night in Canada" theme when we still lived in Naka Creek. It was the lone channel that we could fuzzily pick up on the 13 inch black and white screen in this remote area, and Saturday afternoon it was hockey time. To think, that if I could remember, the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers were in their heyday, Gretzky and Bossy scoring like demons. Once a teenager I was introduced to sports by my classmates and became a huge fan of all, hockey being on the top of the list. Natalie and I are now casual fans, and, if you have been reading this blog, know we went to a Vancouver Canucks game last winter.
Now with the N.H.L. in a lockout, with billionaires fighting with millionaires and making all us hockey fans suffer, our thirst for frozen rubber and curved blades has been growing. The silly thing is the Comox Valley has lots of hockey happening, including the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. The Kings are a part of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, which plays 48 league games a season and the players are all high school aged. These players have the opportunity to move up to the Canadian Hockey League and if very successful, be drafted into the pro's. Craving the sport and looking for something interesting to do, I went to a game a couple weeks ago with some friends from Jet FM. It was a wonderful time. Great action, up close and personal. I instantly wished Natalie was there with me.
Book time
I checked the schedule and sure enough the Kings were home on Saturday night playing Oceanside. Perfect. Since I have been wishing to spread my wings around to the Valleys dining establishments and had no interest in cooking dinner, I asked Natalie to join me for dinner at Atlas Cafe. My friend Jon is the chef at this fine eatery and I know many of the employees there because of it. We had a nice meal of cheese pizza and pork tenderloin(guess who had what) and Natalie made a paper airplane with the coloring menu. And she really wanted to test it out. Silly kid! Off we went to the hockey game for the 7:30 start time.
Watching the Zamboni. Shameless plug for Jet FM
Going to a Kings game is completely different than a big league match. You can freely bring in your own food, coffee, and beverages. The two of us cost $16 for our tickets and we were entertained for two and a half hours. Try and do that at a movie theatre, or many other outings. Natalie was so fun to have at the game. She brought a book in case she got bored, and she did read a fair amount. She also went down to the glass to get a closer look at the players and the Zamboni. She was very brave and went out to the lobby by herself to buy a puck for the "Huck A Puck" contest. That is an interesting, bordering dangerous, game. Spectators toss their pucks on the ice and the closest ones to targets on the ice win prizes. Natalie was much to strong with hers and it slid clear to the other side of the rink! Another lady beside us way under tossed it and it nearly hit a kid standing by the glass! Oooppppssss. She went red faced and let the kid send it at the target. The most funny thing happened while we were waiting for the puck toss. Several young kids asked the P.A. attendant to play the song "Gangnam Style". They went to the balcony and danced to the song. We were laughing like crazy, it was so funny. I am not sure if Natalie was embarrassed for the performers or she really wanted to be up there. I told her it was okay if she wanted to, but she was too shy.
"Oopa Gangnam Style"
At the beginning of the third period, Natalie asked me for candy. We both celebrated "NO"vember and refrained from eating processed sugar for the month. She was so good at keeping away from it, so I allowed her to go fetch a bag of nickel candies from the concession, on the condition that she shared with me. She was pumped and ran out to grab it. She paid with her own money even. That was cool! The game didn't go the way the Kings fans were hoping, they lost 7-3. It was a pretty tough loss, giving up three short handed goals. The fans were a large mix of every demographic. Teenagers watching their classmates play, retirees out for an evening, middle-aged parents with their children, and everything in-between. A good number of kids Natalie's age were in the rink. I have no idea how many people were watching the game, but I would say the turnout was pretty good, but there were still loads of seats available.
Huck a Puck
Supporting the Kings is a fantastic community supporting event that is family friendly, no alcohol, inexpensive, and above all, fun! Don't forget that there is more hockey to watch than just the N.H.L. Junior hockey will never have a lockout and the owners are just regular people trying to make a living doing what they love, not multi-billionaires using it as a tax right off. I felt very Canadian at the game and proud to be so. Find Adventure and support your community!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good evenings entertainment. Sorry we missed out on dinner with you.
    Not many adventures left! You coming up with good ones to end?