That's a line from a Tragically Hip song, but actually I quite like Ice Hockey. We've started doing separate boys and girls activities on Sunday nights once a month and yesterday t'was a boy's night so we took them to see Cardiff Devils versus league leaders Belfast Giants. (Prompting complaints from some of the girls who really wanted to come too!)
There were three of us (notionally) responsible adults and 23 kids. My philosophy was simple - they could go off and eat as much candy as they could get out of the candy machines, and drink whatever gruesome slush drinks they wanted and, as long as they didn't tell their parents how much sugar they'd had, I wouldn't either. But most of them were very happy to sit and watch the game instead of hunting for snacks.
It helped that the game was a real humdinger. With just one minute on the clock Cardiff scored a beautiful goal, upsetting the form book, and meaning the Giants had to come out and play. Before the end of the first period both teams had had a player sent off for fighting and Belfast had equalised. At the end of the second period it was 3-3, the Devils twice coming from behind.
The scores were still 3-3 at full time, so they went into sudden-death overtime, then to a penalty shoot out, then to sudden-death in the penalty shoot-out. Eventually the Giants edged it, scoring their penalty and Cardiff missing theirs. But in Hockey you get a point for losing in overtime, which is 1 more point than Victoria, the ardent Devils fan I work with, had predicted the Devils would get.
Then we had to leg it out as parents were waiting outside. But it was a great night. We even got our group photo taken with the club mascot Lucy Fur, a giant cuddly devil. That's one for the rolling PowerPoint on a Sunday morning, methinks. I also got to try a pizza cone - think of a pizza base cooked into a cone and then filled with pizza topping. Fun to try once, but not recommended, mainly because you end up having to bite through the cone into red hot cheesy filling.
I think the kids enjoyed it. The best quote of the night was the lad sitting directly behind me who said, in all seriousness: "I don't think I'd like to play Ice Hockey. It seems very violent."
I quite agree. But it's a helluva game to watch and if we can swing it next term, we may very well be back!