Have just got back from watching my first Ice Hockey match with my fellow exchange buddies Lily, Red and Harry. Tonight’s match was the University of Ottawa’s Gee Gee’s vs Carleton University’s Ravens (Carleton University is in Ottawa too so there is a LOT of local rivalry). I had been a bit disappointed after going to watch Gee Gee’s play American Football so hadn’t raised my hopes up too much like I had for the Football.
Considering I’ve heard so much about the rivalry I was a bit underwhelmed by the turn out so the game was lacking in atmosphere quite a bit. I found the sport such a juxtaposition in that Ice Skating is one of the most graceful things I have ever seen but then the players are complete hooligans. The game stopped and started quite a lot and there seemed to be constant substitutions but apart from this I was able to enjoy the game as I actually understood it! I was astonished by the level of ferocity in the game – I knew ice hockey was notorious for the fights but I don’t think you realise the extent of this until you see a game. They were pushing just as they skated past each other, pushing people who had fallen down, pushing people up against the wall and this was constant. On top of this, more often than not these antagonisms developed into actual fighting. Ice Hockey is seriously vicious.
It was a shame that the atmosphere wasn’t better but I still loved the game.