I have spent a lot of time in hockey arenas this past year. For a certified “Hockey Mom” this is not an unusual thing but to be honest I thought I was over hanging out in arenas. You just can’t take the hockey out of a Canadian girl.
Greg started playing hockey at the age of 3 or 4 and Kaitlin joined in a few years later when the powers that be finally realized girls are quite capable of playing hockey too. So to summarize 20 years of hockey motherhood, I have experienced 5:30 a.m. practices, double, some times triple booked calendars and of course the laden down van with stinky, smelly hockey equipment.
So the last few years have been pretty much arena free. I got rid of the van and now drive a sedan which only holds one set of equipment. No more team mom for me. But hockey can’t leave me for good. I became a fan of the local Junior A Niagara Ice Dogs. Instead of actually going to the arena I am able to watch the games on the local cable station. Between my day (and often night) job as a principal, my free-lance writing jobs and trying keep Terry and Journey the dog happy, I have become a multi-tasker and I watch the games on TV while doing a million other things in the house.
2011 brought me back to the arena in big ways.
It started with a fabulous Christmas present from my father, tickets to the World Junior Hockey Tournament. The World Juniors is a showcase of the best hockey talent in the world. A preview of the next NHL stars. As Buffalo is just down the road from our place we were able to spend our Christmas vacation at the HSBC arena. I can never remember what those initial represent but it’s where the Sabres play. It was exciting times as not only the hockey was great, but the fans were spectacular. Canadians arrived en mass causing back ups on the Peace Bridge as they were arriving and back ups at the beer gardens once they got there. Good times as we met up with lots of friends, family, neighbours and made new friends. The Canada-Us game was awesome. (can you guess who won???)
As the junior season headed into the play-offs, hockey in our household revved up again. The Niagara Ice Dogs were doing well but the Owen Sound Attack were doing fantastic. The Attack team is from my home town and my Dad is the business manager and past minority owner of the team. The Attack made it to the Memorial Cup which is the Canadian championship of junior hockey. It has been said the Memorial Cup is the most difficult trophy to win in all of sports. As Owen Sound migrated to Mississauga to cheer on the Attack, it quickly became apparent the Hershey Centre Arena had been renamed the Owen Sound Bay Shore South Arena. It was like a high school reunion. People I literally hadn’t seen since high school graduation were there. Not only were the games great but once again the fans made it memorial.(is that a pun….Memorial Cup….memorial times???? Sorry)
Summer progressed relatively hockey free until some how through the Twitter universe I hooked up with a new job possibility. I am now a contributor to “In the O Radio Show”. The O stands for OHL hockey (Ontario Hockey League- the big step for junior hockey players before making it pro) The radio show is not actually on the radio yet but rather on the internet but it is an up and coming business run by a guy who is passionate about what he does and I am confident it is going to be big. (Check it out at www.intheoradio.com) The compensation is little, but the learning and networking I will get is priceless…….not to mention a media pass for the games! Who ever thought those days as a hockey mom at the cold arena in the wee hours of the morning would turn into this? Just when I thought my days of stinky hockey equipment were over I’m back in as I interview players post game in sweat drenched gear.
I will keep everyone posted how my new job as a sports contributor goes. Any ideas for interview questions to young wannabe pro hockey players??