Ice Hockey, Canada’s National Sport

14 02 2010

Ice Hockey is Canada’s National Sport.

It probably originated in the stick and ball games of bandy, shinty and hurley,  which were brought to the colonies in one form or another. Of these, it is likely bandy, which is played on ice with goalkeepers, stick and ball,  is the truest forerunner of hockey.

Early hockey was played  outdoors on patches of natural ice, with snowbanks for boards and wooden posts for goals. I couldn’t resist this old photo of hockey at Dawson City. I wonder if the klondikers spent their time playing hockey?

Today, outdoor hockey or pond hockey is played wherever there is a frozen lake, pond or bay.

The Canadian Pond Hockey Championships are held at Huntsville, Ontario. As you can see this is a very big event, with multiple  rinks.

But today, most hockey for public entertainment  is played inside. Last year, Jeff and I went along to watch our first ever match at Halifax.

The game is very fast and I found it difficult to spot the puck. Players flew from one end of the rink to the other.

I hadn’t realised how long ice hockey sticks were, having only played grass hockey at school.

What we don’t care for in ice hockey, is the continual violence. Players helmets would be knocked off and often the referee made no attempt to stop the fight.

The crowds love the fighting and some seemed to enjoy that more than the game.

At the break, the little ones came out to play for us. I expect this little lad will grow into his shirt.

They all took the game seriously and there was no fighting, thankfully. I wonder how many of these will become Hockey Champions.

These You Tube videos are quite interesting. The first shows a friendly, not too serious group, playing on their local pond. The second shows successful hockey players and how they rose to fame through playing pond hockey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmbHHpRutMk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfTLm6cjCJQ&feature=related

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8 responses

16 02 2010
sartenada

Very interesting post.

I like those old photos and the last one. My grandson is playing Ice Hockey and he has a dream – to play some day in NHL.

Our Ice Hockey started in 1899. In Vancouver we have a Ice Hockey team which is consisting nearly of players in NHL, only five players are outside from NHL.
My favourite players are: Saku Koivu and Teemu Selänne. Selanne started in Winnipeg Jets and Saku Koivu has been in for example in Montreal Canadiens.

On Tuesday, February 16th, there is the first match (USA–Switzerland).

16 02 2010
jackiequeen

Isn’t that old photo special? How old is your grandson – as young as those little players? I will be cheering for Finland in the Olympics – after Canada of course. I will watch for your players. Sidney Crosby is our local hero, because he is from Nova Scotia.

19 02 2010
sartenada

Hello.

It is going good for Canada -7 medals. Congratulations!!! We have only one. Sob.

Peetu Piiroinen (Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe) is living in the nearby city Hyvinkää, only 14 kilometers from my home, what a consolation.

Happy weekend!

19 02 2010
jackiequeen

Well done to Peetu. Finland only has 5 million people and Canada 30 million! Does Finland not have a curling team? Canada is doing well in the curling and we all love the team, they are TV celebrities. Maybe you’ll get a chance to see some of the games over the weekend.

19 02 2010
sartenada

I know Curling. This year our Curling is going very bad. In 2006 in Olympic games we were second ranking list, I do not remeber if Canada was number one, it might be so. You might check it better and easier.

To watch these programs on live it is not easy due to time difference of -10 hours. Of course there are compilations later on day time. My wife is still working one and half an year, so to go work tired is absolutely not accepted.

I hope that Canada will win Curling this year!!!

19 02 2010
jackiequeen

Thank you. Although I am Scottish, I am still cheering for Canada. Yes, Canada got the gold and Finland were second in 2006. Finland will come back with a good team again, once the young realise what an exciting game it is.

2 10 2012
Joni Millar

Hi, I am designing a story on concussions for a health magazine in Canada. I’m looking for an image of Canadian kids playing hockey. I am wondering if you might allow us to print the photo above of the kids playing hockey in the Tim Horton’s jerseys?

3 10 2012
jackiequeen

No problem. Use the photo – maybe you can give me the credit for it. Jackie

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