World Junior Championship Hockey, eh…? Is that a TEAR I see? What? We didn’t win Gold? Oh,,,my……..
It never fails to surprise me how excited we get about hockey. Canadians, that is. It’s Canada’s national game, everybody knows that. Canadians live, eat, drink and then live, eat, and drink hockey some more. We get up at 4:00 am to practice. We yank exhausted kids out of warm beds at 2:00am so they can go to the 24-hr/day- booked-solid arenas to appreciate the fine art of playing hockey while asleep.
We fill up indoor rinks with colourful toques, mitts, gloves, and skates, pads, sticks and pucks and then, since that’s not enough, get recreational after school on outdoors rinks, day and night, shovel snow off of the ice, endanger ourselves on the shiny, crinkly ice of frozen lakes, ponds and backyard puddles, doing anything necessary to play hockey.
We freeze the garden hose and water dad’s driveway when he’s not looking. It’s a fine rink if cars whizzing by the nets won’t share the neighbourhood street. Move onto the sidewalk. Shout “Car!” and the net is moved and replaced in a blink. We do it. We’re hockey people.
Hockey the good. Hockey, the life-blood of Canada. “Get ‘yer hockey fix here.” comes to mind..drink it hot or cold, play scrub games, -40C or not. Hockey jockeys. It’s an obsession. After all, we’re Canucks. Canadians all. Hockey R-US.
It was hardly a surprise then, when, in a 6-5 win-— in the 2013 World Junior Championship, a howl was set up when Russia whupped Canada in a bronze-medal game, leaving Canada’s Junior champs truly out in the cold. No medal- No medal-No medal-No medal-.no medal....–well, you get the idea…..
The pain echoed across Canada like the collective howls of 10-year-old NHL WANNABE’S losing their only frozen puck in a snowbank. Worse than a concussion. Worse than frozen toes or frozen nose. Worse than failing grade anything at school. Worse than being embarrassed by a cute girl. Worse than failing kindergarten.
I’M CANADIAN, —I’ve been there, done that. Froze nose, toes, and garden hose. I got over it.
In spite of the fact that it was especially sad since it is the brutish, almost unbelievable ending of an era— the END of a 14-year GOLD-winning streak,—-an ERA. …..but……. let us be brave, Canada. Be brave, boys! Be brave, men!
All of you hockey moms, give’em some hot chocolate, cookies, and some new laces for their skates.
Above all, Don’t cry boys, it’s only a game--and ..believe it or not…..no matter what Don Cherry says, all depressed, hiding in shame in his garish plaid sports jacket…..–there’s always next year. Buck up. Who knows, we might even see a few NHL games yet.
Guess what, in the interim, let’s whoop out 3 cheers for the good old U.S. of A. —who just whupped Sweden and won gold and the World Junior Championship instead.
Let’s dry the tears, feel good and warm up. Maybe we didn’t win the GOLD, and Canadians may be polite, but we’re not wimps! Let’s find a new puck, tighten the laces, hold our heads up. Let’s head out to the ice and practice harder.
Who knows, we might even win gold NEXT year.
Is that Incoming I hear?
photo courtesy wikimedia commons.org