Monday, November 23, 2009

Ice, ice baby

So my moving boxes are now largely empty. The resulting horizontal filing system has been upgraded in almost every room and a clear path to the door is visible in the remaining areas. It was time to get down to the real reason I came to Canada; the ice hockey.

Thursday night I joined my department's twice weekly pick-up game. That's right; the Physics department has a hockey team. I swear they also do research in my field.

This week, we were somewhat short on players. In fact, we had no bench[*]. So my first time back on the ice after almost a year resulted in some body complaints: "You're doing this again?! .... And ... you're not getting off the ice ... at all .... seriously?!"

By the end of the hour, I had remembered how to skate and even regained the use of my legs just in time for Saturday's match with my new city-based hockey league.

Ironically, I was put on a team called "the Canadians" (named after the NHL Montreal team) and was told upon arriving at the rink that I would be in changing room 5. This is changing room 5 .... out of 24.

The "Mohawk 4 Pad Arena" is something out of a Florida hockey player's dreams. Yep, you heard me, "4 pad"; four NHL sized ice rinks sitting side by side like quadruplets with multi-coloured fleas. The fleas in question were the hockey players who were in full swing on each rink when I arrived... and when I left at 1 am after eating in the bar that sits upstairs overlooking the games.

From what I could see, there was no mention of figure skating or family sessions. This was a rink with a single purpose .... x 4. Did I mention the Walmart here is packed full of hockey equipment? Or that I was planning on giving up my apartment and moving to the rink? 

[*] For non-hockey enthusiasts, the bench is where the players not currently on the ice sit. You rotate in shifts, with each player usually being on the ice for a couple of minutes hard skating before changing.

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