While the NHL players and owners were yammering away once again – and ultimately reaching an agreement to play hockey again, Saturday we watched our girl’s hockey team score their first goal.
Good for them – both our girls and the NHL. Maybe the players’ll rediscover the joy of hockey. Like the joy we and our girls had seeing their practice and commitment pay off.
The girls worked hard for that goal. For many of them this is their first year playing hockey – they’ve skated before, but not played hockey. They’re just learning stickhandling skills, just learning to play as a team. They’ve developed a cheer. They’ve got respect for each other. They’ve discovered positions they love to play.
And they’re entertaining as heck to watch, with everything you’d get from the big leagues: heartbreaking plays, missed passes, missed opportunities and then chances that are converted into great plays.
After just two practices, they had their first tournament and got skunked most games. The parents were more cut up about about the losses than the girls were. The kids were just happy to be on the ice, to be getting better, learning from each loss. Improving their skills. Taking the loss under their belt and moving forward.
Saturday before their game they practiced for two hours without a break.
So when that puck went into the opponents’ net, we parents and other supporters leapt to our feet and cheered with joy. They’d worked so hard for it. They were so happy for it. Fabulous.
The last time we had this much fun, we went to see women’s hockey, the Toronto Furies. Now that’s a bunch of players who know how to get the fans cheering.
Saturday night, after we got home, we watched the Canadian juniors play Russia for bronze. They played hard. They played with passion.
None of these games were NHL hockey. But, we figure, who needs it, anyway?