Hockey is a game of great sounds. I’ve always loved the unique noises that can only be found at a hockey game. The boom as a puck hits the boards dead on or the slightly different sound that comes with the puck hitting the glass.
I’ve always loved the sound of the puck hitting iron. Goal post, cross bar – either one, both great sounds. However, it’s a bittersweet sound if you’re the shooter who has hit iron. Sweet if the puck clangs and goes in, bitter if it clangs and stays out. It’s been said that in sport, “there’s only an inch between a bum and a hero”. So true for the shooter who hits iron, or the tender the puck got past.
Then there’s the sound of the puck hitting sticks as it’s passed from player to player. The louder and harder the note, the crisper the pass. Sometimes the sound is imperceptible except to those on the ice. A stick just touching the puck to break up the pass. Or the sound it makes as it hits a shin pad and changes direction, sending everyone in a direction they weren’t going a moment before.
I love the sound of blades on ice. With speed, the rhythm of this sound increases. It’s like a great engine firing up and accelerating to hear the skate blades of a player taking off.
There’s the sounds that come from goalie’s equipment. The “thunk” as a shot hits their pads. The “smack” when the snare one with the trapper or the dull “crack” when they take one off the blocker. The “splat” when one hits them on the melon.
In a contact game, there’s the crushing, wincing noise of two players colliding in an open-ice hit. The crash and bang of the hit against a player along the boards.
Even the off ice noises are unique. The sound of the bench door closing, or being slammed, when whoever is closing it is pissed off.
And of course, there’s always the chirping, barking and hooting of those playing the game. Some are good-natured, some are meant to get under the skin, some are directed at the ref, some are directed at one’s self. These noises are found coming from the players in any sport, but when they blast out of helmeted blokes into cold air at high speed, they just have a little different flavour.