Category Archives: WOHL

This Isn’t Normal and Why We Are Lucky Here in Canada

At our game last night in Elmira, a teammate who is a well-traveled cat made the comment about how lucky we are to place in such a fine facility.  He travels so much he hasn’t had a chance to play all that regularly over the past few years and he marveled about how nice it was to be home for an extended period and be able to play consistently.  He said it’s truly a wonderful country where there is peace, jobs and recreation like hockey that can still be enjoyed by old blokes like us.

He mentioned that in the Czech Republic, he has a friend who lives in a pretty serious hockey town there and that friend just cannot understand how adults are still playing here.  The rub?  In his town ( a pretty fair sized town), there is only one indoor arena and the ice time goes to the kids.  This guy was incredulous that we have multiple, multi-pad rinks in a single town.

My friend noted that there are few places in the world he has traveled that compare to Canada with respect to the good fortune its citizens enjoy.  “This isn’t normal” was his final comment.

Lucky indeed, yes we are.

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Filed under Canada, rinks, WOHL

When Time Isn’t Your Friend

The lace you’ve been meaning to change is bound to break when you are in the biggest rush.  It’s the truest of Murphy’s Laws applied to hockey.

Tonight, I was in a grand rush to get to my 9:00 game in Elmira because, as luck would have it, my brief after-dinner, pre-game nap turned into a real doozy and I woke up at exactly 8:38 PM.  Now, Elmira is about a twenty minute drive from my place on a good night but this was the eve of what all the weather-porn guys were calling the storm of the century (3rd one in last four years I think) so the roads were a little bit slick with a few flurries coming down.

However, it was only 8:38, not 8:48 or 8:58 so I had a shot.  I grabbed my gear quickly, threw the coat on and was out the door in the car by 8:42.  I turned the car off at 9:02 in the parking lot and ran into the Elmira rec centre, my loudest-hockey-bag-on-wheels-in-the-universe informing the entire township of my arrival.

Now, as those at the rink who know me know, I can get dressed pretty quick, and even quicker under pressure and this was one of those situations.  I’m guessing I was only two or three minutes from sitting down to lacing up.

And then it broke.  The one lace that I’d been tightening gingerly for several weeks, the wax lace (which means it’s made of the most unmalleable material ever created, and made more so on a cold skate that has been stored in the garage the last three days), snapped about one inch beyond the second-last islet.  Beautiful.  Cuss words came out, and give the time crunch I was in no mood for a full lace replace so I took the approach of trying to re-work this lace back on one side to free up another few inches on the broken side.  Easy right?

Not.  This was a cold skate, itself not the most malleable thing on earth, with a cold wax lace tightened in.  There are Celtic churches from the dark ages that are less rugged than this configuration.  It took another two to three minutes to fix this lace situation, a real downer since this is the best hour of this person’s life each week and lost time here is time truly wasted in life.

However, I made it to the ice with only about seven minutes gone in the first and all was well.   The lace held, my sleep did wonders for my energy level and I got a breakaway in the dying seconds with the game tied.  The game was ours to win if I could score, and score I did – one second after the buzzer went.

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Filed under skates, WOHL

When You Can’t Remember Last Week

Ok, confession time.  This entry is being written almost a week late.  My iphone app tells me Red beat us 3-2 on the 4th, that Brian and Bart spared for us but beyond that, there are no other clues and I cannot remember a thing about the game.   I’m going to have to add a new field to the app to record what actually happened immediately post game for just such a situation in the future.

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Filed under memories, WOHL

The Superbowl Effect on Blue

Blue won last night but without some regulars.  One to injury, one to a trip to Vegas for some fun on Superbowl weekend.  Apparently the spares brought in were the lucky rabbit’s foot needed to break Blue’s two game losing skid and we skated to a very nice 5-0 win.  The score didn’t tell the story of how well our keeper played but who cares – after the game we just pretended we all did everything right and enjoyed things on that basis.

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Filed under WOHL

There’s an App For That

Blue lost again last night but we made a game of it.  Trailing 3-0 and 4-1, we battled back to 4-3 and then missed a couple of close ones that would have tied it before we lost it with the their 5th coming late followed by an empty netter.

And…a personal milestone was achieved earlier in the evening when I was able to successfully load an iphone app I developed for the WOHL.   Never again will I forget who I’m supposed to get a spare for, or what the score of the last game was, or who is MVP for our next contest.



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Filed under WOHL

Hockey Smells

I have an awkward back door and landing area which makes it difficult to get my gear into and out of the house.  As a result, I leave it in the garage.  This works pretty well except in the really cold months because it just freezes and when I get to my games late at night and take my stuff out, it’s just ridiculous cold to put on.

Last night was no exception.  It was a very cold week here in KW, even in this age of climate change.  As I slowly put my gear on and winced, some of my teammates chucked while others were suffering a similar fate.  Talk inevitably turned to the various ways of warming one’s equipment.  The furnace room was a favourite but it was acknowledged that this approach can sometimes have that unique hockey bag smell getting beyond the furnace room.

One of the Bob’s on the team even suggested he once threw his gear into the dryer once to warm / dry it prior to a game and that ended quite a bit more poorly than the furnace room approach with a spousal reprimand finishing it off.  Amazing how it wafted quickly throughout the whole house from the dryer.  Who knew?  We kidded him that his wife probably heard the noise of his skates pounding around inside the dryer like a very large piece of change and that’s what really tipped her off.

Anyway, we hit the ice shortly thereafter and in short, we stunk and lost big.

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Filed under Smells, Wives and Girlfriends, WOHL

Blue Wins Again

As athletes are fond of say after a hard fought victory, “We battled hard out there tonight.”  And so it was with Blue last night.  We were down a couple of times but managed to tie it mid way through the final period and then Colonel nailed a beauty with a couple of minutes to go to seal it, a nice low wrister just under the keeper’s glove.  Very sweet.

Our trusty keeper Chris came up large in our cage or Colonel’s goal would have only been to make it respectable.   As hockey players are also fond of saying about their goalies “It was huge for us to get those saves out of him at key times like that.  He held us in and gave us a chance.  That’s all you can ask.”  Ah, hockey players.  Poets really, under all that gear.

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Filed under Comebacks, goalies, WOHL