After a few Pacificos Sonja dropped me off at the game. The only hockey Sonja cheers for is the international matches of Sweden. Sweden, a country that produces as many talented hockey players as Canada for a country its puny size, plays like the Dope City Canucks when up against the world's best. It is no wonder Sonja does not like hockey.
It was my first Steepleton Cross Checkers game in some time. They play in the local junior 'B' circuit. Calling the team the Cross Checkers was the only way the owner could think of to give a Christian association to the team. Junior 'B' is one hockey level above running around on cold nights tipping cows for fun - the very bottom of the hockey barrel. Never has a Cross Checker made it to the NHL, never will. Still, there were about 400 die hards out to watch the local farm boys stick it to the Hemlock Bridge Ice Devils.
Before I even found myself a seat I noticed the heavy police presence. Because all the teams in the league are very close geographically, contingents of fans follow their teams around like British soccer hooligans looking for a punch up in somebody else's town. There have been some first class gang fights in this and the rest of the small rinks around.It was the biggest of our town's police who were on hand to crack heads if necessary.
Whenever they got a chance the players on the ice eyed up the teenage girls sitting near ice level not far from me. There are three motivations for a Junior 'B' player to continue playing hockey - fucking, fucking and more fucking. The willing teenage girls are known as pucks. They are to be scored with.
By the end of the second period the home team had scored two goals. Enough to make most of the crowd happy but not enough to allow the players the leeway to get a good punch-up going on the ice. During the second intermission I got myself a hamburger and a coke. (They do not sell beer. Probably why I do not go to more games.) The hamburger drizzled all over my hands and the floor like a wet rag. It was fucking fabulous.
In the third the Ice Devils came to life and finally jammed a puck in the Cross Checker net. It was then I realized I was sitting in the middle of the hundred or so Ice Devil fans in attendance. They cheered like America will when they finally blow up Bin Laden. I had noticed all the teenagers around me appeared to be really stoned. I should have known they were from Hemlock Bridge. Hemlock Bridge is more doped up than Dope City itself. Now the chances of a hockey fight breaking out were near zero. Ripped off!
After the Ice Devils had emptied their net in favour of an extra attacker a Cross Checker scored into the open goal with 47 seconds left. You would think everybody would have got up and left at that point. The fans stayed in their seats because they know most of the fights break out near the end of games at this level of competition. Tonight we all went home feeling a little empty without a fight or two to talk about.
For $7 to get in and $6 for food and a couple cokes I got to take in the lowest form of organized hockey my country has to offer. There was lots of body checking and really loud rock music played at every opportunity. The best song the guy in charge of the music played was Sweet Home Alabama or as we say around here - Sweet Home Alberta.