Recently one of my professors asked me to write a story for the student newspaper on why I love women’s hockey. This is my response …
There’s nothing quite like hockey. Every sport is unique, of course, but even so, there’s nothing quite like this one.
There’s nothing like the frenzied rush of a game constantly in motion, players hopping over the boards because the game won’t stop for even a moment, the puck being poked and prodded and rifled up and down the rink, every player gliding over and diving across and slicing through the ice, all in a desperate effort to get a stick on the puck and get ahead of this game that will do its best to leave them behind.
There’s nothing like the shift from buzzing anticipation to roaring pandemonium in the split second it takes a puck to explode from the blue line through a mass of brawling bodies and into the back of the net. It is non-stop, head-snapping action, punctuated by whistling shots and crushing hits and enthralling saves.
And women’s hockey is the best kind of hockey. It’s not the biggest, or the loudest, but it is the purest. The greatest headache for the players–utter lack of financial benefit–is perhaps the game’s greatest attribute. In women’s hockey, the players suit up simply because they love doing so. There are no other motives for them besides the honor of representing their teams and countries, and the joy that comes from winning.
It is the same fast, physical game that the men play, with the same heart-stopping excitement. It has the same gut-wrenching pain, the same humbling heartbreak. The difference is that for the women, the most enticing reward is simply the chance to play the game.
Women’s hockey is a game of skill and passion and preparation and determination. It lacks ego, but makes up for it in character. It is physical and intense, exhausting and captivating. It is bold and breathtaking and beautiful. It is the most honest form of hockey and of sport.
There’s nothing quite like hockey; there’s nothing quite like women’s hockey, either. And if you ask me, nothing beats it.