Essay, Research Paper: Ice Hockey


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Many people in the U.S. have gained an interest in the rapidly growing sport ice
hockey. Fans these days pack out stadiums to see their favorite team’s battle
for victory on the ice. A hockey game can have a wide variety of spectators. A
few examples are dating couples, families, partying guys (usually drunk
singles), parents of the players, etc. It’s 7:30 on a Tuesday night February
23 1999 and Des Moines’ Metro Sports Ice Arena is packed out with fans waiting
to see their Des Moines Buccaneers take on the North Iowa Huskies. Walking into
the arena one can’t help but notice the cold, thin air that results from the
ice. This is definitely sweatshirt material. Fans of all different shapes and
sizes pushing to get into the small arena. As one would walk through the halls
of this sports facility to get to their seats they would have to notice the old
worn walls looking much like an unfinished basement that is a result of years of
fans abuse. A loud roar fills the narrow halls as vendors that line walls are
all competing and shouting for your business. These ammeter business people are
selling anything from food and beer to hockey paraphernalia. Coming through the
hallway into the stands one would notice the pin ups all around the walls that
brag of the Buc’s past victory. The lines on the ice are freshly painted and
the stands have been cleaned and are ready for night of hockey craze. After the
rush is over the fans take their seats and wait for the announcing of the teams
and then stand for the national anthem. I noticed three kids in front of me
mocking the national anthem, which seemed suitable for a 12-14 year-old maturity
level. The mother quickly grabs the closest one to stop the behavior. “If you
don’t settle down this’ll be the last game you come to with me!” she said
while squeezing the eldest’s arm. The referee drops the puck and the team
captains’ battle for possession and that begins the first period. Already five
minutes into the game and the Bucs score their first goal and fans go crazy as
the announcement booth sounds the siren. But that wasn’t enough the Bucs are
really giving the crowd a show as they score their second goal at 9:17 into the
first period. Once again the fans are going crazy, chanting thing like “Go
Bucs! and Defense!!” as their team begins to seal their victory. The Bucs have
played a very physical game so far and finally get called on it. The official
calls a 2:00 minute penalty on the Bucs for high-sticking. Just ten minutes into
this action packed game and already these guys in front of me are drunk and
disagree with the referee so they begin to shout and swear. “You blind son of
bitch there’s no way that was high sticking” he shouts angrily to the ref as
if it would have an affect on the officiating. Finally it gets so out of hand
that a security guard hears the commotion and warns the not so gentlemen if they
don’t calm down they’ll be asked to leave. As the second period nears the
Huskies attempt their comeback with their first goal. Now the fans are pissed
off and booing the officials because it wouldn’t have happened if the Bucs
weren’t shorthanded. Even the mother and father of the boys in front of me are
yelling obscenities. On that note the first period ends and the restrooms and
the concession stands are flooded with impatient fans that want to get back to
their seats. Spilt popcorn fills the hallway, as the janitors can’t even keep
up with the mess. The second period begins and Huskies of North Iowa have really
tightened up their defense creating a real struggle for the Bucs to get the puck
in the defensive attack zone. The vendors trying to sell all of their
concessions constantly interrupt my focus on the game. Period 2 seemed to be
really boring because it was mainly shots on goal. But at the last minute the
Bucs put one away and scored putting them at 3-1 in the end of the 2nd. Once
again the stands empty and the bathrooms are full of people trying to take care
of business. After the zamboni resurfaces the ice the announcer randomly selects
three people by seat number to center ice. They have a contest shooting the puck
from center ice into a smaller version of the hockey net. It looks really hard.
One of the lucky contestants actually made it in and won the Grand-Prize, a
brand new Jeep Wrangler. The fans all cheered her on and shared in her
excitement. Finally into the third period and Bucs are at it again, giving them
a nice padded lead at 4-1. And once again the sirens are sounded and the
cockiness and arrogance fills the room as fans get wild. The frustration of
North Iowa is very evident now and a fight breaks out between the players. Both
teams are penalized 2:00 minute penalty for fighting leaving the teams four on
four. Rounding toward the end of the game the Huskies are forced to pull their
goalie if they want any chance in victory of this game. It seems as though their
strategy is working and they begin to close in the gap. Are the Bucs going to
choke the fans question themselves. The Huskies, struggling for a victory, lose
possession of the puck and the Bucs score on an open net. Ending period three
the fans leave the game satisfied with the outcome and a taste of victory.
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