By: Nathan MacKinnon
Is there anything more Canadian than hockey? Maybe; maple syrup and beavers come close! I won’t lie, my number one dream is to ride a moose, shotgunning maple syrup, and flying through a field of maple leafs. That’s besides the point, and actually seems bizarre when I write it down. I had the amazing privilege to follow the Spartans Varsity boys hockey team, and it was quite the adventure. Allow me tell you some cool things about the hockey team filled with strong willed and passionate fellow Spartans. I went to their home game against the Frank Hayden Huskies this past Thursday, and witnessed first hand the laughter and jeers that began an hour before puck drop. The team warmed up in the lobby of the rink, in a circle together. Some of the players have played hockey together since they were kids, and this definitely created a family-like bond that is nice to see in a team.
They all geared up and entered the rink just before the game started. I sat there, feeling awesomely Canadian, as the puck was dropped. My breath came out as mist and people around me sipped on their Timmy’s. The rink was nicely packed with parents and fans. All I needed was some poutine and I was set.
The first period ended with our Spartans down 2-0. I won’t lie, I wondered if the game was over, and questioned their heart. Boy, was I wrong; they came out of the first intermission flying. A strong forecheck led to the first Spartan goal! When the bell sounded at the end of the second period, the score was 3-1 Huskies, but momentum was beginning to shift. Both teams disappeared into their caves for a bit. The Spartans were doing well; all they needed were some lucky bounces and the comeback could begin.
When both teams came out of their dens, energy was hitting a high. The fans, who had recharged during the intermission, came screaming into the enthusiastic atmosphere created. Frank Hayden tried for the killer blow, when they scored 4-1. A 3-goal lead is pretty safe in any hockey game. Did our Spartans give up? No, and that’s when our lucky bounce came. A couple of ill-advised hits led to a 5 on 3 power play for the Spartans. As we scored 4-2, the whole place went crazy with cheering fans. Soon after the puck was dropped again, they flew down to their end, and it was a goal for the Spartans! 4-3. My heart was pounding, and I wasn’t even on the ice! This is hockey, my veins were filling with maple syrup. Next thing I knew, the puck was in the back of the Huskies’ net again! Tied game 4-4. When the final bell rang, the score was still tied and would stay that way. No overtime in regular season, but this game sets up a great rivalry for many games to come. It was super fun to watch our Spartans come back and fight. A “never give up attitude” was demonstrated by them for all of us to admire. Heart is one of those things that can’t be measured and differentiates a good team from a great team.