Ice Hockey – Vancouver Giants

On Tuesday, Chris noticed in the newspaper ice hockey tickets on sale – $1.49 Woodwards night. From what I can tell (thanks Wiki), Woodwards was a department store throughout BC and Alberta which closed in the 90’s. I am a little confused as to why there were Woodward’s representatives at the hockey (when the shop closed 20 years ago), but maybe I just wasn’t listening when I was meant to be!

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We looked into going to a Canucks game, but it seemed a little expensive for people who weren’t going to be able to tell the difference. The Canucks play in the National Hockey League, the Vancouver Giants in the Western Hockey League. I think the difference is similar to playing in the AFL compared to the VFL – feel free to correct me if I am wrong!

The Vancouver Giants were playing the Spokane Chiefs, from Washington state, USA. Both national anthems are sung before the game. The team consists of both the players on the bench and the 5 players in the middle during the anthem:

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The game was fast and the skill of these players is amazing – skating backwards, flipping around to face forwards and all while controlling the puck.

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It seems incredibly flexible hips and knees in the goalie is a must – Ouch!

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The bench interchange is fast and frequent. Half of the team seems to change over, with the new players dropping over the barrier and the old players going in to the bench via a door. These players looked pretty good in their tutus!

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At half-time (well really 1/3 time and 2/3 time), the ice is made new again.

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During time outs, a small team come out to pick up chunks of ice.

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There is lots of half-time entertainment – a blimp which drops things (not actually sure what it was dropping) and the mascot shooting ugly green T-shirts at the crowd.

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At one of these half times, the mascot, along with two attendees was flung across the ice as a human bowling ball. There was also a whistling competition. No photos there I’m afraid!

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And the obligatory punch on. I found this pretty amusing. In the blink of an eye, the players went from playing to dropping their sticks and gloves for a punch on. The umpires stand on and watch, the other players back away. According to the helpful lady next to me, the umpires will only do something if the players fall over or if they are worried someone will get hurt… The funny thing about this is that the players have helmets with face cages and full body padding. Punching: not going to be terribly effective. Once it is all over, both players go in the sin-bin and other players come on to replace them.

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Mikayla enjoyed about the first 5 minutes. She spent a bit of time entertaining our neighbours and quite a lot of time playing with our phones. Oh well :/

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* I apologise for anything factually wrong – most of my information was from the season pass holder sitting next to me and Wiki!!

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