This weekend I took a big step in becoming a true Boston University student: I went to my first hockey game. As a Miami native, hockey was a foreign concept to me, much like snowfall — donning L.L. Bean boots and wearing more than two layers at a time. I had never actually seen a hockey game in any shape or form until this weekend. Hockey is just not a thing in south Florida, so I was excited to see what all the hype is about. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts during my first real, live hockey game:
- First thing I noticed was how cold it was in the arena. I know, I sound like an ignorant Miami girl, but I didn’t realize how cold sitting next to a huge mass of ice would feel. In just a long sleeve BU shirt, I was pretty much freezing the entire time. But that added to the experience. In the future, I know to bring a jacket, and maybe a beanie and scarf (yes, I was that cold).
- The next thing I noticed was how intense and aggressive the game was. I knew that hockey was a sport known for its fights and shoving, but seeing it in person was really quite shocking. I would grimace and cringe when I saw the beatings some of these players took. The last time I saw such shoving and pushing was at Macy’s on Black Friday when two women were fighting over a half-off Michael Kors purse. I now understand that the heavy gear isn’t to keep warm on the ice or for show, like I originally believed. If they didn’t wear it all, I think they would all leave the ice with multiple broken bones.
- Although the players’ aggressiveness surprised me, I was also surprised by their gracefulness. The way they effortlessly maneuvered on the ice and directed the puck was mesmerizing. It honestly looked like they were floating instead of gliding on the ice. I’ve tried to ice skate before, and I was absolutely horrible at it. The amount of skill it must take to not only ice skate perfectly but to also handle a stick and puck is insane. I could definitely never do it; it requires way too much multitasking. Seeing the game played in person made me appreciate it so much more than I did before. After watching a game in person, I think hockey may be one of the hardest sports to play.
- Finally, I noticed the passionate vibe in the stadium. In my opinion, the high energy from the crowd was what differentiated high school sporting events from collegiate ones. I went to a relatively small high school, so our sporting events never drew very big crowds. I also don’t really go to professional sports games that often. Cheering on your school’s team with hundreds of your peers is something else, and definitely what made going to the game worthwhile. Even though it was my first hockey game, I got so into it, yelling about plays like I knew what I was talking about. If you were never a sports person in high school, I highly recommend attending a Terriers hockey game at least once, because it may change your mind. I know this experience has made me want to attend many more in the future.