As part of my Hometown Tourist adventures, I wanted to go see some local sport. Having a family who is very fond of football and avid Dundee FC supporters, I have spent countless moments of my early childhood at Dens Park supporting the Dark Blues. So I wanted to avoid such a sport for now and do something different.
Having racked my brain about what else there is in Dundee to spectate, it suddenly came to me. Ice Hockey! Upon further research, I found they actually weren’t half bad having won several titles since its foundation in 2001 including the ‘British National League Playoff Championships’ twice and the ‘Gardiner Conference Championship’. Upon doing more research, I was shocked at the diversity of the team which is made up of Korean-Americans, Swedes and Canadians as well as people from Scotland.
My only understanding of ice hockey comes from watching ‘The Mighty Ducks’ as a kid, so I entered the ice arena with very little knowledge and expectations of what my evening’s experience would be.
The first thing about my evening I noticed was the support. There was over 1,000 spectators that night, with a large majority wearing their team’s ice hockey merchandise. The atmosphere was very family oriented and full of excitement with lots of small children present. Some spectators brought drums to beat whilst the crowds were chanting for their teams.
The second thing of note is that the game is fast. The puck is constantly whizzing around the rink and in the air. Thankfully they have nets in place to catch most of the stray pucks! One lucky young boy managed to even catch a puck that went rogue in one of the stands. The players are skating around at lightening speed, you never know where to look!
The game is played in 3 sections of 20 minutes and there was a lot of pauses for team players to come on/off the rink. I never realised how high impact the game was so that the players can only be on the ice for short bursts of time.
The third thing of note about my first experience of ice hockey is that it is violent. Especially towards the end of the games when every second is crucial to getting that final goal. Sticks were flying, players were crashing into eachother and throwing themselves down onto the ice to make a shot… there was never a dull moment!
The Dundee Stars stormed the first third, having a healthy lead against the Fife Flyers at 5 – 1. The second part of the match was quite subdued with a finishing score of 7 – 2. Then finally Fife came clawing back in a heart-in-mouth final, putting the score to 7 – 5.
So for the perfect entertaining family full of excitement and fast-paced action, check out some ice hockey at your local rink! It’s definitely an experience you will thoroughly enjoy!