Hello Blogosphere! This is my first real blog post of any sort of importance. I decided, since I'm an avid sports fan and I'm part of The Ohio State University Athletic Band, that I should post about the sporting events I go to.
For those of you who don't know about athletic band (a-band for short), we're the little brother of the marching band in pretty much every way, shape, and form. Marching band members are in our band, we have woodwinds (unlike our all brass brethern), our directors are the same, and, heck, we even practice in the same place. The difference is we play for every other sport, but football (minus the Spring Game. That's our big game of the year). I get a grade for watching sports, why wouldn't I take that class? Last year, I got an A by going go all the men's basketball home games and getting stuff for free. Is there a better class? Well, maybe the lego class...
So, being in a-band and a general sports fan, I end up going to a lot of events that have little to no coverage by buckeye sport outlets. In an effort to add a little more to these less-than-popular teams, I'll write a post game wrap-up of the events I attend. So, without futhur ado, the first installment of "Sports Thoughts."
THE TEAM: Women's Ice Hockey
THE VENUE: Ohio State Ice Rink (next to St. John Arena on the campus side)
THE PRICE: Free. Everything. Posters, autographs, attendance. It's a nice event for people with kids (as there were a lot there), since the crowd is tame, and you can put your kids in your favorite Ohio State gear to support one of our 36 varsity sports.
THE OPPONENT: Princeton
THE OUTCOME: 2-2 in regulation, 0-0 in OT, and 2-1 in the shoot out (aka: we won)
Admittedly, I don't know much about hockey. The extent of my knowledge is that Canadians love it, it's extremely physical and fast paced, it's on ice, everyone on the team gets to play (so no one is complaining about not using the bench/3rd stringers), and the puck has to go into netted goals. So, in a way, like soccer on ice, but with real physical contact and things that can actually kill you. Armed with my scarce knowledge, I watched my first game of the year.
Coming in about 5 minutes late after waiting for my friends, the score was 0-0. The Bucks were in control for most of the period. Pucks were flying, and there were many near makes. However, the first period ended with scoreless. I noticed that Princeton's team were like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde when they switched out (for those of you who don't know, hockey teams switch out their whole team of 5 on the ice every few minutes. According to my hockey fan friend, it's very, very tiring to be skating at that level with all that gear on. Makes sense if you think about it). Half of their team were not as aggressive on offense, whereas the other half of the team would hound the puck.
After Zamboni-Man (because who doesn't want to be that super hero?) turned the rink into shiny glass, the second period commenced. The Bucks came out energized, quickly scoring a goal within the opening minutes of the period. Seconds after the goal, one of our players tripped the opposing player. One person in the crowd, angered by the call, proceeded to call out "That's a terrible foul, for those of you who don't know," which I found both informative and hilarious.
Princeton, thankfully, was unable to convert their power play (after a foul is commited, the team that commited the foul is down a person on the ice for 2 minutes). Then, we got complacent. We were mostly playing defense, with a few exciting breaks and near misses of the goal to put Princeton away. In the closing minutes of the second period, Princeton's Mr. Hyde side made themselves known, scoring a point to tie the game. With less than a minute to play in the period (and M*ch*g@n still sucks!), the Bucks scrambled to try and score, but were unsuccessful.
The intermission that followed featured a cute little 3rd grader doing more tricks, spins, and jumps on skates than I could possibly ever accomplish without seriously maiming myself or others. Of course, Zamboni-Man made his apperance, and, shortly thereafter, the thrid period began. In an eerily familiar fashion, the Buckeyes came out on fire. They quickly made a goal to bring the score to 2-1. However, midway through the period, Princeton fought back with their own goal. Somewhere in this period of time, Princeton fouled us, and, instead of a power play, we got a shot on the goal, which, unfortunately we did not score on.
With about 4 minutes to go, tied at 2-2, we committed a foul, pulling a player from the ice. Princeton was on a power play. Two tense minutes passed. Princeton were hustling their backsides off, and, try as they might, could not make a goal to finish the game. Once back to full strength, the Buckeyes recieved a momentary spark. Yet, the final horn blared at the end of regulation, score still 2-2.
Into a 5 minute overtime period we found ourselves. Both teams were hustling like never before. Their energy levels were amped. The Bucks found themselves taking several good shots with better saves by Princeton's goalie. At the end of the 5minutes, neither team could actually score the much convented goal.
In his final appearnce of the night, Zamboni-Man glassed up the middle of the rink, making the perfect, slippery lane for the following shoot out. Princeton had the first shot. Starting from the top, the Princeton player weaved left and right before firing the puck at our goalie. Unfortunately, it went in. With a 0-1 disadvantage, our shooter began her trek down the ice. With a move of her own, she, too, scored on Princeton's goalie, bringing the shoot out score to 1-1. Tense as ever, the crowd watched as the second Princeton player started her way towards our goal. This time, though, her shot was blocked. Natalie Spooner, Ohio State's own Canadian National Team member, scored the deciding point. Thus, the first of a two game series came to a close, with the Buckeyes on the winning side.
The crowd at the games are pretty knowledgeable. They know who the players are, and what's happening. It made the whole event much more enjoyable.
There were a lot of little kids there. So, if you live in the Columbus area, and want to go to a Buckeye sporting event without breaking the budget, this as good a choice as any other.
After going to football and men's basketball games, and even volleyball games to a lesser extent, the cheering at women's hockey games leave something to be desired.
Mass crowd reactions are funny and amusing.
Overall, the game was enjoyable. I'm going back tomorrow with the same friend.
Make sure to read the offical game review.