To tell you the truth, there isn’t a lot to do at Middlebury College. I already miss the ability to go to dinner after eight o’clock or go see a show on a whim. But one pastime that is not found in big west coast cities is a good ol’ fashion hockey game. Middlebury is known for its hockey (men’s and women’s) and people from around the state come to see the team play.
While I don’t think it was my first hockey game (I remember having a San Jose Sharks stuffed shark so I must have attended a game at some point), I saw Middlebury vs. Hamilton yesterday evening and it was exciting. The game started with the singing of the national anthems: Canadanian and American. Yes, that’s right, O Canada was proudly sung by a Middlebury 3rd year. Then again, half the hockey team is from Canada so I suppose it is not that out of place.
When the action started, I was impressed most by the speed of the game. The pace of the game was only interrupted by occasional fouls and “jump pucks” (I don’t know the real name for it). Two freshmen (’09) were in the starting lineup. Middlebury had nearly twice the amount of shots on goal but after the first period, Hamilton was up 2-0. Nobody seemed too worried though as Middlebury hasn’t had less than three goals each game the entire season. The second period brought three Middlebury goals. The last period got very physical yet absent of a gloves-off fight. Two more goals put the nail in the coffin.
I was surprised at the turn out for such a game. It seemed the entire surrounding community and their families attended. I saw a lot kids with Middlebury gear and their faces painted with panthers. Every time a goal was scored, a crazy man with a Middlebury flag would run around the stadium and all the kids would run after him. I never knew hockey was such a family sport. One girl, probably around ten years old, kept chanting “Go Middlebury!” every couple minutes and seemed unfazed by 200-pound college students slamming into the boards directly in front of her.
The college student crowd was large and rowdy. Heckling the opposing goalie was a favorite activity during the game as well as joining in on a few cheers.
EDIT: Actually, there are a lot of activities at Middlebury and free time is indeed limited, but I suppose I meant the first sentence in the traditional sense of “excitement.”
5 Degrees Fahrenheit – Sunny