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A covert attraction to a game I knew nothing about.


Oregon Canucky

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Growing up, hockey was little more than a fleeting idea. The family home was more interested in the NFL and our local NBA team. The lack of exposure to the sport didn't leave me thinking it was much of an option. Despite all of the cards that hockey had stacked against it, it didn't stop me from endless hours of street hockey in the Portland rain.

At the tender age of 12 I had single handedly put together a small roller hockey league in my elementary school. The overall lack of understanding about the game didn't stop the six teams from having a blast. Every 5th and 6thgrader with blades and a stick was welcome to play in the school gym afterclass. Teachers and parents rounded out the ranks of referees and score-keepers. Looking back, it's pretty obvious that no one knew the first thing about hockey, but none of the kids seemed to care. We just wanted toplay, and play we did.

Eventually roller hockey gave way to middle school football, soccer and karate. The thought of playing any sort of hockey didn't re-surface until recently, and if I may, I would like to blame that on a Surrey B.C. native.

After graduating high-school, sports spontaneously vanished from my life. In 2000,I had already

been with mygirlfriend for four years and our interests jointly moved into things like videogames and

punk music. I spent a few years playing music and then we both took up online role playing games.

This is where Matt came in… The B.C. native was our friend online for several years and

eventually even came down to meet us. All the while, he spoke highly about hockey and the Canucks.

Before I knew it I was watching televised games in my area, and chatting about them with him the next day. Soon that wasn't enough. I found online streams for games that weren't on in my area, and even ended up paying for the center ice package. I was hooked. Hockey hockey hockey! The first year, my wife rolled her eyes. The second year, not even she (the anticompetitive sport type) could deny hockey's awesomeness!

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