As a long-time Toronto Maple Leaf’s fan, one of my dreams growing up was to work in or around hockey. Not being the most athletic kid, my focus was more on one of the off-ice careers.
I’ve been able to live that dream in this job, writing about Port Perry MoJacks games, writing columns about the Toronto Maple Leafs, photographing minor hockey games, the Bonner Boys hockey and the Lake Scugog Pond Hockey tournament.
So, I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone, one of the things I’ve missed the most, since the start of this pandemic, is covering a live hockey game at a local arena.
I can tell you there are so many little things about hockey coverage I miss beyond just the game itself.
I miss hearing the crowds cheer for their home team scoring a goal, the sounds of ‘oohs’ from great plays made, or even the sounds of a crowd disagreeing with a penalty call. Crowds can provide extra excitement or electricity to a game’s atmosphere. I also miss fans giving me their thoughts on what is great about a certain team or what the team is doing wrong.
On a similar note, I miss seeing, in person, every deke or great pass by players, or witnessing a spectacular save made by a goaltender. So it’s even more exciting when I’m able to capture the moment in a photograph.
I also miss tracking where each local team is in the league standings and predicting how the playoffs might play out. Of course, the predictions might not always be correct, but it is still always a fun exercise.
There’s taking photos at centre ice, of posed ceremonial puck drops or team pictures after a championship victory.
I miss hearing the raw emotion, in post-game interviews in the locker room, from players or coaches following a team’s loss or victory.
As health units continue to progress on the vaccine rollout, I look forward to a, hopefully much more, normal 2022 and possibly getting to resume these experiences by or before then.