Ice hockey is definitely my favourite sport, not only because it was predominantly the only sport that I’ve played since I was 12 years old (see photo above, the one on the left!) but because of the skill, practice, dedication, wits, and speed needed to excel at it. I mean, first you have to know how to skate, handle a puck, avoid getting knocked down by an opposing team, and then when the rare chance opens up when you can shoot the puck, you have to then defeat a goalie who takes up more than half of the net! Those are a few reasons to begin with!
(some photos of the old rink at SM Megamall)
In case some of you are wondering, that structural post used to be part of a much larger DJ booth back when the rink first opened up. Yes, one had to skate around it. It was like a permanent defenseman!
I suppose the fact that being in Manila where frozen lakes are unheard of also made the notion of speeding across the ice while whacking a little rubber disk into a goal sounded like a really cool idea not to mention a fun game.
Oh, and who could ever forget the famous Disney movies Champions…
…and The Mighty Ducks! Knucklepuck! Hahaha! These films really inspired a lot of the earlier players to try out the sport!
Anyway, before I keep talking about the Wingers, the SM Ice Skating Rink in Cebu, or some other dated reference, let me talk about today’s scene!
With the winter olympics recently concluded, wherein Canada grabbed the gold for Men’s (and Women’s) hockey. I suddenly wondered what was happening with our local league. Having skated a few weeks prior, I caught up with one of my old teammates (since 1995) Bong Pestañas and asked how things were going on the local level. He said that the games were fairly regular with a regular season as well as playoffs! I wondered, olympics na ba yung next target? So with every intention to start playing again, I made my way over to the SM Mall of Asia to check out how the guys today play, checking out the competition!
I caught the Mustangs vs Omni match, and snapped away!
Fighting for the loose puck!
Nice to see the intensity of the game again!
The goalie watching the play on the other end of the ice.
The referees were very competent and made good calls, but in a game this fast-paced some fouls may have slipped by them.
I would say that there’s contact during the games, but it’s a good sportsmanlike kind -to get to the puck, and not to send your opponent flying across the ice.
Mustangs made the first goal of the night, while Omni was on a powerplay no less!
To which Mike Wang (#9) of Omni quickly replied by sending one into the net!
It’s great seeing the teamwork the teams showed, the seamless line changes and speed of the game!
On the breakaway!
Rejected by the goalie!
Scrambling for possession.
Protecting the puck.
The Mustangs’ goalie making sure he knows where the puck is.
In this game you only have a few moments to decide what to do, pass, dump, or take it over the neutral zone!
You really have to earn your space on the ice!
Playing your position properly is a real deciding factor if your team wins or loses! No room for puckhogs here!
Now that’s a breakaway!
Omni coming into the neutral zone.
and into the offensive zone.
Ended up just watching the game, so by this time I already put down my camera! Haha!
Amazing to see the game live and breathe in the sport again! Looking forward to playing next season! Games are now played Monday, Wednesday and Fridays! Awesome! Catch them around 8:30pm at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink!
If anybody’s interested in learning how to play ice hockey. You can contact these numbers below.
Mall of Asia 556-0469
and check SM Ice Skating’s Facebook Page here.
If you’ve played in the past and are looking to get back into it, check out..
Hockey Philippines’ official site, home of the Manila Ice Hockey League.
Manila Ice Hockey League Facebook Page here.
…and to find out who won this match and the schedule of other matches check out the MIHL League Lineup page here!