I spent last Saturday, for most of the day, watching my great niece and nephew play hockey. She's 5. He's 7. They're cousins.
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    Saturday Hockey πŸ‘
    Luckily they never had to play against each other. The younger players are just learning how to skate and manipulate the puck at the same time. The older ones are learning the basics of hockey like how to pass and be a team player.
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    Littlest Fan
    Everyone was there from the youngest siblings to the great grandparents. My parents are in their 80s, the grandparents are in their 60s and the parents range from middle twenties to early thirties. Some of the players are barely bigger than this. Occasionally, someone will lay down on the rink surface, declare themselves DONE and have to be carried off the ice.
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    Home Town Crowd
    It was a home town crowd all around. The teams consisted of players from the six smallish towns in the area. The smallest town has a population of around 500; the largest has a population of around 5,000.
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    Falling or Fighting?
    The teams are coed. With the littlest group many of the goals were not counted on the scoreboard. The goal for them is to learn how hockey is played. The older kids are able to keep their scores within a reasonable range so no one team feels they were trounced. Good sportsmanship is encouraged.
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    Raffle table and 50/50
    There was a raffle table with many prizes donated by local sponsors. Tim Hortons (πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦donut shop) sponsors one of the teams. Both of our kids won something. Hooray πŸŽ‰ as that means less tears. My ex niece-in-law won the 50/50 which came to about $150.
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    Sexist Bathroom Signs
    Now as it was in my youth (and childhood) the local small town rinks are utilised for both figure skating and hockey. The dressing rooms and bathrooms are basic. Remember, if you are in one, to always hold down the toilet handle to get a full flush. 🚽
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    Figure Skater Girl
    You can tell because of the bun. This was at the end of the day. She is waiting for hockey to be OVER so that she can go home. How many of your sibling's events did you have to sit through? How about a list @marymurphy or @joemurphy?
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    Left Over From When Only Boys Played Hockey
    I'll admit I went mainly for the food which turned out to be a disappointment. The burger could have been used for a hockey puck. The Mocha was too coffeeish. Thankfully, the fries with gravy saved the day and I didn't starve!
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    Hockey's Our Game
    But really, it's much more than just a game. It's a passion, that brings us all together. On frozen ponds, at the community rink, and in our driveways. It's the feeling you get when you step on the ice. The feeling you get when you score your first goal. πŸ₯… It's in our dreams and every post game celebration. It's in every rink across the country. Hockey is in our blood. It's in our hearts. πŸ’•
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    Which was purchased by a private individual. I'm not sure if you can see it but it says Joshboni on the front.
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    The Best Part
    I know a few little boys and girls that go to the game just to watch the Zamboni work it. Look at the pretty multicoloured stripes it makes.
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    Thank You
    To the coaches (my nephew), the parents, the managers, the officials (many not much older than the players), the volunteers and the fans. It takes a lot of people to make small town hockey tournaments happen.
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    Hustler Award
    My great nephew got the hustler award in his first game of the day. His hockey stick is almost as tall as him.
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    Good Sportsmanship
    Everyone got a trophy. This is my nieces. They both enjoyed the day and went home happy but tired. As did we - especially the great grandparents. πŸ‘΅πŸΌπŸ‘΄πŸΌ
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    Rink Burgers
    Yes. Rink Burgers are a tradition. http://www.skbooks.com/product/rink-burgers/
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    The food πŸ₯˜ at the rink now is both better and worse then in my youth. I hear that there are a few small town rinks that serve sushi 🍣. All I need when spending a day at the rink is a great Mocha or two and a bowl of soup.