When I was growing up in Ontario, Canada, hockey was the sport of choice. From a young age most EVERYONE watched and/or played hockey. Backyards would be flooded, and then left to freeze over, in anticipation of lacing up the skates to get out there and play. Arenas: with one and sometimes two, ice rinks could be found in every community.
Even when a suitable surface to wear skates wasn’t available, it was typical to see two hockey nets (goals) set up on the road in neighbourhoods—game on! Mind you, it would get regularly interrupted when someone yelled; “CAR!” and the nets had to be moved aside so a vehicle could pass.
I never played hockey, couldn’t skate worth a darn—but I was always an eager spectator. I got to see my first NHL (pre-season game) at the Kitchener Auditorium when I was only 8 or 9 and my first NHL (regular-season game) at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto when I was 12. I was hooked on hockey! And yes—a Toronto Maple Leafs fan—stop snickering please!
For many years, I rarely missed a game. I didn’t get to see live ones too often, but still enjoyed watching them from home.
There was a period of time when I didn’t watch hockey very much anymore (kids at home, career, etc.) and I did lose track. Then I moved to Roatan, and well, I didn’t give hockey much of a thought; tropical island: white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and all that—if my yard gets flooded it sure as heck isn’t going to freeze over! And yet, I’m glad to let you know—NHL hockey is here! So was the Canada Wins Gold Olympic Hockey Game!
Just head over to Sundowner’s, West End, Roatan, Honduras to watch a game. Order a beverage (and perhaps a burger or wrap) at the bar, then make your way to the semi-big screen TV under the palm tree, kick off your flip-flops and settle in to watch a game with fellow hockey fans. It can be a tad distracting at times though… when from behind the TV—a cruise ship can be seen sailing by on its way to its next port of call! Oh, and if you’re not a Leafs fan, best to keep that to yourself—the Box Seat holder’s might “Hab” you, and you’ll be delegated to move the “standing room only” area!
In Canada, when hockey season is over it’s time for golf. The only difference on Roatan… you can go golfing the same day you watch a NHL hockey game! No waiting for the ice to melt!
FYI: Some of the Box Seat holders here on Roatan are organizing a Road Hockey Tournament to raise funds for kid in need, to teach those who are unfamiliar with the fine art of hockey, and to just plain have some fun!
Boards will be set up outlining the rink—can’t have balls rolling across the beach and into the Caribbean Sea don’t you know. Advertizing space on these boards is available! Donations and sponsors (corporate: Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Scotia Bank, TD, Royal, Sunwing Charters, Home Hardware—wink wink—nudge nudge, and individual hockey fans like you) of hockey related prizes and helping get stuff to the Island (can’t buy hockey sticks here) are also welcomed and appreciated. All sponsors will be recognized in a future story that will be posted on Roatan Vortex and on the Roatan Vortex Show on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio.