The sport of Ice Hockey has some incredible rules and regulations. One of which, in my humble opinion is the fact that there are no draws. Always a winner and always a loser. However, when it gets to the end of the 60 minute regulation time, this is when we all take a deep breath and prepare for Overtime.
Overtime, (as I explained to a Football loving colleague) is simply sudden death. It is not extra time as you would get in football. A goal in overtime is instant win. To make matters more interesting, the teams get reduced to three each side, and is a totally different game to the regulation time game. It is incredibly stressful.
So therefore Rookie – your next lesson is how to deal with Overtime in Hockey. With the information below, you will be safe from alienating your fellow fans, causing damage and grief and potentially give you life saving tips (or at least help your blood pressure…!)
1 – Breathe
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Its easy to say that overtime may be the most exciting part of a game, save maybe penalties. So its important that you take a moment before it starts to get yourself ready. As I say a lesson hard learned… The end of last season, I screamed and shouted so hard that I lost the feeling in my legs and had to sit down, my friend and other half, so concerned about me, didn’t notice and continued to cheer and focus on the game. Go on without me guys… its cool….
2 – Scream
The guys on the ice needs to know you’re behind them (next to them, in front etc etc) so make some noise!!! So – any general noise will do, as long as its loud and sounds a bit like “aayyy yarr youuu comee onnn”. If you get any odd looks whilst you are screaming, look at them and make the same noise again, but this at them/in their general direction. Nod. Smile (full blown Cheshire cat). And look back at the ice. Repeat from the top. This is a guaranteed way to let the other people around you know that you are truly ready for the over time play, and that you are potentially dangerous.
If you are feeling light headed, see step 1.
3 – Make Sure You Tell Everyone its Overtime
There is nothing more important, than making it well known to the people around you that it is overtime, whether you know them or not. A general “ooh, overtime” comment at them will not suffice. I am pretty sure, everyone knows, but for some reason, still does this. Firstly, sigh deeply, and melodramatically. Then make ye contact with a stranger, and roll your eyes. Thirdly, state that it has gone to overtime. I assure you this will surely help the general awareness in the arena of the situation. As of course. Nobody knows.
4 – Do the Maths
This is especially important towards the end of season near the play off qualifications. The stands are full of “if we lose in OT, but team A and team B win, and team C loses to team D and team E win by more than 3 goals…. We could be in with a chance”. This is usually accompanied by many faces looking like this:
This is something that the veterans will be dealing with, and so if you feel that you have the upmost confidence and preparation, and also known as Rachel Riley, do not attempt to announce your calculations. The risk you run is high. Instead. just cheer for the win, whilst keeping an ear out for other peoples calculations – then repeat as necessary.
5 – Get Ready For All emotions
I cannot stress to you rookie, the emotions that will go through your body. OT is so quick, and can change direction in seconds. You can be standing on your feet as there is a break away play, and before you have had chance to stand up and take a deep breath to shout, the puck and opposing players are by your net. So be aware. As just as you let out a mighty belting roar, you may end up cheering at the point the puck enters your own net, much to the disgust of your fellow fans… If this happens, hand your ticket in, leave the stands, change your name, sell your house, and move to another country.
6 – Hands Free
This is a short and sweet one. Before overtime starts. Put everything down. Trust me. When your team scores in overtime, there is a mystical power that forces your hands above your head (and if you are by the glass, you will start banging the glass). Well that’s my excuse… Don’t have any drinks, food, or pointy objects in your hands. Or it will either be thrown across the stands, or smashed against the glass. Its surprising how quickly the elation of an overtime winner can vanish when you are covered in someone else’s beer. or realising you have just smashed your phone against the glass 5 times.
7 – Last, but definitely not least – Don’t Leave Before End of Regulation…
…as you could miss the best moments of hockey you could possibly imagine.
All I will say for this is – the Miracle in Manchester (google it if you haven’t seen it). Video below. Greatest comeback in Hockey history. Enjoy