I didn't know anything about hockey 'til I married a Canadian

I didn't know anything about hockey 'til I married a Canadian

Ask me about ice, and I’ll give you a good margarita recipe.

Latinos tend to be more interested in soccer, baseball, basketball and football.

Less than 10 percent of the hockey audience is Latino.

But my appreciation for hockey has changed since I married a Canadian.

My husband grew up reading hockey magazines and started playing the game when he was old enough to stand.

When we were dating, I knew it was getting serious when he loaned me his Blackhawks hockey sweater.

It’s a throwback black, red and white one with the Blackhawk and no number or name.

I called it a jersey and he told me that in Canada they call that a sweater.

So began my hockey education as we started watching games together in 2010.

That, as we all know, was a good year for the Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks.

I had a hard time following the game at first.

“Did they score a puck?” I asked straining to follow the black disk into the net.

“Goal,” I learned it was called.

Among the many questions I had:

“What’s a powerplay?”

“How does a shootout work?”

“Why do they fight so much?”

My husband patiently explained all the rules of hockey to me.

Fighting is normal in hockey, he explained. He had his share of fights on the ice as a teenager.

He explained his style as more Keith Magnuson than Denis Savard. (I had no idea who he was talking about, but he said hockey fans would get it.)

One time when my husband was 14 he was thrown out of an All-Star game for fighting. At the end of the game, he refused to shake hands with the opposing team. His father pulled him by his sweater out of his team’s dressing room and into the opposing team’s. He made him apologize and shake each player’s hand.

He said this was embarrassing but also the most valuable lesson his father ever taught him about sportsmanship.

This winter we finally made it to a hockey game. Couldn’t get into a Blackhawks game so we went to see the Chicago Wolves.

There were pyrotechnics at the start of the game. It reminded me of how thrilled I was each time the White Sox scored a home run at the old Comiskey Park. I grew up going to baseball games with my dad.

The Wolves hockey game was exciting and it ended with a shootout too.

So as we watch (on television) the Blackhawks go into the conference finals against the Los Angeles Kings, I now watch the game with as much excitement as my husband.

I’m sure that more Latinos will be watching this upcoming games as Los Angeles County is almost 50 percent Latino and Chicago is around 30 percent Latino.

I know that I’ll be cheering “¡Viva los Blackhawks!”

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