Clear the zone, blog readers.

Players lined up

Blog readers, we’re clearing the zone.  Going in a different direction than in most blogs on Lake Superior Spirit.  We’re going to a hockey game.  The L’Anse Purple Hornets played the Kingsford Flivvers for the “Wisigan Cup” last Friday night.

And yours truly tagged along.  My husband, the “real” photographer, snapped dramatic action shots for the sports section of our weekly newspaper, while I stood alongside with the little Sony Cybershot camera, attempting to capture Exciting Hockey Exploits (and other interesting sidebars).

Row of yellow bleacher chairs

Such as the row of yellow chairs.  Don’t they look artistic?  (Oh my goodness this ice rink brings back so very many memories.  We spent half our life here once upon a time when our daughter did figure skating.  She came up here for lessons and testing and competitions.  I remember sitting nervously in these yellow chairs, heart beating strongly, praying for a positive outcome in the test or competition. Praying for all the girls in their beautiful costumes, hoping they would succeed.)

Hockey spectator in stands

So it is interesting to find oneself back in this rink years later watching high school boys fervently attempting to send the puck flying toward the goal.  I’ll bet you’re wondering impatiently what “clear the zone” means.  Here is the definition:

Clearing the zone:  when a defending player sends the puck out of the opponent’s attacking zone, all the attacking players must leave or clear the zone to avoid being called offsides when the puck reenters the zone.

Please study that definition.  If you’re clear what it means, try translating it to an everyday metaphor.   There will be a quiz.

Team lines up for the Star Spangled Banner

After the player introductions, the Star Spangled Banner blared from the loudspeakers.  I was so intrigued by the team formation, attempting to snap photos, that I didn’t even realize it was time to sing the national anthem.  My husband, the real photographer, stood respectfully eyeing the flag.  I finally realized my error and turned to the flag.  Ooops…first “foul” of the evening.  Get in the penalty box, Kathy.

Concession stand

The kids probably ordered nachos and cheese.  It seems like  Upper Peninsula hockey games sell more nachos and cheese than anything else.  You know the cheese.  Gooey, bright yellow, hot…smothering the crispy tortilla chips.  Good hot food to watch a winter sport. 

Except in the Michigan Technological University ice rink it’s amazingly warm.  You hardly need a warm coat.  One could get spoiled quickly watching a hockey game in an indoor rink at a university. 

Players waiting for their turn

Back to the game.  Lots of excitement happening.  If you understand terms like “clearing the zone”, “offside pass”, “penalty killer” and “poke check” you will be watching the game like a hawk, cheering and making predictions.  If you have no idea what any of those terms mean, click here and read diligently.

Prepare yourself for the only action shot I’m posting.  You know how it is with action shots.  You try to capture the excitement of the fast-moving game but the camera coughs or yawns or sputters.  The shutter speed snaps at you.  You capture a blurry world where you can…almost…see the puck flying around.

Look at that action shot!

We only stayed for the first period.  My husband, who has much experience with action photography, captured his shots.  It turned out that the L’Anse team lost to the Kingsford Flivvers 2-5.  (By the way, anyone know what a Flivver might be?  The team is named after Henry Ford’s Model T.  Believe it or not.)

My beloved. The "official" photographer.

I think we’ve just about wrapped up our Friday night “date”.  This is the first time I’ve stood breathlessly beside my spouse, camera in hand, excited about capturing the mood of the hockey game. 

As we were leaving the hockey game, I kept shaking my head. 

“I think I’m becoming a photographer,” I said at least twice.  “This is too bizarre for words.  Photographing hockey games!  What next?”

Time to clear the zone…watch out for that puck!!  (And we know what that means, right??)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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14 Responses to Clear the zone, blog readers.

  1. Kathy, I am at a loss for metaphors, but that clear the zone rule goes far to explain the incomprehensible movements on the ice I’ve occasionally (rarely) observed watching hockey on TV. The yellow chairs make a great shot (GOAL!)

  2. Dawn says:

    I have NEVER understood that blue line thingy in hockey. And I truly think three periods is one period too many. AND even in the MTU rink I was always COLD! LOL! I do like your action shot. And I love the yellow chair shot. Wonder if this will bring back memories for your daughter when she reads it! Bet it will!

  3. Martha says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Those yellow seats reminded me of venus fly traps for some weird reason. They seem so sensuous, waiting for just the right warm, fragrant butt–maybe that innocent fan’s in your picture. They only suck in their prey when absolutely nobody is looking, you know. The have this ability to sense… and at that moment when absolutely no person is conscious of an individual… BAM!! They’re LUNCH. And nobody remembers, you know, because nobody thought about it at all. And yet they sit there so innocently. Those chairs. Those beautiful yellow chairs. So softly curved, so naively approachable in their happy primary color, but so deadly for those unfortunate enough to be alone in the crowd…

    Boy, was that a weird thought or WHAT????

  4. Cindy Lou says:

    Yup, Martha…that was weird! Created a great, fun picture in my head…but weird! 🙂 And your trip to the ice rink is fun, too, Kathy! I seldom go to hockey stuff – can’t remember the last time – so your photos treat me to new scenes. So bright and yellow!

  5. flandrumhill says:

    Isn’t it a bit magical to be able to take a photo of a photographer in action? Sort of like making a painting of a painter at work (the one of Goya comes to mind) or a drawing of drawing hands (there’s one of those by Escher). There’s something otherworldly about those types of images.

  6. fountainpen says:

    Well, the last time I was to a hockey game….I must have been all of 17 or 18…..on a date…..never dated the guy again…..I just remember the puck hitting the glass where I was sitting…very very very hard……I never went to another hockey game.

    Fountainpen…..I too like the yellow seats…they reminded me of honeybees for some strange reason………..!

  7. Kathy says:

    I’m glad you all enjoyed the hockey pics, even those of you who don’t like hockey or haven’t attended games in years. (Hey, that might even be talking about myself!!) Isn’t it fun, or at least interesting, doing things “out of the box”? Pushing ourselves beyond our limit of who we think we are? Each of you take a sport and go photograph it next month. That’s your assignment! LOL…just kiddin’….unless anyone wants to play… 🙂

  8. Kathy says:

    P.S. I loved the yellow chair photo best too. Sounds like we think alike.

  9. Dawn says:

    hmmm…a sport in February. In lower Michigan. Will have to think about that one! We’ll see!

  10. Gerry says:

    I, um, love hockey. Rob the Firefighter and the Lady Alicia took me to a Wings playoff game in Detroit for my birthday last year. I even understand offsides. And I still loved the yellow stadium seats picture best.

    • Kathy says:

      Are you a hockey lover, Gerry? Barry says we should attend a college game one of these years… I am happy that Rob the Firefighter and Lady Alicia took you to a Wings game! Must have been a great birthday.

  11. Hockey is one of my passions and I enjoy covering my local high school team each year now. You did a very good job in very challenging lighting conditions. Don’t be afraid to up the exposure in your photo editing software. It’ll make those dull shots pop for you.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Scott. I was excited to see your comment about utilizing the photo editing software. I don’t do that enough…but will try to remember to take advantage of it!

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