We are right in the middle of March break here in Central Ontario, and for non-hockey parents, that could mean trips down south, skiing, or otherwise relaxing activities. Not so for hockey parents lucky enough to have children still in the playoffs in minor hockey, because at this point it means that teams are getting close to, or in the finals for their division. And THOSE families are in the middle of playoff fever!
In my case, there have been fewer posts over the last few weeks. There are many reasons for that, but one of the main reasons is that it’s hard to find time with all this HOCKEY! This year, being on rep teams has meant a total of 10 tournaments for my sons, and 6 of these tournaments have meant weekends away with at least one, and often two or three nights in a hotel. We hadn’t initially signed up for 10 tournaments, but when you win your regional Silverstick (as both my boys’ teams did), you head on to an International Silverstick tournament that is all weekend long, and far away. These were on top of a regular season consisting of 22 games minimum each, that were played AROUND all those tournaments. And now, we are into the final round of playoffs. To be awarded their championship, each of my boys will need to have won 18 games AFTER regular season. So far, they’ve both won 15, and this weekend, the finals start.
It’s been a long season, but it’s all ramping up to this: the Ontario Minor Hockey Association Finals. Both my boys have made the finals for the second year in a row. Trust me, I’m not bragging, I know how rare this is, and I just can’t imagine it happening again. Actually, our association has, for the first time ever, FOUR teams who have made the finals. We don’t know what will happen the next round, but we sure are proud of our kids, and all those that have made our association work!
So, as Playoff Fever ramps up, we prepare for the finals. Posters are being made. Opening ceremonies are being planned. Travel arrangements organized for the long trips to opposing centres. Playlists are being updated, and, maybe most importantly in our small communities, EVERYONE wants to know when the home games are, because the rinks at these games will be packed. It’s amazing, really, how quickly Playoff Fever catches on in small towns, and how everyone comes out of the woodwork, especially those who have played for the association in the years past.
For all of you fortunate enough to still be in the playoffs, good luck to you! And for the rest of you, don’t worry, Tryout Fever is just around the corner!