Posted by: chiarraigrrl | March 2, 2010

An ice hockey fan in Ireland


Having grown up “slightly west of Dingle”, I was an ice hockey fan from the first time I was brought to an Albany River Rats game as a youngster. For years I went to games regularly, and once I got my driving licence at 16 I was a regular in the stands at games with my best friend, even doing road trips to games out of town on the odd occasion and driving home from university in Rhode Island to go to a Rats game. I had my fair share of merchandise, a Rats sticker on my car and we had even bought plastic fake rats to bring to games (it’s good to be easily amused, as far as I’m concerned). We were usually in the AA seats (right next to the glass) with our plastic rats on the edge of the glass, shouting shit at the ref and cheering our lungs out whenever the Rats scored.

As one might imagine, not getting to see ice hockey any more was a bit of a challenge once I decided to stay in Ireland for good. Sure, there are a million reasons why I’d much rather be on this side of the pond- but I’ll confess, I do miss the old ice hockey occasionally, and have even been long intending to take the Enterprise to Belfast to see the Giants in action. Hasn’t happened yet, obviously, but maybe someday… Once, when I was living in Tralee, I discovered that an ice hockey game was on a cable channel we didn’t have – but that if I changed to that channel, I’d get a couple of seconds of the game before it was fuzzed out. I’m mildly embarrassed to confess that I sat there switching channels for a bit, trying to watch a bit of the game, at least.

Normally, at this stage, I don’t even really think about it any more – but of course, this past Sunday night was the final men’s ice hockey game of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and naturally as a River Rats fan from when Martin Brodeur was goalie on the team, I was supporting Canada, hoping Brodeur would be able to go home with a gold medal the year his home nation were hosting the Olympics. It was an amazing game, and of course I couldn’t shut up about it on Twitter (delighted, still, that Canada got the gold). Thanks to a couple of other Twitter users, particularly Mark Congiusta and omegar24, I was soon enlightened to the fact that there is, in fact, an Irish Ice Hockey League (who are also on twitter), and while there may not be games in Dublin at the moment (have I mentioned how much I love the fact that the Dublin team I could find is called the Rams? That’s the University of Rhode Island mascot, too – another of my favourite places on this earth. The coincidence amuses me no end…), there’s a fully-functioning proper rink in Dundalk, and a team! Must get to a game there sometime in the nearish future…

It also has come to light, thanks to Charlie Connelly‘s tweets this afternoon, that there is, in fact, an Irish national men’s ice hockey team. This makes me extremely happy. The icing on the cake? You can buy replica national squad jerseys.

So who’s starting the supporters’ club??

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Responses

  1. I’m in. Any team that can lose 1-21 to Romania and still keep going is all right by me, not to mention clearly in need of support.

  2. Like the jerseys, nice find, might get myself one πŸ™‚

    • That one’s Charlie Connelly’s discovery, I’m afraid I can’t take credit – delighted to know about them though! πŸ™‚

  3. […] of course there’s the fact that I’ll be able to go to ice hockey games again, which is something I’ve missed badly here in Ireland. If I can afford it, I’ll be in the front row at the ice for every Bruins game possible. I […]

  4. […] forward a few years, and after surviving an ice hockey drought while living in Ireland, it’s a sweet treat even just to be in the same time zone that the games are happening in. Of […]


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