Ice Hockey

This announcement reached me via facebook:
On Saturday you have a chance to see top level ice hockey for FREE! JYP-Akatemia faces Hokki in an exciting match of the second highest level of ice hockey in Finland. So gather your friends and come to experience a night of excitement!

ESN Jyväslylä offered us the opportunity to go to an ice hockey match for free. Unlike back home ice hockey is really popular here in Finland. It is comparable with soccer in the Netherlands I think. About 1,3% of the Finnish population is a registered ice hockey player (according to Wikipedia). In Finish ice hockey is called jääkiekko. They also have a name for normal hockey but that is not so popular here.

We gathered with a big group of mainly exchange student in front of the Synergia-areena. Because we were with so much people the stadium was pretty full on the side where we were allowed to sit, which created a nice atmosphere. Before we were even aware of it the game went off and the music, energy and shouting started. In the beginning I had to get used to the ‘ violence’ within the game. People are running into each other and they go really fast. Luckily they are protected really well you are not able to see what kind of person is in the package. However, soon you get used to that violence. I do not know if that is a good thing or not.  

The game goes fast, they skate fast and they rotate fast. How the rules exactly are is still unclear for me. Quite often music started and then they game stopped for a while, most of the time the reason was unclear for me. One thing I noticed is that one player of every team is wearing a golden helmet, this is because that is the top scorer of that team. 

Some girls were complaining because the reason why they watch soccer is not because they like the game but just because they like to watch people; guys in particular. Well then ice hockey is not a game for you to watch because you only see totally wrapped creatures bumping into each other on a layer of ice.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the stadium, the energy and the figure skaters during the break. Next to that, I really enjoyed observing the behavior of the different players. Although they are packed you recognize certain players after a while. And really nice evening, which contained some Finnish culture!