My favorite hockey sound is a puck slapping the ice.
At the start of every level 1 session, I toss them out onto the ice and each one makes a SMACK if it hits just right. It’s almost silly how much I enjoy that. I also like the sound of my blade edges cutting into the ice: deep C-cuts, kind of a crunchy, grinding sound as my skates bite into the ice.
My favorite hockey smell is (despite the last post, NOT your stinky gear) the rink… a mixture of Zamboni propane and the ice itself. I notice it most at Breck, where I learned to play in 2002. Every time I walk through those doors into the player hallway, I’m transported back to when I was entering the exciting new world of hockey.
It’s fun, too, being the first one on the ice and seeing the wide, white, clean sheet spread out before you. Pristine (if it’s done right), no skate marks save the ones you’re making, smooth and open. I like that pretty sight.
Alas, no hockey taste (gnawing on pucks? gross mouthguards?) or feel (putting on sticky, sweaty gear that hasn’t dried enough? ish).
But there are emotional sensations that come with hockey too, not just physical ones, and they have their own rewards.
The knowing where your teammates are, passing the puck and watching him score on the one-timer. Your teammate across the ice looks your way and you knowseconds later the puck will come racing to you… and it does. The smack-smack-smack of a perfect cycle, Player 1 to Player 2 to Player 3, everyone working together, everyone in the right position, everyone getting it right, all at once, and then you score.
That Zenlike moment when you’re flying down the ice, faster than you ever thought possible, not thinking but being as all your experience comes together–skating, stickhandling, positioning, reading the play. All of it, all together, being in that moment is my favorite thing about hockey.