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Closer is Better

I have said it before and I will say it again: There is nothing more exciting than a 1-0 hockey game. The

​Canada-USA Olympic quarterfinal match was riveting. It was particularly memorable to have watched it with a group of high school teachers as part of a team-building session hosted by my husband, Ryan Walter.

We had originally planned to focus on conflict, however we very wisely changed to Team Culture, and Ryan wove it in, around and through the game, utilizing every intermission and stoppage in play. He told stories, asked and answered questions, explained the 5 stages of team, instigated interactive small group discussion, and facilitated a debrief compiling the resulting good ideas for enhancing team cohesiveness and advancement.

Watching this exciting game in a school setting brought back memories of the ’72 series. I was in Grade 9 and the whole school watched together on tiny televisions in the cafeteria. “HENDERSON!” International hockey quickly crosses traditional, locational, and familial loyalties to bring whole countries (and schools) together to cheer for their athletes.

This past Friday we were collectively able to combine that international excitement with hockey’s most exciting score: 1-0! At my best moments, I alwaysat the hockey powers that be on their endless quest to increase goal production. Could they please stop trying to fix what isn’t broken? High scoring games can quickly become tedious, but low scoring games keep us on the edges of our seats!

Believe me, I was as happy as every other Canadian with Sunday's 3-0 Gold medal win for Canada. We breathed a collective sigh of relief when Crosby and later Kunitz added their insurance goals to relieve the tension. And the women’s third period comeback and overtime win was dazzling (we were conducting a leadership session during that one too, and had to delay our beginning so our law firm clients could watch the second half of the third with various Langley seniors, and take a short break to watch the replay of the gold-medal winning overtime goal)! While the score was low and close in both games, our eyes were glued to the puck, and our hearts were set on the Maple Leaf emblazoned on the Team Canada jerseys. Let’s take a lesson from soccer and celebrate the fact that low-scoring hockey games are spectacularly exciting, especially when the stakes are high.

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