Zamboni malfunction dampens Women's Hockey Day in Lucknow, Legends game goes ahead
BY SCOTT STEPHENSON
This past Saturday, the Lucknow and District Sports Complex hosted the 11th annual Women’s Hockey Day.
The well-attended event was off to a good start, and the early games were a great showcase of the on-ice skills being developed by players in the younger divisions. Unfortunately, the failure of the Zamboni’s hydraulic line during a routine resurfacing led to the previously pristine surface being seriously sullied by spilling fluid. The surprising spray meant that most of the rest of the day’s scheduled games had to be scrapped indefinitely. It was certainly a disappointing turn of events for all the young athletes who had come out for the competition.
However, the spirit of the day was salvaged when it was decided that the scheduled game between the Lucknow Legends and the Seaforth Lady Cents would go on as originally scheduled, at 6 p.m., provided that the Zamboni and the ice could be restored to their former glory by the time the game was to start.
In the interim hours, the arena and the parking lot cleared out almost entirely. Teams robbed of the chance to play returned to their hometowns to await another chance to play their favourite sport. Hours passed, and the Zamboni did indeed get the ice clean in time for the game to go forward. Cars returned to the parking lot, the players filtered back in, the canteen opened, and a small but vocal crowd of fans, friends and family formed as the players took the ice.
The echoes of enthusiastic cheers resonated through the rink as spectators witnessed the agility, speed, and skill displayed by these remarkable local athletes. A loyal contingent of young players from the Wingham/Lucknow 86ers were the loudest part of the Legends’ cheering section, while also being the smallest in stature. Their team had played Kincardine right before the Zamboni’s ill-fated run.
The long lull before the game did nothing to quash or quell the energy of either team - the game was a scrappy, spirited battle that entertained all those who observed. It may have ended in a tie, but Women’s Hockey Day in Lucknow is about more than the final score - it’s about solidarity found in a mutual love of playing one of Canada’s favourite games, together. Amidst the fierce competition, there is also an undeniable sense of sportsmanship and respect, and it was refreshing to see these players honour the spirit of fair play and integrity that can define the game.
In the end, the 11th annual Women's Hockey Day was more than just a day celebrating female excellence on the ice - it became a study in rink-based resilience, and a great example of the relentless spirit of female athletes. Happy Women's Hockey Day to all!