I grew up like most Canadian kids. I know Roch Carrier’s classic The Hockey Sweater by heart. I learned about the ’72 Summit Series and Paul Henderson’s winning goal (and Team Canada’s deliberate slashing of Valeri Kharlamov’s ankle during game six) in Mrs. Biondi’s grade 11 Canadian history class.
I watched all the men in my life (and some of the women) play hockey on outside community rinks or, if we were lucky, a dark small-town arena while trying to keep warm with a rink burger and watery hot chocolate. I was taught how to do a slapshot in my 2nd-grade gym class, and shoulder-checked my brother into a wall during a game of floor hockey at church when I was a teenager.