Well-Kept Secret

By Elliot Olshansky - February 02, 2008

So there I was, sitting across the street from South Station, having just learned that my plans for the afternoon had fallen through. I had the entire afternoon ahead, and I wasn't sure what to do.

In sending an e-mail back to my colleagues in New York, I noticed the BC was hosting Vermont for a women's hockey game at 2 p.m.


Now, to be honest, there wasn't anything spectactular about the game - a 4-0 BC win in which the Eagles carried the play for the majority of the contest - and there may have been as many people playing in the game as watching it (I think the published attendance figure of 145 may be generous). But I was heartened by a group of four young men who had shown up for the game - one with a trumpet that he would later play in the pep band at the men's game against Providence - who supplied a healthy amount of noise throughout the game.

I've noticed this in a few places I've gone - a small but dedicated group of women's hockey fans who go to home games and offer support similar to what the men's team gets. Actually, I don't know that the Ohio State men get the kind of support that the women's team gets from the guys I've seen at the old OSU Ice Rink, who sometimes show up in bodypaint resemblign the Buckeyes' jerseys. Sometimes, there's a musician involved (hello, Mr. Soule), sometimes not, but "Those Guys" are showing up more and more.

I can appreciate it, because I was one of "Those Guys" myself once upon a time.

Actually, to be honest, I was "That Guy."

Much of my appreciation for women's hockey was formed at Dartmouth, at 4 p.m. games on Saturday afternoons that would precede a 7 p.m. basketball game that I was playing in with the band, or 2 p.m. games that came ahead of 7 p.m. men's hockey games. Of course, it helped that Dartmouth went to three Women's Frozen Fours in my four years, but the point was that I had more opportunities to support my fellow students, and just as important, more hockey to watch.

That's one of those great thigns about being at college as a sports fan: depending on the school, there's just about always something to watch, and women's hockey was one of those little hidden treasures for me.

Looking around this afternoon - and a couple of weeks ago in Columbus, and at the occasional New Hampshire game over the last couple of years - I can see that I'm not alone.

So if you have the opportunity on a Friday or Saturday afternoon, check out your local women's hockey team.

Who knows? You just may become one of "Those Guys."

Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 12:15 AM on February 02, 2008

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