Sixth Man: Women’s Hockey


There are certain things you have to be willing to give up in you’re going to enjoy a women’s hockey game: namely, the hitting that really serves to make men’s games entertaining. No one gets crushed against the boards in a women’s hockey game–or if they do, the referees are sure to take it pretty seriously. Instead, it’s an arguably more fluid game, with the puck constantly in motion and far less likely to get stuck in a corner, buried in a scrum of swarming bodies. But still: no hitting.

Despite this crucial difference, there is a lot that is the same about the Brown men’s hockey and Brown women’s hockey experience. Most excitingly, Hermano!!!!! For those of you who missed my multiple men’s hockey posts way back in 2012–I’m sure that’s hardly any of you–I’ll give a brief description of Hermano(!!!!!). Hermano(!!!!!) is the nice Brown Athletics employee who drives the zamboni, the machine used to smooth the ice between periods. I don’t know if this is typical of other hockey teams, because I’m not a huge hockey fan, but Brown hockey treats Hermano(!!!!!) like a superstar. He gets an announcement befitting peak-era Michael Jordan from the PA guy, and then the scoreboard does a little graphic with flames around the word “Hermano!!!!!” He also gets to drive a flame-bedazzled zamboni. And, to be clear, Hermano(!!!!!) is a superstar.

By the by, because the period intermissions are so fucking long (15 minutes), and literally the only thing that happens is Hermano(!!!!!) driving the zamboni around, my friend and I got to talking about the zamboni market. As it turns out, zambonis are made by the Zamboni company, and they’re pretty pricey. Hermano(!!!!!) most likely drives a 546 model, as per some cursory research, which can run in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars. So that’s where my tuition money has been going!

Anyhow, there also happened to be some hockey between Hermano(!!!!!) shows. The Polar Bears (see what I did there? shouldn’t our hockey teams be called that?) battled the University of Maine on Friday afternoon, and boy, it was a pulse-quickening nail-biter. Well, kind of. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Bruno conceded two Maine goals, then finished the game with three unanswered goals for a 5-2 victory (they now stand at 2-4 on the season, with a rematch against Maine set for Saturday afternoon). The five goals were spread across four different players, with Kaitlyn Keon ’15 scoring twice and Sarah Robson ’15 assisting thrice. It was briefly exciting for the 2-2 part, but that didn’t really last long, so Sixth Man had to look elsewhere for entertainment.

The chief source of outside enjoyment is the strange, eclectic music that gets pumped from the speakers at every stoppage of play–10-second clips (maybe the iTunes samples?) of songs ranging from “Who Let The Dogs Out?” to “Stronger” [the Kelly Clarkson version, not Kanye] to “Born in the USA” to “Gagnam Style.” I suspect that the person in charge of the music dug up the repertoire from the 1998 team, then asked their seventh-grade daughter for hip new song choices. The music is complimented by a slightly over-excited announcer, who screams the names of goal-scorers about three minutes after the goal happens. The players, of whom there are about 20, applaud goals more loudly than the fans, of whom there were exactly 61 plus whoever was in the press box (I counted; also note that Blog unfortunately does not get to sit in the press box despite its highly professional write-ups).

That’s really about all I have to say about women’s hockey (did I mention Hermano!!!!!?). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend sitting through an entire three periods of a non-conference game, like I did (okay, actually I got there late and left early, sue me), but showing up for the third period of a conference game could definitely be a chill call. Consider checking out the intra-city rivalry game against PC on the 28th at 2 p.m.; otherwise wait until after break for ECAC match-ups against Yale (January 23) or national number five Quinnipiac (February 21, senior night). Say hi to Hermano(!!!!!) for me! [Disclaimer: no Blog writer has ever successfully corralled the legend that is Hermano(!!!!!) for an interview, but perhaps–hint, hint–we will in the future.]

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