In case you didn't know, hockey is gaining momentum in Texas. It may never surpass football on Friday nights, but for fans, there's nothing like seeing their favorite team hit the ice.
Talk the Talk
A little hockey league lingo:
NHL, AHL, CHL—National, American, and Central Hockey leagues, respectively
body check—when a player bumps or slams into an opponent with either his hip or his shoulder (the only legal moves) to block his progress or to throw him off balance
deke or deking—a decoying or faking motion by the puck carrier; the art of making a defensive player think the puck carrier is going to pass or move in a certain direction when he is not
hooking—a minor penalty that occurs when a player attempts to impede the progress of another player by hooking any part of the opponent’s body with the blade of his stick; an illegal use of one’s stick
lie—angle made by the shaft of the stick and the blade
on-the-fly—making player changes or substitutions while play is under way
policeman—usually the most penalized player on a team; he has the job of protecting his teammates from harm; generally a larger player who is not afraid of a fight
ragging—retaining the puck by clever stick handling; often used by a shorthanded team to kill time
waffle pad—a large rectangular pad attached to the front of the goalie’s stick hand
What’s in a Name?
The CHL gets the award for the best team names:
Amarillo Gorillas (whose Web site, amarillogorillas.com, offers a full page of gorilla facts and other gorilla links)
Lubbock Cotton Kings
For the 2002-2003 season, Texas boasts one NHL (Dallas Stars), two AHL (Houston Aeros and San Antonio Rampage), and nine CHL teams (Amarillo Gorillas, Austin Ice Bats, Corpus Christi IceRays, El Paso Buzzards, Fort Worth Brahmas, Laredo Bucks, Lubbock Cotton Kings, Odessa Jackalopes, and San Angelo Outlaws).
Professional hockey first came to Dallas in 1941. The Texans played in the American Hockey Association.
Admission in 1941 into the Fair Park Ice Arena to see the Texans cost 55 cents.
Hockey was canceled in the South after the 1941-1942 season mainly because of World War II.
Four years later, the Texans returned to Dallas, playing in the United States Hockey League from 1945-1949. Hockey ended after the 1949 season because of increased travel costs for the Texans. For the next eighteen years, there was no hockey in Dallas.
The Central Hockey League brought hockey back to Dallas with the Dallas Blackhawks (1967-1982), a minor league affiliate to the Chicago team, and the Dallas Freeze (1992-1994).
Before the Dallas Stars franchise moved to Texas in 1993, they were known as the Minnesota North Stars.
They Were Baby Teeth Anyway
USA youth leagues breakdown:
Mites (8 years old and under), Squirts (9-10), PeeWee (11-12), Bantam (13-14), Midget Minor (15-16), and Midget Major (17- six months of 18)