Writer’s Block: Words of a struggling hockey fan

by Samantha Lefebvre

Hi my name is Samantha Lefebvre and I am a 21-year-old sports reporter.

I have been surrounded by sports my entire life and have participated in a lot myself including tennis, softball and alpine skiing.

I love most sports whether it be a fun game of wiffle ball at a family gathering or a competitive game of tennis, but the one sport I can’t seem to get into is hockey.

Yes, I know what you may be thinking, there is no way I can be from Minnesota and be a sports writer and not like hockey.

Well guess what? I am from Minnesota, I grew up here and I have lived here all my life. I also love sports, it’s just that I grew up with sports other than hockey.

I come from a fairly big family, comprised mostly of boys who were in a sport every season.

I have 12 boy cousins and four uncles on my dad’s side, but none of them ever played hockey.

Coming from St. Michael, they all wrestled during the winter months and now my younger cousins dominate on the basketball court.

I would like to say that I enjoy hockey so that I could sound like a true Minnesotan, but I can’t.

As hard as I try to get into the sport I just can’t. It is nothing against any of the school teams I cover, I just don’t enjoy hockey as much as I do basketball or tennis or baseball.

I just recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth, home of the 2011 national champions in men’s hockey.

In my three and a half years I attended Bulldog games a few times every season and even reported on some of the games for the campus paper.

But even after interviewing Jack Connolly, who is a candidate for the 2012 Hoby Baker award, I still find it hard to be swayed into becoming a hockey fan.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my old stomping grounds in Duluth to cover the Andover game at the Amsoil Arena against Forest Lake.

The Huskies won 7-6 in a sudden death overtime showdown.

I found the game very thrilling and exciting and it was nice to see a local team advance to the section finals, but was I moved into becoming a hockey fan?

It may have been the closest I have become compared with the UMD Bulldogs winning the national championship.

While there may be thrilling moments or goals during a game I feel like there is not enough scoring to keep me enthused.

Unlike basketball or tennis, where scoring happens constantly, some hockey games result in a 1-0 victory just like soccer, which is another sport I struggle with, too.

I do enjoy the excitement of the fans at the high school and the college levels.

There is no doubt that the atmosphere is electric during a high profile matchup. I feel that the atmosphere alone is not enough to get me hyped up about hockey, but at least it is a start.

I am willing to learn to like hockey more, after all it is a Minnesotan sport and one in which Minnesotans excel.

And I figure that now I am a paid professional in the field of sports reporting I may gain a higher tolerance for the sport, but at the moment I am willing to take it one game at a time, one period at a time.