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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Ice Hockey is rough unless you can divert the action

Even in high school, the boys of the northern state of Minnesota played a rough game of ice hockey. I had never seen a ice hockey game so I had no idea how rough it would be. I had graduated high school but was visiting my parents, so I talked my mother into going to see my brother play on his high school ice hockey team. I thought he should be supported. My father did not want to go, probably because the sport was too violent for him, and he wanted to sip some brew instead.

Mother and I were about the only ones in the bleachers for this very minor league hockey game, but I was there to support my brother, so we settled in. It did not take long before the action got heated. I had no idea why, but suddenly several of the players had tossed away their sticks and were batting at each other with their thick gloves, the other players knifed their skate blades to a stop in a circle around the combatants. I was appalled to see that the player getting pummeled was my little brother Peter. I jumped down the bleacher benches, leaving mother in my trail to scurry down the aisle. I got to the wire net around the ice first and started yelling. I suppose I said something like, “Hey, stop hitting my brother. YOU, STOP RIGHT NOW. Don’t hit him.” As my brother’s assailant (and clearly Peter was losing the battle) tore off his gloves and was aiming for my brother’s handsome face, my brother turned from the fight, made a bee-line for me, and raged at me, saying something like, “How dare you make a fuss at my hockey game, you always do this, go away, you're embarrassing me.” That nonplused everyone and effectively ended the fight. What a clever dodge out of a fight that he was losing, how embarrassing for me. I thought fans were supposed to support their team by yelling. Mother and I left immediately. I never went to any more of my brother Peter’s sporting events.

This is not one of the stories that I told my father in the nursing home, as it would not have pleased him in any way.

Caption: My brother Peter Throckmorton playing ice hockey in high school.

(from the estate papers of Peter & Phyllis Throckmorton)

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