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Hockey Sounds In Canada

Finally! The hockey soundtrack is back on in our sports-deprived homes: blades scraping, sticks tapping, players shouting from the bench, body checks into the boards, pucks hitting crossbars, coaches yelling at refs. Real or audio-enhanced, the bubble rink sounds good. The on-air commentators are rattling through team player names, formations, penalties.

If we’re momentarily distracted, we know to look back at the screen as the play-by-play voices rise in pitch and speed. There’s a promising pass, a distracted defenseman, a crush in front of the crease. Goal!

Then it’s light, horn, music, cheers. And now, in pandemic 2020, there are whoops across Canucks fan households when Chris Tanev’s Overtime goal – 11 seconds in – sends Vancouver off to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

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Here are some of the players describing their favourite hockey sounds.

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If you’re thinking about long-lived hockey sounds, it’s hard not to think of the organ: perched high above the crowd, offering riffs to energize the room, distract the opposing team, challenge questionable calls, and celebrate home team goals.

The first hockey organ – ‘The Barton – premiered in 1929 with the Chicago Blackhawks in ‘the Madhouse on Madison’. It featured 3,663-pipes and the much-praised playing of the 9-fingered Al Melgard. If you have watched or been lucky enough to attend any Canucks games over the years, you will likely have heard organist Mike Kenney.

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Here’s to more days and nights watching playoff hockey and revelling in the sounds.

Written by Elizabeth Newton
www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Ken Danby. Lacing Up. 1973

 

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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton