January 5, 2006


Battle of the sexes in Hockeytown USA (Larry Oakes, 1/05/06, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Both the U.S. women's Olympic hockey team and the Warroad High School boys' team said their unusual match Wednesday night was about honor.

The boys said they wanted to rise to the honor of facing some of the world's best women players and doing them justice.

The women said they wanted to honor the town and the people who have done perhaps more for hockey than any town in the United States.

Many thought the older, more experienced women who beat Team Canada last weekend in a warmup to the 2006 Winter Olympics would win against the high schoolers. Especially after coaches agreed to a no-checking rule.

But the young Warroad Warriors lived up to the town's long history of hockey honor, winning 2-1 by beating the women at their own game of finesse and speed.

Reality is a bitch.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2006 8:59 AM

They won because they are the WARRIORS!. The high school symbol is the head of an Indian Warrior, complete with feathers. Team Canada is a concept. Concepts don't cut it.

Posted by: AllenS at January 5, 2006 9:25 AM

Actually, it seems that reality is a high school boy. Yipes.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 9:45 AM

Allen S, they played the U.S. team not the Canadian team.

"The boys' winning strategy was to drive the puck as often as they could to the corners of the rink. "Everyone thought the boys would lose," said spectator Earl Vlcek of Warroad, "but they had the long reach and were much stronger in the corners." "

And this was a no-check game. A regular game would have to be stopped like a one-sided boxing match. I do enjoy watching womens' hockey in the Olympics though. The women hockey players are excellent skaters regardless.

Posted by: JimBobElrod at January 5, 2006 9:46 AM


This is what I was referring to: "Many thought the older, more experienced women who beat Team Canada". No accomplishment, there.

Posted by: AllenS at January 5, 2006 9:57 AM

Presumably Team Canada was also female.

I occasionally get embroiled in similar arguments over women's football (soccer). A lot of ladies think it unfair that nobody goes to watch international women's football matches, yet thousands will turn out to see even the lowliest amateur men's teams.

I generally proffer my honest opinion that the England women's team playing at its best would be comfortably beaten by any average Under-17s schoolboy team, but for some reason this humble observation never seems to calm matters.

Posted by: Brit at January 5, 2006 10:47 AM

I'd like to see what would happen in a best of seven.

It's a different game, but it's a great one. Canada and the U.S. are sure to play for gold at Turin and it will be well worth watching. Both have had huge wins against the other, both have compiled long streaks and both have broken the others' hearts in home territory. Also, they hate each others' guts.

Posted by: Peter B at January 5, 2006 11:31 AM

Hello? It's woman's hockey, which when watched looks to be at a boys Bantam level (just before high school).
It's painful to watch and really shouldn't be called hockey at all. Womans soccer is any better but for the chance to see Mia Hamm all sweaty.

Posted by: buck at January 5, 2006 11:45 AM


The better question is "why don't you and all your friends go watch?".

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 5, 2006 12:36 PM

The cuteness/babe-factor is the only thing
that makes women's hockey/soccer worth watching.

The WNBA doesn't really have even that.

Posted by: J.H. at January 5, 2006 1:06 PM

Had a conversation with a co-worker, whose daughter plays hockey, about this game yesterday. He thought the girls would win because girls who play hockey "are very enthusiastic about it," and believe they're as good as the boys.
Undoubtedly the score of the game doesn't matter; it only matters that the girls feel good about themselves and believe they were competitive. I'm sure if MN gives high schools another billion to build girls hockey programs, they'll soon be up to a tie.

Posted by: JT at January 5, 2006 1:07 PM

J.H., not to be critical but how do you see a cuteness factor with hockey pads and caged helmets? I do agree that some women's soccer players are hot.

Posted by: pchuck at January 5, 2006 1:27 PM

I'll never know why women want to compete with men in sports that require strength. We can match or better their intelligence, their skills and their stamina, but when it comes to heavy lifting, the guys win every time.

Like it or not, that's our biology. The men got the larger bodies and the bigger muscles. They can smack a hockey puck faster and farther than we can.

So, tell me again . . . why exactly should we care?

Posted by: erp at January 5, 2006 2:37 PM

Penis envy?

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 3:26 PM

"The cuteness/babe-factor is the only thing
that makes women's hockey/soccer worth watching."

I guess you haven't seen a women's hockey team without the pads. Having played with some of the Dartmouth "ladies" at open stick nites at the local rinks I can say they have as much acne and body hair as a boys high school team. And smell like them too.

Posted by: buck at January 5, 2006 3:42 PM

It brings to mind what I always find myself thinking when someone complains about women's pro basketball not getting enough attention: they are in direct competition with the men, like it or not, for the attention of those who are connoisseurs of the game of basketball itself. If it was the women who were soaring through the air like the George Gervins and Dr. Js of the world they would be getting all the attention. Sport is the ultimate meritocracy; success or failure transpires instantly before those who reward it-the millions of fans watching at home. There's no hiding or explaining away incompetence. Predictably, sport is the least demographically representative industry there is. Imagine if we applied the "looks like America" model of racial apportionment to basketball-a five man starting roster of a white guy, an asian, a latino, a handicapped person, and a black guy (who might find he's shouldering a bit more of the load).
It makes you wonder, if the actual cost of tokenism in other spheres of life could be quantified, what would it look like?

Posted by: Dennis at January 5, 2006 6:02 PM

Oh, and at least two of the team members would have to be women.

Posted by: Dennis at January 5, 2006 6:04 PM