Stanley Cup Finals – Hockey is Still Good

[Brass Bonanza by Jack Say]

[Editor’s note: This post was originally published March 14, 2011. I thought it fitting tonight for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Enjoy!]



Some of my fellow Mama Warriors are in need of positive vibes today…

I think RM can stack the pads on this one and make a save in the face of autism…

…because hockey is not only good, in some locales it is spelled H-O-P-E.


New Englanders have a long tradition of rooting for underdogs… and standing behind our teams for decades with nothing to show for it but hope and fervor that SOMEDAY a Pennant win will lead to a World Series sweep, or a Playoff rumble result in the beloved Whalers hoisting a Stanley Cup in victory.

Oh, dear New Englanders… Ye of so much FAITH and HOPE…

As we speak, the most diehard of Red Sox fans are gearing up for a spring-training preemptive slaughter of the Yankees tonight in Fort Meyers, Florida. Because the Red Sox have a tradition of starting out in early spring with fury… and often, over the years, losing their steam toward the end of the summer… and simply disappearing among the pack come autumn… you might have given up on the Sox a long time ago…

Let me tell you… you cannot go to a mall -or let’s say, a bar – in New England without spotting a Red Sox Fan. The same could be said (perhaps only slightly smaller of scale) about a Whalers Fan… and that team doesn’t even live here anymore.

For those of you not familiar, Hartford was once home to the NHL Whalers Hockey Team. I won’t go into detail, but many a death-threat were muttered angrily when the team was bought in the late ‘90s and essentially stripped of its hometown fans, colors, and Brass Bonanza… and quietly shipped off to North Carolina. We were left with an AHL team… formerly the Wolfpack, now the CT Whale.

April is Autism Awareness Month, the Month of the Military Child, and the Month of Renewed Hope for all Red Sox fans…

So what about hockey? Diehard Whalers fans that still linger among the New England populace enjoyed a resurgence of Whalermania this season with the Hartford Wolfpack’s makeover in homage to “The Whale”. It has been a renewal of HOPE for hockey fans in Connecticut… maybe this April we should include a “Connecticut Hockey Fans for HOPE” campaign to keep the interest alive…

We went to a CT Whale game on Saturday. ALL of us.

We sort of committed to a night of hockey dedicated to RM. Meaning… even if we didn’t make it through the doors, it was ok (see my Church post). Mom, Dad, and big brother had already had our hockey games this season that we enjoyed. This was RM’s chance.

Maybe she would make it through the noisy parking garage with florescent lighting and odoriffic assaults like urine and stale beer. Perhaps she would survive waiting in the Will Call line to get our tickets. Either way, we had a tiny amount of HOPE, and that was enough to set out on such an adventure in honor of RM.

Not only did RM walk into the arena filled with noise, lights, and crowds of people – without a fuss and without headphones – SHE. LOVED. IT.

This kid went NUTS. GOOD nuts. I mean, REALLY… never before had my husband and I seen anything like it. RM was enthralled with the “skating”…

Oh, crap – what is the damned sign for ‘ice skating’? or ‘hockey’?

Screw it… we’ll improvise with ‘roller-skating’…

My baby girl signed ‘skating’ with enthusiasm parallel to having ice cream for breakfast. This was BIG. HUGE. WOW.

Ok… this can’t last (SGM and I looked at each other)… it just can’t be… She is clapping wildly to the music, bouncing so joyously in her seat that she is CATCHING AIR, People…

I look at the Sergeant Major again, beaming, and I say, “I am completely HIGH right now. Like… on CRACK, I’m so high. Can this really be???”

“Yep! Hockey is GOOD!” he says… beaming just as brightly. RM quickly repeats, “OCK-ee GOO-ud!” She is shaking, she is having such a great time.

Suddenly, the horn blasted the end of the 3rd period.

CT Whale – 4, Sharks – 2… it was over.

Our children – ‘CHILDREN’ as in PLURAL – had enjoyed an event with BOTH Mom and Dad… and popcorn, and soda, and laughter, and fist-pumping. LOTS of fist-pumping.

MORE! I want MORE of THIS!

But April is coming… Whale and Whalers fans will soon hang up their throwback jerseys… and life will resume…

…except in THIS house where HOPE has made a late-season comeback, thrown a stick-check on autism and said, “Not today. Not this time.”

The Stanley Cup’s got nothing on what WE won this past weekend. We won HOPE back for our family’s future.

It was a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. SGM and I scored for our entire family – and kicked a little Autism Ass while we were at it.

Hockey IS good.

So is HOPE.

Boston Red Sox… here we come!



About Rachel Kenyon

Rachel Kenyon is an Aspie, Advocate and single mom of two beautiful babes - The Boy (11) and RM (8). The Boy is a Legomaniac and RM is a kick-ass diva with Autism and 4q Deletion Syndrome. View all posts by Rachel Kenyon

3 responses to “Stanley Cup Finals – Hockey is Still Good

  • the jay train

    I LOVE this. There have been a few times recently when we made plans for my NT son and considered leaving my son with autism home out of fear that he may be disruptive or that he would just be in misery there. We always feel bad leaving him out of things though so we ended up bring him along and so far we’ve been pleasantly surprised more than not. It feels so good to have quality family time. I hope you get many more fun times together. I’m not a hockey watcher but I just may need to try it out. Not gonna cheer for the CT Whales though. :-) NJ Devils woo hoo!!!

  • Tired Mama

    asl pro ( is my go-to source for moments such as “oh man…WHAT is the sign for dump truck?” i just checked…they have hockey in the main dictionary! :)

    Go Bruins and Go Sox!!!!

    also, have you done the farm league baseball games? The Bridgeport Blue Fish are actually really family friendly…shockingly, in fact. There’s lots of room if overstimulation kicks in….wide bathroom stalls (score!) and it’s usually not sold out, so you can find a quiet space if you need one. oh, and a picnic area to just let them run during the game if necessary. I think Hartford has a league too? Not sure. But Bridgeport isn’t a horrific drive from Hartford with a dvd on in the car :)

    • Rachel

      We haven’t tried bringing RM to a Rock Cats game yet (New Britain), but we try to go with The Boy (now 7) at least a couple of games every summer. I think after our hockey experience this past winter, we are ready to venture into the minor leagues of baseball, too ;0) We will likely wait until the National Guard has a free night for our families there to choose the time to try with RM – that’s how we chanced taking RM to hockey – we figured we couldn’t lose. Otherwise it’s just too expensive to go for three minutes lol

      Thanks for sharing! I am thrilled to hear of other families taking advantage of and finding outings that the whole crew can enjoy together!
      And thanks for the asl link!

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