Tuesday, October 03, 2006

AMHL Special Report: Hockey in the Desert

Time is running out on AMHL veteran Bill “Ticktock” Vanderclock’s stay in the Kingdom of Bahrain, so Bill—who’s teaching computer information systems for Bentley College—is enjoying one last hurrah. He’s staying in a five-star hotel where the staff clamors to carry his hockey sticks for him.

While Tuesday AMHLers have completed their games and have been at work for a good six hours, Bill is preparing to take the ice at Funland Centre for the last time on this trip to Bahrain.

Bill has filed the report below for AMHL fans far and wide...

Hockey in the Desert... An AMHL report from Bahrain

OK, here we are in the Middle East. Daily average temperature-100 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s an island nation, so the humidity sits at about 80% to 90% outside you sweat just thinking about moving. But there is an ice rink. It's so small, we play 3 on 3. Even the nets are small. Notice in the pictures that helmets are optional. Also notice the big sign on the wall prohibiting the taking of pictures.

Most of these guys are Canadians working as pilots for Gulf Air, the local airline. They are really, really good hockey players. A little out of shape, but they are amazingly good on the ice and can make the puck do things I never saw before. Most have relatives on the NHL or other forms of professional hockey. The all get together and play in other Middle East countries in tournaments. They were all excited about a big tournament they are playing in the end of October in Thailand.

They were extremely accommodating of me and my three week stint here. I'll be back playing on Wed morning Oct. 11 in Concord after three Tuesday nights of playing ice hockey in the desert.
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