Hockey in Montpellier, the first French match I’ve attended

It’s the second intermission of the first French hockey match I’ve ever attended. The Montpellier Vipers are hosting the Avignon Something-or-Others. Here are some of my impressions:

It’s not much of a crowd. I’d measure the turnout in hundreds, not thousands. Then again, this is a Division 2 match, and since the premier French hockey league doesn’t use a number, Division 2 is really the third division. So think ECHL, not NHL.

The snack bar is great. A ham and butter sandwich and a large beer set us back only eight euros.

The worst on-ice hockey performance has come from the Zamboni driver. Apparently one of the things you can’t do while talking on the phone is drive a Zamboni. No one told this guy. The ice looked like my parents’ yard when I was twelve and I helped my dad mow the grass.

I started writing this post at the end of the first period when the score was tied. I was going to say the Vipers were outplaying Avignon in every aspect other than goaltending. Since then, Avignon’s goaltending has completely fallen apart, allowing Montpellier to score five unanswered goals. It’s almost a slaughter at this point.

Update: We stayed through the end of the game, which the Vipers won 9-2. Avignon finally replaced its goalie, but not before he allowed a penalty shot. Also, it turns out the name of the Avignon team is the Castors, which translates as Beavers.

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