Sunday, January 8, 2012

Asian Hockey League in Anyang

A little ways south of Seoul on Line 1, you will find the suburb of Anyang.

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A five or six grand taxi ride from the station will take you to the Anyang Halla Ice Hockey Arena, where two-time Asia Hockey League Champions Anyang Halla play their home games.

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I made the trek down there with my friend Nick just to do something new--why not? The Halla are the Bears, and here I am doing the ever-popular photo-op with two iterations of the mascot, each more disinterested than the other:

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We figured we'd probably see about twelve ice hockey fans, but the arena was packed to the rafters, about 1,200 people. A consult of Wiki tells me Korea had a professional ice hockey league that folded in 2003, and the team now in Anyang are the only survivors (they were originally in Mok-dong, and were the Mondo Winia); they became a founding member of the Asia Hockey League, now in its ninth year, which consists of two Korean teams, four Japanese teams and the cellar-dwelling Shanghai team, China Dragon. Here's the home team, currently league leaders, taking the ice:

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The opening face-off, followed by a couple of action shots. Halla beat the visitors, the Oji Eagles, in this first game of a three-game series by a score of 4 - 1, though two of their goals came in the last six or seven minutes to an open net.

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Neither Nick nor I is what you might call a hockey afficionado, but the game was fast-moving, had plenty of action including one and a half fights, and took place about six rows away from us. The enjoyment was perhaps enhanced by the three large bottles of home-brew Nick brought along, one of which was kind of blah and bland, two of which were rather tasty, and all of which had over 5% alcohol. I would do this again.

Next post: what to do Anyang after a hockey game.

3 comments:

Superdrew said...

Nice find there. I'm envious.

Tanner Brown said...

I'll halla at you if I'm ever in Anyang.

Tuttle said...

Halla 한라 is the name of the chaebol that owns them, like Doosan owns the Bears, etc. I hope if you ever are in Anyang I'll be there with you.