In high school my friends and I went to hockey games a couple of times a year. We would take the bus across town and get to the arena hours before the game, before even the players had arrived. We would hang around the player's parking lot, waiting for them to arrive so we could get autographs. We would then spend an hour or so in the gift shop before watching the pre-game warm-up and then hiking up to the rafters to watch the game. Buying nosebleed seats was about all we could afford, so we would normally smuggle in snacks instead of paying the exhorbitant rates for the food at the arena. Back then I associated hockey games with red licorice and all-dressed chips.
My uncle's workplace has long had season tickets to the local NHL team and I was lucky enough to occasionally get to go to games - either with my family or with a friend. With good lower level seats and increased security measures smuggling in cheap food was no longer an option, so I began to associate hockey games with hot dogs, nachos with liquid cheese sauce, and frozen chocolate malts.
I went to see my university's hockey team in their semi-final game last week with a friend from school. It was a great game, hard fought and very evenly matched. Unfortunately my boys lost in overtime when they had a momentary lapse on defense. As my friend and I left the arena and headed to the train station I asked her if she wanted to grab dinner before going home. She assented and said "well since we've come to the hockey game, now we have to go for Indian!" Of all the cuisines that come to mind in conjunction with the sport of ice hockey, I have to say that Indian would be one of the very last I'd have come up with until recently. Now, well, it makes perfect sense. My favourite Indian restaurant in Tokyo (the curry is good, but the nan is exceptional!) is on the opposite side of the city from me, in an area I don't go to often. In fact the only time I do go through the area is to and from hockey games. That particular restaurant has thus become our favourite spot to celebrate wins and nurse losses.
Ice hockey and spinach curry - a match made in Tokyo!