Giants take the ice

Maggie White

The action and excitement were intense as The Sleeping Giants raced up and down the ice. But a couple of things one would normally see at a hockey game were missing: a coach and a referee.

The team consists of 36 players, men and women ranging from 18 to 20. The team is split into two groups to form competing sides. A referee and coach are not needed.

“The players aren’t really trying to win, they just want to play a good game of hockey. Nobody fouls anyone, and if a player falls everyone will ask if they are O.K.,” said player Janelle Hardiman, 19.

The Sleeping Giants consist of former high-school hockey stars who could not find the time or did not have the skill to play on the college hockey team.

The Sleeping Giants meet every Monday at 10 p.m. at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Players come when they want to. They must pay $10 at every game they attend, and an additional $30 for a team jersey.

“It’s a really fun thing to do, and there is no commitment. You can come if you want to. You’re not going to get in trouble if you miss a game,” Hardiman said.

“The players help each other out. The games are competitive, but I would consider it friendly competition,” Hardiman continued.

During the game Hardiman got knocked down by another player and he helped her up.

The team provides players with all the benefits of being involved in a team sport without any of the stress.

“I used to be really into hockey in high school, I was good at it and I enjoyed it, but it took up a lot of my time,” said defenseman Trevor Rank, 19.

“When I came to college I didn’t want to be always busy, I didn’t want it to control my life,” he added.

“This league is the next best thing, I get to play against good players who are really nice people, but I am never obligated to do anything,” he said.