Skip to contents
NWHL

I Fucking Love The NWHL Zamboni

a zamboni smooths the ice
Screenshot: NWHL/Twitch

There is nothing I miss more than being in a sports bar during a game because I love to yell, and I love to drink a beer, and I love (more than anything) to scream and high-five with strangers. The closest I’ve managed to come in this whole 10-month trip to hell and back is the National Women’s Hockey League’s Twitch stream.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the NWHL is in the midst of a bubble playoff for the Isobel Cup in Lake Placid, New York. There are a lot of things to love about this. It’s responsible to play a team sport in a bubble. There are plenty of fan cutouts in the stands. The quality of play is great and the players are amped up and ready to have some fun. And then, of course, there is the Zamboni. I fucking love the Zamboni. We all love the Zamboni.

As you probably know, at a hockey game, the Zamboni comes out between periods to make the ice all glossy and nice so that the puck glides more smoothly and the players can skate better. This is fun to watch when you go to a game but, usually, the Zamboni is mysterious and forbidden when you watch hockey on television. This sucks because Zamboni is a fun word to say, and Zambonis are cool as hell.

The NWHL knows this. They are smart. They show the Zamboni on the Twitch stream! They give us what we want: ZAM ZAM TIME!

As soon as the zamboni appears, everyone starts losing their minds. Here is a screenshot from the Twitch chat during today’s early game, which the Boston Pride won 6-0.

Screenshot of the NWHL Twitch stream during Zam Zam time

What’s really nice about this experience is that it is the exact kind of deranged fan behavior that you usually encounter in a bar or at an actual game. That’s what being a fan is all about: getting way too amped up about something that is almost completely irrelevant to the game and imbuing it with lore, making it part of the magic of your sport. The love of the Zamboni is getting so out of control that the Connecticut Whale are selling T-shirts with the Zamboni on it!

Everyone loves the Zam Cam:

I dare you to watch this Zamboni hype video that the NWHL shows before the Zamboni arrives on the ice, and not become obsessed with the Zamboni:

If you would like to see the Zamboni for yourself sandwiched between two periods of excellent women’s hockey, the next NWHL game is tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET when the new expansion team (and fan favorite) Toronto Six play the Connecticut Whale. You can watch the game (and the Zamboni) on Twitch here, and see the whole schedule for this week’s playoff games here.