A few weeks ago one of the producers of ICE KINGS, a documentary about Rhode Island’s Mount Saint Charles Academy, which had won the state ice hockey championship 26 years in a row (not been to the finals. Won it. Twenty-six times.), sent me a DVD of the film to review.
Neither Mrs. PuckUpdate nor myself were particularly pumped to watch this, but once we started it, it was very engaging. The producers have a lot of interesting voices in the mix, from former Mount players like Anaheim’s Mathieu Schneider, to Rhode Island hockey personalities, like San Jose coach Ron Wilson, whose dad coached for the AHL Rhode Island Reds, and New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, who coached the Providence College men’s hockey team for almost 20 years, and who probably scouted every high school hockey player in the state.
Along the way, the film plays with some interesting ideas, like if a team can win too much. While the Mount coaches and players are all likeable, you can’t help but think that 26 championships in a row is really more than enough. Even the Mount coaches come around to that idea.
If ICE KINGS was just about a high school hockey team, even an amazingly successful one, you might find it interesting, but you probably wouldn’t want to spend an extended amount of time hearing about it. What makes the documentary work is that the story of Mount is tempered with lots of local flavor and characters, so you really understand the context of the 26 championships and what it’s meant to so many people connected to Rhode Island.
While the movie is ostensibly about Mount’s ability to win over 26 years, by the end, you can see the equally transformative power of losses, too.
But not in a cheesy, New Age-y, way. That’s key. The film does not end in grown men crying. Should I have prefaced that with a spoiler alert?
It’s a cool film, definitely worth checking out.
For more on ICE KINGS, visit www.icekingsthemovie.com.