“Hockey Moms” — the fourth episode of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers — is about the characters moving out of their comfort zones, and doing what is right instead of what is easy. The episode focuses on a showdown between the the Don’t Bothers moms and the Ducks moms in a skills competition.
Note: This review contains very minor spoilers and assumes you’ve seen Episodes 1-3 of Game Changers.
Although Sofi has joined the Don’t Bothers, she hasn’t told her parents yet, who are so focused on success that they plan out every detail of their children’s lives. In the meantime, Sofi bides her time, practicing with both the Ducks and the Don’t Bothers until she can figure out how to approach her parents. She’d rather skate in back-to-back practices and disappoint her teammates on both teams, than stand up to her parents; a daunting task for any 12-year-old, but even more so when her older brother gets accepted to Harvard.
Gordon Bombay and Alex Morrow run into Stephanie Reddick — Alex’s boss and mother of two kids who play on the Ducks — and her husband, who invite Gordon and Alex to dinner. Stephanie laments that mothers of the Ducks need a team of “hockey moms” to compete against at the annual “Moms Skill Challenge.” Bombay volunteers the Don’t Bothers moms to compete against the Ducks moms, and even pushes Alex to challenge Stephanie in the slap shot competition. Of course, Alex objects to being pushed out of her comfort zone.
This also pushes Bombay out of his comfort zone — or maybe back into it? — because he coaches the Don’t Bothers moms for the skills competition. He starts to get his groove back as a hockey coach, but develops into a bit of a life coach for Alex, too.
Nick, the awkward podcaster kid, invites Evan over for a sleepover. Evan asks that Nick also invite Koob, the team’s reclusive goaltender, because he doesn’t socialize with the team. Koob normally plays hockey video games by himself in his basement, so this pushes him into uncharted social territory.
While “Hockey Moms” is about the characters forcing themselves to do what is difficult for them, it also explores the classism and snobbism that divides the Ducks’ parents from the Don’t Bothers’ parents.
After the exciting third episode, the fourth installment of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers feels a bit like a letdown. It’s not bad, and it isn’t quite a filler story, as there is character development, most importantly for Gordon and Alex. But it is less about the hockey action and more about the “tocuhy-feely” stuff that Evan complained about earlier in the series.
BONUS: Duck Eggs
Each week, I’ll share a few “Easter Eggs” — which I’m calling Duck Eggs — about the episode reviewed.
There is a Minnesota Wild poster on the wall in Nick’s bedroom. Later, Evan wears a Wild t-shirt.
Gordon Bombay refers to himself as the “Minnesota Miracle Man.”
The Huskies, a youth team that plays in the same division as the Ducks and the Don’t Bothers, are mentioned in this episode. The Huskies were also a team in the original Ducks movie.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■