This one has generated some interest, so I finally am blogging it.
I went to a hockey game on 10/13, my first ever hockey game. The closest I had come previously (and, strangely, I got asked this a lot) was in high school. A) I didn’t know if my high school even HAD a hockey team, but my brother confirms that they did and do. B) Kelly was, at the time, dating a hockey player at HER high school and she invited me to a game C) We went to the game, met up with her friends, chatted in the cold arena and then left before the game started to go do whatever it was that high school girls would rather do than watch a hockey game (so..anything at all)
Which means I came damn close, but we left before it started, so I never saw the game.
I don’t know anyone who plays hockey (actually that’s not true, Greg plays hockey, so I do know one person) and no one had ever asked me before. Sonya is a hockey fan and I think we once talked about taking in a game, but it never panned out.
So, I went with Kristi. Before the game, I blogged this.
Namely, that I was utterly clueless. I had emailed my friend Tom who likes hockey and asked him if it would be cold in there. He said no. He lied. I wanted mittens and a scarf. Maybe a sweatshirt. It isn’t “cold” per se, but sitting still for three hours in an oversized icebox will chill anyone, I’d imagine.
Lisa, whose daughters play hockey, and is a certified hockey mom, mentioned that I’d have lots of fun, that the vendors would bring food and beer to my seat and that I would see a fight. She was wrong. On 2 out of 3.
Here’s how it went down.
KB and I got to the game, we took a shortcut which had us scaling a cliff and explains how she was picking leaves out of my hair in the will call line. We went in and were given a collectible hockey card bearing the photo of the team captain, Mikko Koivu. Your pronunciation is as good as mine.
We were upstairs on the club level. Our seats were pretty good, if high. But I could see everything very well. Which is good for the girl who barely paid attention.
That gives a good idea of where we were. Unfortunately, the man sitting behind us was a crazy, rabid fan. He screamed the entire game. When I say screamed, I am not being dramatic, I am being descriptive. Eventually, I turned around to look at him, because I was curious.
He was at least 65 years old. Surprise.
He was wearing a Packers shirt. No surprise.
He spent the entire game yelling things like, “dig it out!” “score!” “back him up” “take it back” and other pithy phrases. “Dig it out” was a particular favorite of his. I wanted to turn around and explain to him that you can’t dig on ice, they have sticks, not shovels, and that it really doesn’t even make sense, but I restrained myself.
Also, I don’t know if it was because of the club level or not, but no one brought me food. Not even for an exorbitant fee. There was a bar right outside of our section, but no food. It was, in fact, a long walk to the nearest stand that sold nachos. And for $6…they were cold by the time I got them back to my seat.
The game? Um….
Here’s a face-off right in front of us. It’s Captain Koivu. He even won.
Here’s the Zambonis. I will admit to being disappointed that they use three small Zambonis instead of one large one. I was really looking forward to watching that. But, it is still cool. I guess.
A shot on goal. (Yep, I learned some lingo.) He missed.
The game went into overtime and then overtime again (which is called a shoot out in hockey).
The shoot out was cool, but I was at one end, so half the shots I couldn’t see clearly. I wish they’d trade off using the same net. On my end, of course.
I had to stand at the entrance to my section and zoom out to get this, it’s the best view of how close we were. Plus, it shows the scoreboard with the final score.
This also broke a long standing jinx of mine. The first time I see a game of anything, my team loses. Don’t know why, it just is. My first TWolves game was in junior high. I remember the bling bags and the fact that they lost. My first Vikings game was with my friend KJ (not to be confused with KB who took me to this, my first hockey game) and they lost. I don’t remember my first Twins game, because I was very young. My parents are rabid Twins fans and we used to have season tickets. My first Saints game, they lost. My first Gophers basketball game? They lost.
It’s a pattern, I tell ya. But, the Wild broke it. They won. They had to work for it, but they won.
I learned that hockey is outrageously expensive. I had 2 beers, nachos, and a hot dog and I dropped $40. And my ticket was free or it would have been $130. That alone is enough reason for me to stick with baseball.
KB and I mostly chatted away the whole game. Just talk, talk, talk. Periodic looking at the ice. Random sitting on my hands because they were cold. Once in a while I’d snap a picture. (All the ones I took are posted in this blog).
We could have been anywhere, cause neither of us was watching the game. However, we did have enough awareness to note…THERE WAS NO FIGHT.
Lisa promised me that I would see a fight. I was excited to see a fight. A fight and a giant Zamboni, those were my only two expectations for the night. I was denied both. No fight. It was practically civilized. Honestly, no one hardly even checked another guy into the boards. Lame. What is this, the new, gentler NHL?
However, I did learn about the “Call of the Wild” which is apparently a real thing, where fans hoot and holler when they score and then the nutty fans do this on the way out. I decided to go for broke and participate. I got fans to respond to my call, which, I guess, makes me an official Wild fan. Good for me.
After the game, we asked a teenager to take our photo with the ice in the background, but we were up so high, we were getting glare and KB and I were shadowy lumps in the foreground. We went downstairs and broke ranks through the crowd to go down to floor (ice?) level. It made a ton of difference and that’s how we got this:
You’ll notice how glary the ice still is in the background. Ice is evidently tough to photograph…at least with an iPhone. But, the photo itself is still kadorable. And a wonderful reminder of a fun night out with one of my favorite girlfriends. Thanks for taking me on a new adventure, KB. I had a great time…mostly because of you.