We went to our first Ice Hockey match today. It was held at the Pengrowth Saddledome (we have attached a picture of the Pengrowth as we will hopefully be attending lots of events there over the coming months). This was also where we went to see the Brad Paisley concert we mentioned in an earlier post.
We were invited along to the Hockey game by Brian, the teller we end up using most often at the bank we're with here. We don't recall Lloyds TSB ever inviting us to anything at all over 7 years with them in the UK!
Well what of the game. Everett Silvertips are a Washington State based team so there was a good level of USA/Canada rivalry - mostly on the ice - where punch-ups were interuppted by occasional passages of play! Notably, any time the puck went near one goal or the other, it seemed to trigger a mass scramble that would develop into a mass brawl. On occasions players would shed helmets, gloves and sticks and dive into eachother, fists flailing, knocking seven bells out of eachother. What fun!
Seriously though, it was fast and furious and skillful but not without danger to the crowd as, surprisingly we thought, the puck disappeared at speed into the crowd on at least half a dozen occasions, despite there being barriers and nets to mitigate that risk.
Unfortunately, the Calgary Hitmen went down by 4 goals to 2 and played the last several minutes without a Goaltender (goalkeeper in soccer speak) as they threw on an extra attacking player in a desperate attempt to make up the deficit.
One of the joys of going to the Pengrowth (situated just south of Downtown Calgary) is that you seem to be able to drive away from it with ease. We made it from the exit of the building to the car and then to the southern edge of Calgary in about 20 minutes...which encourages you to go and see such events as it's not a major drag to either get there or get home.
A good first experience of Ice Hockey and we think we could well see ourselves going along to a Calgary Flames game (which is sort of at the Premiership level, tonight's game being a sort of Championship level affair...apologies to those that don't know what that means in terms of soccer).