Following Janet's night out with the girls some several weeks back, the male equivalent was finally arranged for this Friday evening gone. It was a serious and sober affair, with talk of economic theory and the political issues of the day dominating. I'm not going to be able to convince you of the truth of this am I?!
OK, the truth is a handful of us went down to the local ice hockey venue, Centennial Arena, to watch the Junior level game between the Okotoks Oilers and the Canmore Eagles. Here's the Oilers' website.
It was the first time that any of us had seen a game at this level (the players are in the 16 to 18 age range) and we were all really surprised by how skillful an affair it was. It was a close run thing for much of the game, with both sides having the lead at different points. However, the Oilers came through in the end, with two goals in the last minutes, the last when Canmore had sacrificed their goaltender for a further outfield player to try and rescue the game. It finished 4-2. In the best traditions of Hockey, I can report one good punch-up in the second period and a bit of a free for all at the end of the game, which was quite amusing! At just $10 (approximately £5) admission, it's a good couple of hours entertainment.
The Centennial Arena itself is a very modern facility, only having been officially opened in 2007. It's small, seating only 1,500 (and there were only a couple of hundred fans there on Friday), but that means you feel really close to the action.
Afterwards, we walked the hundred yards or so to The George pub, which, rather unusually for these parts, really feels like stepping into a UK pub. It gets a mention and a small photo on the review site below.
Indeed, we were sat at the bar just to the left of the "The George" sign you can see in the photo, directly in front of the Kokanee Beer "Glacier" that you might just be able to make out. Actually, the Kokanee (a British Columbia brew) was light and refreshing and slipped down rather nicely as the night progressed. The conversation was good and the hours flew by and I ended up stepping back over the threshold of home at 1.30am in the morning. Not so good, as I had to be up at 7.30am in the morning to catch the 'Boro v Liverpool game live on Setanta!