It turns out ice hockey is blindingly fast and quite exciting to watch. I spent most of the evening trying to follow the puck around the court and figure out what random event had caused players to be sent to cool off. There was only one real fight during the game, no teeth went flying and there was no blood on the ice. The crowd was pretty bloodthirsty, and would rise and cheer whenever a player from the visiting team, the Tri-City Americans, got checked hard into the "glass" surrounding the ice.
Despite starting out well, the Seattle Thunderbirds slipped from the initial lead to a 2-2 draw and the game went into a 4-on-4 sudden death period, with the Tri-City Americans finally scoring a goal and winning 3-2. I have to say, the visitors outplayed the home team and deserved to win.
I suggested we drive out to the Tri-Cities for the next game, and keep supporting the winning team...
Some other random observations:
- It's amusing to see the make-up of the teams, though. Take the Tri-City Americans, for example. Only 2 of the 23-strong team are from the USA, most being from Canada. I guess Canada was annexed and I missed the news ? Only 1 of the 23 Seattle Thunderbird players are from the USA, and none call Washington State home. It's kind of weird to see the fans get so, well, fanatical in support of the "local" team versus the visitors, considering they are basically two Canadian teams :)
- The visiting team had the coolest player names: T.J Fast and Colton Yellow Horn. They also had the funniest name: Brett Plouffe.
- Ice hockey fans like to shout "You suck!" a lot. The smart ones add a name to end, so everyone knows who the suckee is. A few people seemed to think everyone sucked, which was a bit severe, I thought.
- Food and beer cost and arm and a leg. I guess that helps to keep the crowd from getting totally hammered?
- The game is interrupted every two minutes to plug some sponsor or other, usually thinly masked as a give-away or competition for the fans. The "half-time" shows were quite cute, though: 5-9 year-olds playing "bunch-puck", and the crowd throwing pucks onto the ice, trying to get them through the sun-roof of a car.