Showing posts with label Colorado Avalanche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado Avalanche. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Colorado Avalanche vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last spring, when I heard that Air Canada was coming to the Salt Lake City airport, I got really excited!  That meant that I could fly directly from SLC to Toronto for a reasonable price.  I knew that I wanted to plan a trip because I hadn't been to my hometown since 2005!  I've always wanted to see my favorite hockey team, the Colorado Avalanche, play a road game so I thought it would be epic to see them play the Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Centre!  I mentioned it to my Dad and we eagerly awaited the release of the 2016-2017 hockey schedule to see when the two teams would be playing.  When we learned that they would be playing on a weekend, it seemed feasible.  We bought our tickets about a month ago and I flew to Toronto last weekend for an amazing trip (My Dad got there a week earlier).  I can't tell you how amazing it was to be back home for a few days!  My Dad picked me up at the airport and took me visiting people who have known me my whole life and love me.  Brian, my Dad's best friend from childhood, and his wife took us to dinner and we didn't stop talking or laughing.  I got to visit all of my favorite spots, including a quick trip to Niagara Falls to see them illuminated with colored lights, several trips to Tim Hortons for donuts, a visit to my grandparents' graves, and a visit to the locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway (a big cargo ship had just entered a lock when we got there and I got to see it go through).  Sunday night was the game and it was absolutely thrilling to be in the ACC!  I loved all of the Stanley Cup banners!  It was fun to cheer for the road team, especially in a place that loves their team as much as Leafs fans do!  I did, however, see quite a few people in Avalanche jerseys and we would high five each other in solidarity!  My Dad's friend Brian, despite the fact that he lives there, had never been to a game before so we got him a ticket.  He took me to my first Blue Jays game back in the day so I thought it was fun that I got to take him to his first Maple Leafs game!  I asked him who he was going to cheer for and he emphatically said, "Toronto!"  Although, I did catch him cheering for the Avs so maybe I converted him!  It was a great game!  Colorado scored two really pretty power play goals and, after the second one in the third period, the usher in my section came and told me that I was being too loud!  The Avs got two penalties in quick succession late in the third so the Leafs pulled their goalie and scored.  The guy sitting next to me gave me a hard time throughout the whole game so when he started cheering like a crazy man after the goal, I told him that the only way the Leafs could score was when they had a six on three advantage!  The Avs scored an empty net goal in the last few minutes to win 3-1!  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and having the Avalanche win was like icing on the cake!
It was so much fun to watch my Dad and Brian interact with each other!  They were like two teenage boys!  I think it is amazing that they have been such good friends for so long!
This was definitely a bucket list game for both me and my Dad and I am so glad that we got to do it!

Note:  I have always considered myself to be Canadian and it was very emotional for me to be back home.  While my life is in SLC and it would be difficult for me to pull up stakes and move back, I have to admit that I shed a tear when I boarded the plane to leave!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Break Avalanche Game

Every year my Dad and I try to go to at least one Colorado Avalanche game and this year we picked a game against the Minnesota Wild during my spring break.  It's a long drive but we've done it so many times that it has become part of the experience!  We have traditions and rituals with things we do and places we stop.  Right before we left, Denver had a huge snow storm and I-80 was actually closed for a while which made us nervous to drive but we only had snow flurries here and there.  Whenever I travel to Denver alone I usually stay at the Motel 6 but with my Dad it is first class all the way and we stay at the SpringHill Suites downtown.  This hotel is so nice!  We checked in late Friday afternoon and the plan was to rest for a little while and then go to dinner (I love Old Chicago and we don't have one in SLC) but I fell asleep and, by the time I woke up, it was too late to go anywhere!  I'm such a party animal!
The game was Saturday afternoon and my Dad and I were so excited!  I think the Pepsi Center is such an amazing venue for hockey.  I can smell the ice as soon as I walk in the doors!
We had absolutely fabulous seats right at center ice!  This game was really important for the Avalanche because they are chasing the Wild for a playoff spot and it was intense during the first period.  It felt like playoff hockey to me with lots of shots on goal and really tight defense.  Then the Avalanche totally fell apart in the second period.  Their puck handling was terrible and there were so many giveaways that I stopped counting.  They had several power play opportunities but couldn't convert.  In fact, they didn't even get one shot on goal during one power play.
The only thing that enlivened the second period was a visit from Bernie, the Avalanche mascot.  The Wild scored twice in the second period and then got a short-handed goal and an empty-net goal in the third period.  It was disappointing but, like last year, we invited my cousin Blaine to go to the game with us and it was a lot of fun to talk to him (especially about Batman v Superman).  I love the Colorado Avalanche, so even though they lost the game, and most likely a chance at making the playoffs, I lhad a great time watching them play!  Next year my Dad and I are hoping to see the Avs play the Maple Leafs in Toronto!
Many years ago I started a tradition of getting an Avalanche hat at every game I went to.  Even though I have more hats than I know what to do with, I had to get another one!  I really wanted a hat with the new logo on it and my Dad wanted one, too!
Even though the Avalanche lost, at least we got matching hats!

Note:  Several years ago I almost ran out of gas while driving in Wyoming.  I could have stopped in Green River but I thought I would make it and then barely coasted into Little America only to discover that the power was off!  I vowed that I would never, ever, do that again because my Dad always tells me not to let the tank get that low!  Last night when we reached Green River, we had 1/8th of a tank left.  My Dad and I decided that we could make it to Little America and the gas light immediately came on!  I think we made it to Little America on fumes but, at least, the power was on this time!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Weekend of Hockey in Denver

I absolutely love watching the Colorado Avalanche play at the Pepsi Center!  My dad and I try to go to at least one game every year (last year I went to three; two with my Dad and one with my cousins).  A couple of weeks ago we chose to go the game against the Calgary Flames (we try to pick a Canadian team so we can hear "O Canada" at the beginning of the game) on Saturday night and we invited my cousin Blaine, who lives in Denver, to go with us.  I counted down the days because I was so excited.  We drove to Denver (about an eight hour drive) and met my cousin Blaine downtown for dinner.  He picked a great place called My Brother's Bar and I ate one of the best burgers I have ever had!  Then we went straight to the Pepsi Center.  I like to get there early because I like to smell the ice (Blaine thought I was weird at first but then he said that you actually could smell the ice) and watch the practice skate.  That gets me really amped up for the game!
It was an incredible game!  The Avalanche are still in the hunt for a playoff spot so they started the game very aggressively!  They got a lot of shots on goal and it was so fun to watch!  At the end of the first period, the Flames really tightened things up and started shooting more.  During the second period, the Avalanche went on a power play and Alex Tanguay got a nice goal.  Just a few minutes later Ryan O'Reilly got a goal which electrified the Pepsi Center.  In the third period, the Flames scored two goals but John Mitchell (with an assist from my favorite player, Matt Duchene) got one of the prettiest goals I've ever seen and, luckily, the play that led to the goal happened right in front of us.  My dad always gets the good seats!  The last five minutes of the game were really tense but Semyon Varlamov (who stopped 29 shots) had an amazing save which got the crowd chanting, "Varly, Varly, Varly!"  I loved it!  The Avalanche won the game 3-2, which was thrilling for me because they lost the last two games I attended.  I loved every minute of this weekend!

Colorado Avalanche road trips are the best!
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Colorado Avalanche Road Trip

Several weeks ago my Dad and I went on a road trip to Denver to see the Colorado Avalanche play the Boston Bruins! I absolutely love doing this!  I have been watching hockey with my Dad for as long as I can remember!  I think I spent my entire adolescence in the basement with him cheering for the Edmonton Oilers.  I have been a fan of the Colorado Avalanche since the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver in 1995 and I don't think I missed watching a game that entire inaugural season.  I was a huge fan of Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Patrick Roy.  Now I love cheering for Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, and Nathan MacKinnon.  The Pepsi Center is an incredible venue for hockey and I love being there, especially with my Dad!  There were lots of Boston Bruins fans at this particular game, including a rather rowdy group in front of us!  Despite the fact that the Avalanche lost to the Bruins 2-0, I thought they played a great game!  They had twice as many shots and there was a  dramatic play to stop a goal on an empty net during the last few seconds.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

Note:  The Avalanche begin their quest for Lord Stanely's Cup tonight against the Minnesota Wild!  I am so excited that I actually get to cheer for my team in the post-season for the first time since 2010!  Go Avs!
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