Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A little NHL action is the perfect way to prepare for a half marathon

When I was first figuring out how to how write about my time in Raleigh, I really was just intending to write two posts: RunRaleigh Half Marathon race report and the remaining fun in Raleigh. But then I got to thinking and realized I really needed a third post.

One dedicated solely to NHL hockey.

 Hockey. The perfect way to rest up for a half marathon!

 Jess and I decided to head over to PNC Arena on Saturday night to catch the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Boston Bruins. As much as I love watching Badger hockey, I'd never been to a NHL game.

We got to the game Saturday night and parked in a lot right next door to Carter-Finley Stadium, where North Carolina State plays its home games. Yes, the same university that gave us Badgers Russell Wilson. Thank you.

Thank you NC State.

Not only did we park next to a football stadium, but it felt like we were at a football game. Looking around I noticed something. People in Raleigh, NC tailgate. Before hockey games. This was odd to me. But I guess, other than college football, Raleigh doesn't really have a baseball team or NFL team, the prime tailgating spots. But we kept walking and eventually got into the arena and found our seats. I promptly started scanning the rosters and I hit jackpot. I found myself a former Badger, Jamie McBain, on the Hurricanes roster.

So hockey.

I guess Carolina was in the midst of a multi-game losing streak and looking at their record, they didn't look like an amazing team. So I wasn't surprised when Boston jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

Then the fun started.

Or should I say the fighting. Let's just call the last 5 minutes and 46 seconds of the first period fairly entertaining hockey.

First there was this:

And then this one:

At some point Carolina tied the game up and we thought we'd head into intermission after watching two goals and two major fights. But the hockey boys weren't done yet. One more fist fight:

So in 20 minutes of play, we saw 2 goals scored and three fairly major fights. In rewatching the footage of the scuffles, not only do I still chuckle when I see the rest of the players just hanging around, watching the other two go at it, but I also realized the refs basically just let them fight it out until they hit the ice. Then they stopped it. Must be the rule. Sadly, the coaches must have lashed out at the players in the locker room during intermission because there were no more fights during the last two period. A couple of more goals, but no fights.

I was, however, entertained by the somewhat lame spectator games during the commercial breaks. But perhaps the most entertaining sight? Stormy, the mascot of the Carolina Hurricanes. But it's not a weatherman or even a cartoonish hurricane. Nope. Stormy is an ice hog. Say what? An ice hog.

Needless to say the appearance by this ice hog character - who apparently enjoys "shaking his bacon" - contributed greatly to the draining of my cellphone battery. Because really, an ice hog?

When all was said and done, Jess and I enjoyed our $1 hot dogs - although in hindsight, probably not the best pre-half marathon fueling option, I guess we should have gotten the beer too, more carbs - got to see some pretty good fights, some good hockey and even were introduced to this beast they call an ice hog.

The only failure? We neglected to get a photo of ourselves at the hockey game. What? There were much more important things to drain our cellphone batteries for, like tweets about ice hogs, hockey and fist fights.


Unknown said...

Oh, Stormy. We should have hit up the gift shop afterward to see if they had any Stormy merchandise. LOL Best night ever.

Carolina John said...

That did sound like a great game, and I'm glad you got to see the football stadium. Did you see the huge fountain in the front of the stadium with the wolves? That was a big deal when it was built.

Badgergirl said...

I missed the fountain with the wolves, John! But we really don't get to close to the stadium, just kind of saw it as we walked up to the arena from where we parked.