My First Hockey Game


Haley Hinkofer, Staff Writer

I went to a Florida Panthers hockey game for the first time since I was three years old, my friend Savannah came with me and it was her first time being at a hockey game as well. It was exciting watching the game and seeing how fast pace the game actually is as compared to just watching it on TV. Also being able to see the Panthers win, just made the game even better.

When I got down to the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, there was already a sea of cars flooding the parking lots. Before you entered the stadium there were many inflatable bounce houses and activities for kids to play. The news station was there, so we stood behind the cars and the top of our heads got on tv, but if you weren’t looking for us you wouldn’t have even noticed we were there.

Since it was awareness night for pancreatic cancer, the players wore purple jerseys during their warmup. It was a great experience seeing everyone in purple supporting a wonderful cause. University of Miami students from their medical department were there as well, spreading awareness and doing activities for children to get involved.

As the game started, I was having trouble keeping up where the puck was and which player had it. Watching hockey in person is completely different than on tv. Being able to hear the hockey players skate across the ice and actually hear the thud as they push each other into the plexiglass it was exciting and glued me to the game.

During the breaks and half times, camera men are around the rink putting people up on the jumbo screen. Since Savannah and I were sitting in the nose blood seats we didn’t think we would be able to get on the jumbo screen since they don’t usually come up that high. But to our surprise, we saw a crowd of people behind us get on screen and started jumping up and down to get into the shot as well. The camera man actually moved his camera away from the other people and turned it right on us and it was so exciting. Savannah and I were laughing and looking like fools, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t care how we looked.

As the game went on, two fights broke out on the ice between the hockey players. They pushed and threw each other against the plexiglass throwing punches at each other. Hockey players are insane because they don’t hold back anything! Each player involved in the fight got in a good amount of punches in, before the refs finally stepped in and broke it up.

In any other sporting event I’ve been to, they make a big deal when they score a point but in hockey they take it to the next level. At the Panthers game when they scored, an incredibility loud buzzard sounded and smoke was shot out of the jumbo screen. Everyone was cheering and screaming, it was something I’ve never experienced before. Usually the celebrations at other sport events only last a minute at the most, but I swear the buzzard going off and smoke kept going on for about five minutes.

I had such an incurable time at the the Panthers games and I’m looking froward to going to many others throughout the season.