There is Nothing Like Seeing a Good Game at a Local Rink

Ever since my love of hockey began when I was in second grade, going to an NHL arena or Quicken Loans Arena for minor league games was always one of my favorite things to do. I have gone to NHL cities such as Pittsburgh, Toronto, Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus and each city has its own unique arena and fan base. Quicken Loans Arena often got loud and rowdy for Cleveland Lumberjacks games and is one of the best arenas in minor league hockey for Lake Erie Monsters games. I have definitely seen lots of hockey in different venues over the year and love going to a large arena.

About three years ago, I had an opportunity to experience hockey at a local and much smaller venue than what I am used to. I was asked if I could do play by play for a high school hockey game and the rink was located at the Gilmour Academy. Gilmour has one of the best facilities in Northeast Ohio and the facilities only hold a couple hundred fans as opposed to several thousand fans. The venue is smaller but makes for an incredible atmosphere inside.

Since that first game I called about three years ago, Gilmour has become one of my favorite places to catch a game. Their facility does not have a huge press area like many arenas do but that doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy being close to the parents as I am calling a game and being able to interact with them in between periods. I also enjoy being close enough to the action and being able to see the emotions and hearing the sounds better when I am calling a game.

Another favorite venue for me is Kent State’s Ice Arena. I have only called a game there once but enjoy the size of the rink and the building quite a bit. Prior to announcing a Solon hockey game, I had the opportunity to catch a Gilmour vs University School regional final game there and the atmosphere was beyond incredible. The place was filled, both student sections were getting into the game and the seats are fairly close to the action. Watching two of the top programs in Northeast Ohio go at it in an important game was even better inside an awesome venue.

Even though a lot of these arenas are cold inside, smell from the player equipment and are cramped in the concourses, it all adds to the atmosphere. Knowing that a lot of current NHL players started off in similar rinks help justify it and adds to the atmosphere of going to a game. It is fun seeing everyone congregate in the concourse area at Gilmour in between periods and Kent State’s rink does have a fire place to sit by in their concourse. It all adds to the experience and makes for a fun time.

~ by jeffrsabo on February 2, 2013.

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