On a Monday evening in March this year, Sam Wayland messaged me that she was heading to Pittsburgh later that week to pick up her friend and move her to Massachusetts. Then she said that there was a Pens game the night she arrived and she was tempted to go. After telling her how jealous I was that she was going to be there for a game, she asked if I wanted to join her. She was driving down Thursday (as in three days away), picking up the moving van Friday morning, and driving back. I laughed. How ridiculous. I’d have to request time off from the day job, only giving them two days notice, find tickets, and, oh right, rationalize with myself that driving nine hours to see a hockey game wasn’t insane…especially since I’d just started watching hockey three months before.
Yeah, it didn’t take much convincing. I might have told my manager that I had to go out of town for a last minute thing…hey, it wasn’t a lie! So tickets were purchased (row 8 behind the home bench) and we were off to Pittsburgh two days later. Try explaining to everyone that you decided to drive nine hours one way to go to a hockey game when they weren’t even playing the Bruins. I even bought a Pens t-shirt so I could blend in as a fan. Not sure I can wear that in public in Bruins country, but when in Rome…
We drove into Pittsburgh, giddy with stupid excitement, still amazed that we were actually about to go to a Pens game. Sam Wayland may be a bit of a Sidney Crosby fan. Not that I blame her. He’s not doing that great this year, but he’s typically amazing. One of the top players in the league. And I wanted to see Kris Letang in action. He had a great season last year, 54 points for a defenceman…and he’s not bad to look at! I may have fangirled…just a little.
But the arena was awesome…nicer than TD Garden in Boston. Comfy seats, yummy cheese fries, and the nicest fans. The entire arena sang the anthem. It was impressive. Why can’t we do that in Boston?
Then the game started. The Pens dominated in the first and were up 3-0 by the end of the period, getting a fourth goal in the first minute of the second period. We jumped up and cheered with every goal…you’d never know we were from Boston! Then halfway through the second period, the Oilers started scoring. Four unanswered goals. Halfway through the third period they were tied and I thought, if the Pens lose, I’ll never be able to go to a live game again, since the only other game I’d attended was the Bruins losing to Columbus.
Thankfully they scored two more goals and won the game. I don’t think I could’ve yelled louder if I’d tried.
It was on the drive home, the next morning, in the moving truck, most likely from the delirium of driving through nowhere Pennsylvania for endless hours, that Sam and I came to the insane idea that we should go to all the other arenas. Our husbands laughed when we told them, but we are determined.
I even made a spreadsheet to track everything. My first goal is to see every team live. Much more attainable than traveling all of the US and Canada to watch hockey games!
If you have a chance to visit the Consol Energy Center and catch a game, I highly recommend. They even give you a booklet with all the players’ stats.