Monday, April 28, 2014

W for winterhawks



Winterhawks is what the junior ice hockey team based out of Portland are known as. Just a few weeks after we moved to Portland,  S got a couple of free tickets to watch an ice-hockey game as a part of employee benefits at his workplace.We had zero idea about the game of ice hockey, but when you get free tickets, you indulge yourself. So googling about it informed us that Portland Winterhawks are one of the most successful teams that play in the Western Hockey league(Canadian-american cross country league). They are the only Oregonian team out of 5 US teams that play in that league and all the other 4 teams are from the neighboring state of Washington. Wikipedia also told us that a typical ice-hockey game lasts for about two hours and has six players including a goal keeper from each team on the rink where they aim to put the puck into the goal as many times as possible. On game day, we drove with a couple of friends to MODA center or Rose Quarter which is a multipurpose arena for indoor sports, concerts and the like in downtown Portland. It was a lazy weekend evening with crowds strolling leisurely outside the arena, but once we entered the actual arena, we could smell the sporty spirit in the air. Fans dressed in team jerseys, holding horns and flags were excitedly clicking pictures with Tom-a-hawk, the team mascot.
last minute touch-up of the rink
Game ON!!

Fun game during the breaks
Score board


As we settled into our seats, we were greeted by a giant ice-rink being cleaned and readied for the game. The crowd cheered as the team skated onto the ice to line up for the US national anthem. The opponents were from neighboring state of Washington and when the puck was dropped by the referee, the game began. For three sessions of 20 minutes each, the two teams battled it out on ice. Ice hockey is a very fast-paced sport and players were flying on ice it seemed as they maneuvered the puck, passing it, shooting it a the goalpost aiming to score a goal. There were a few skirmishes on the rink which the referees handles deftly, handing out penalties appropriately. Whenever the Winterhawks scored a goal, entire stadium was up on its feet, with fans pumping up their fists to the shouts of "T.N.T". Apparently the song "T.N.T Dynamite" by a hard rock band AC/DC is a sort of team anthem. Similarly power-play periods had the crowds chanting "Let's go Hawks" to drumbeats. There was the usual cheering squad that performed during the 20 minute breaks between each session. Fun games and raffle contest added to the fun quotient. With cotton-candy, popcorn and other munching goodies available, it was an indoor picnic of sorts. At the end of nearly 2 hours, when the final whistle blew and our team won(we are Portlanders after-all), it was time to cheer the victorious home-team as they took a victory-lap around the rink. All in all, it was a wonderful experience to watch a game of ice-hockey, in stadium for free :) We were lucky to get to watch two more games later in the season and needless to say the Winterhawks flag flew high victorious on both occasions. "Let's go Hawks!!"

This post is shared with April A-Z blogging challenge for the alphabet W.


Click on the photos to see enlarged images.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! It must be fun to watch the home team win so many games in the season!! Cool :)

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    1. It was super fun and memorable experience Shilpa :)

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  2. I played Ice Hockey once as a videogame and it was fun :p

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the game Amrit :D

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  3. Our son plays Ice Hockey as a hobby. One has to be fully geared up for that. Interesting.

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    1. Oh really? It is a high energy sport and you are right Rama, one as to be fully geared up to play it.

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