RALEIGH — Despite being raised by a mother who hails from above the Mason-Dixon, my exposure to ice hockey is pretty limited. Sure, I’ve watched all the Mighty Ducks movies, most of Miracle on Ice and USA hockey in the Sochi Games but that’s about the extent of my ice hockey background.
I have attended one hockey game in my lifetime. Thanks to some comp tickets from the brother of a friend (Thanks, Dave!), a couple years ago I found myself at Friday night showdown between the Penguins and the Predators at the Consol Energy Center. It was cold, we drank a couple of LaBlatts, the obnoxious HEY WE JUST SCORED siren went off a couple times and there was a fight. I bought a shirt afterwards and we went home. Oh, and I think the Pens won.
Fast forward three years, and I’m now living in Durham, working for the Herald-Sun and a hockey team within 20 miles of the office is kind of in the hunt for the wildcard spot. My usual beat is on the road, and I’ve got some free hours.
A couple emails and a few days later and I’m pulling up to PNC Arena, mistakenly parking in the rich people season ticket holder spots that I will never afford and stumbling my way into the arena. I say stumbling, because, in fact I did gracefully trip off of the curb, head swiveling wildly while I looked for the media will call entrance.