Next on the list of winter activities was a Springfield Thunderbirds game. Yes, I know it’s not technically a winter activity, like ice skating is, but it’s a sport that is played partially during the winter. And the tickets are affordable.
Before the game, we went to Red Rose in downtown Springfield for dinner. It was surprisingly busy before 5:00 p.m. on a Friday but we were able to get seated right away. We both got side tossed salads and split a pepperoni pizza. 10/10, would highly recommend.
By the time we finished with dinner, it was around 6:00 p.m., and the doors opened at 6:05 p.m., so we headed right over to the MassMutual Center.
The sole reason for us going to a Friday night game was because of the special pricing on beer. Yep. We purposely went so we could get $2 Coors Lights.
I have absolutely no shame. Also, ignore the beer I clearly spilled on my jeans.
If you remember, Josh and I went to the opening night game back in October, and it was packed. The game Friday night was much, much less crowded, which made me feel a bit less anxious about being in a full public place. I’d say overall, the arena was maybe a third full, and our section was pretty empty; there were people a few rows in front of us, and a couple of older guys up behind us. Of course, when we went out on the concourse, we wore our masks, but I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as I did on opening night.
Our seats were in the same exact section and row as opening night; we had really liked the seats last time, so I bought them in the same area because you’re able to see the whole rink.
Questions I Asked During the Game
- What happens if a ref gets hurt?
- How do I become a Zamboni driver?
- Also how do I become the person who sits in the penalty box with the players?
- How do they determine who gets two chances in the same goal when the teams switch goals every period? (Like how in football when the teams switch every quarter, each team has two chances on both sides of the field but it’s uneven in hockey.)
(If anyone can answer these questions, please do in the comments.)
The mascot, Boomer, had on a Santa hat and rode his ATV around the rink before the players were introduced. Of course, we kept an eye out for him so that I could avoid him at all costs. I do think it’s cool though that he skates on the ice, that has to take a lot of talent.
The Thunderbirds were playing the Hershey Bears; we saw two fights, but unfortunately, the Thunderbirds lost 2–0.
During the game, there are a couple of camera guys walking around to get crowd shots in between plays, and Josh ended up knowing one of them. So, of course, we were put up on the big screen, which was cool.
And then a few minutes later in the last period, a Thunderbirds staff member came over and asked Josh if his name was Nick. Obviously, he said no, and she said, “Oh, okay, well I’ll get you guys shirts anyway.” So we got free shirts out of it. She had asked for our sizes but we ended up with 2 XLs, which would fit Josh fine and look like a dress on me. But, hey, it’s a free t-shirt, and I can wear it around the condo on the weekends.
Unlike our experience at TAP at MGM Springfield when we saw David Ortiz, we did not see any celebrities at Red Rose or at the hockey game. But we kept an eye out just in case.
Up next on our winter activity list: Tree House Brewery and Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village