Went to a Seattle Thunderbirds game this weekend

This past weekend I fell into tickets to a Seattle Thunderbirds game. (The Seattle Thunderbirds belong to the "U.S. Division" of the otherwise-Canadian Western Hockey League, one of the three Major Junior Leagues.)

I hadn't been to a hockey game since my college days. It was quite enjoyable and I may very well do it again.

On the message board, the various groups in attendance were recognized. In addition to the usual things like "Fred's 9th Birthday" and "Company X", there was the curious juxtaposition of "David's Bachelor Party" and "XYZ Church". I hope they weren't seated next to each other.

I was there with a bunch of seventh graders and their parents because the middle school choir performed the Canadian and U.S. national anthems. I had forgotten that to seventh graders, the world is one giant social event, just with different background noise. In this case, it was a big social event with hockey noise in the background. They were chatting away, waving to their friends, changing seats, calling each other on their cell phones, writing notes to each other...

To give you an idea of the tenor of play, I refer you to the game report: Under "Seattle Penalties", observe that in the second period, player number 28 was assessed a two-minute roughing penalty which expired at 3:13. Now look down a little bit more: At 3:23, the same player was assessed a Checking from Behind penalty. I watched this happen. When his penalty expired, the player dashed out of the penalty box straight for an opposing player and walloped him. And then was promptly sent back off the ice.

Ah, minor league hockey. "We may not play very well, but we make up for it with really aggressive tactics."

And yes multiple fights broke out, to my disappointment (but to the delight of the crowd, it appears). As we left, I overheard one seventh grader say to her friend, "It was fun, but there wasn't enough fighting."

Comments (10)
  1. Mat says:

    Did you do the chuck-a-puck thing?

  2. Eric says:

    The violence has always been my issue with minor league hockey too… I go to see good hockey, not see some guy get so angry three refs have to strip him from the waist up and hold him down on the ice to cool him down.

    Of course, Seattle is pretty close to Vancouver… you could always go take in a major league game instead. :)

  3. Cooney says:

    3 hours is close? I guess it’s good for a day trip.

  4. Dare says:

    In the major league games that I’ve been to, a possible statement after a game is "I went to a hockey game and a fight broke out".

    In the few Thunderbirds games that I’ve been to, a more accurate statement is "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out". In the first game I went to, the first period lasted a bit over an hour due to all the fights.

  5. Mat says:

    No kidding — if the NHL wants to get tough about its fighting policy, it should have it banned / heavily penalized in the minors. Just make all minor league fights a game misconduct… no suspension, no changing the game rules. There will still be fighting, but it will be much more contemplated.

    And about Vancity… it’s 3 hours plus sitting for an hour or two at Blaine. Then the ride home with the hope that US Customs doesn’t tear through your vehicle. Oh, and Vancouver always sells out, so expect to pay some serious jack to get in.

  6. Lady Penelope says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    GeekyChick invited Lynn and I to a Florida Panthers game tonight. My only gripe with the game was that I think it needed more violence. We only saw one good fight during the entire game! I’m surprised that isn’t against the rules in hockey!

  8. Mat says:

    Guaranteed there will be fights there.

  9. Eric says:

    Okay, so VC may not be a hop skip and jump away, but I know several people who have done day (or 1 day/1 night) trips from Austin to Dallas (3 hours) to watch NHL games, so it’s not totally crazy. :)

    As for price, I may have been a bit spoiled… living in St. Louis, if you bought early enough, you could get the cheap seats for $15 per ticket, and they’re really not bad seats at all.

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