I know this isn’t necessarily Seattle-related, but it’s Everett-related (and Portland-related). And it’s about a sport. AND it explains why I didn’t get to post anything on here yesterday (as for Thursday, well, cocaine is a helluva drug).
I work in Downtown Seattle. So, I hopped on a northbound bus and met up with my friend who works in Lynnwood. Together, we drove up to Everett and parked about two blocks away from the Comcast Arena. It was about 5 or 5:30. Game started at 7:30.
I’m definitely not the biggest hockey fan in the world, and as most “not the biggest hockey fans in the world” are, I prefer to watch the game in person as opposed to on television. That might be a universal truth for ALL types of hockey fans, but unlike the most rabid of the rabid, I generally don’t find myself watching hockey on TV (unless I’m with my brother, and it’s playoff time).
Of course, if Seattle had an NHL team, that might be another story. But they don’t, so that’s neither here nor there.
If you find yourself in Everett two hours before a hockey game, I would suggest you go to the Thai restaurant right across the street from Comcast Arena. You know, if you like Thai food. If you’ve never had it before and you’re just too chickenshit to try anything so ethnic, do me a favor: order the chicken pad thai (5 stars), keep the cabbage shoved off to the side, and tell me that isn’t the height of deliciousness! Anyway, I’m not just recommending this place for the food. Their drinks are stiff! Have the Long Island or the Mai Tai and you’ll be smooth sailing (at least, through the first period).
So, you know what I learned about (I’m just going to call it) minor league hockey? These kids are just kids! Some of them as young as 16 years old! I know a guy who knows a guy whose grandmother (or maybe it was his regular mother) is a host for one of these players. Apparently, they come down from Canada as 16 year olds, they find someone to live with, then they play hockey and go to school. I can’t imagine the high school system in Everett is all that more impressive than those to be found in Canada, but good on ’em anyway.
I have a pretty tough time judging the quality of hockey from what I witnessed last night vs. what I’ve seen from the Pros on TV, but I gotta say those kids down there played their asses off! Goalie Kent Simpson (born in 1992) stopped 40 of 42 shots. As the Winterhawks had 11 more shots on goal, that’s pretty impressive. Means the bulk of the evening was spent in Simpson’s side of the rink.
Things got off to a quick start as Everett piled up a 2-0 lead in the first period. Portland kept things interesting in the second period, pulling to 3-2. But, the Tips got a final goal early in the 3rd and it was hang-on time for the rest of the game.
Obvious highlight: with about 2 minutes remaining, at the Portland goal, a HUGE fight broke out. There was a first, minor skirmish that was broken up pretty quickly. But, the second one was an all out slug-fest! Gotta love hockey fights.
- So, whenever the visiting team has a guy come out of the penalty box after his 2 minutes for slashing or whatever, the announcer guy will say, “The Portland Winterhawks are at full strength,” which is followed by the entire crowd chanting, “AND THEY STILL SUCK!” I don’t know if this is a hockey thing, or an Everett thing, but I was entertained.
- They had not one, but two zambonis! Believe me, it was completely necessary.
- First Intermission: they had a fish toss. Two pairs of two, tossing a big ol’ fish back and forth. Most number of completed passes wins a prize. I would have wiped the floor with them. Then, after that, it was the single longest Kiss Cam I’ve ever seen in my life. They must have filmed every hetero couple in attendance (which, for the record, topped 4,000)!
- Second Intermission: they had a contest, I want to say it was called Chuck-A-Puck. People bought into a raffle, were given a cheap novelty puck, and during this intermission they were told to throw the puck onto the ice. There were two tires set up on either side of center ice (make it inside the tires, get some free tires, I guess). Make it as close to the very center of the ice as possible, and win $100. Not all that entertaining here, I’m not gonna lie to you. This was followed by the longest Dance Cam I’ve ever seen in my life. Just brutal.
- The t-shirt cannon guy was a total joke; he never even came CLOSE to shooting it our way. And the blimp guy that’s supposed to drop the coupons also summarily dismissed our side of the arena. What a load of shit!
Overall, the Silvertips game was a quality experience. For a fairly reasonable price, you get a lot of rip-roarin’ hockey action. And, unlike the T-Birds, you don’t have to sit in Key Arena and be reminded of what’s no longer there.
Of course, you have to go to Everett. I guess you take the good with the bad.