Tim Van Schmidt | North Forty News
It’s better late than never.
I attended the recent home opener for the Colorado Eagles 2022-23 season — versus the Calgary Wranglers — and it was a blast!
This season, the Eagles are celebrating their 20th year as a top-notch hockey team, but I have to admit up front that this is the first time I’ve ever been to a game. But I suspect this won’t be the last.
After a decisive 6-2 win that had the foundations of the Events Center in Loveland quaking with fan excitement, I have also become a fan.
Now, hockey had not really ever been my thing. I watched with some intensity when the Avalanche won their second Stanley Cup over the New Jersey Devils in 2001 — and, of course, their 2022 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning — but that’s about it…until recently.
You see, my 7-year-old grandson is now on a Northern Colorado Youth Hockey “Junior Eagles” team and I’ve been going to see him learn and play at the NoCo Ice Center in Windsor. He was among the youngsters that took the ice for the pre-game festivities for the October 21 Eagles game and it was a thrill to see him out there dressed in full gear and hearing the crowd cheering the group on.
But the thrills that night had just begun. Hockey is a fast and aggressive sport and the Eagles were pouring it on throughout the entire game, trouncing the Wranglers and whipping up the loyal sold-out crowd into a happy delirium.
On top of all the cheering, the blaring rock and roll, the chanting at the top of the lungs, the prizes, the cheerleaders, the triumphant instant replays of key moments, even the flaring tempers of the players as the game became more and more intense — and all of that is plenty exciting — I found the entire experience to be very family friendly. From toddlers to grandparents, everybody seemed to be having a great night out.
I had a great night out anyhow and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the home schedule from here on forward. Maybe you could say I’m coming a little late to the party, but then again, I don’t think the Eagles are going to fold up anytime soon. Not with a whole arena full of fans loudly offering their support.
Upcoming home games include November 5 versus Ontario Reign, November 8-9 versus Texas Stars, and November 18-19 versus Coachella Valley Firebirds. Home play goes all the way until April 14-15 for the final regular season games versus San Diego Gulls. Let’s go Eagles!