A Welcome Night in the (New Jersey) Devils’ Lair
Like any parent, I want my girls to grow up to be strong and full of confidence. We’re going to teach them martial arts and as soon as they are old enough to go hunting, they’ll be spending some quality time in the woods with Dad. I want them to be exposed to strong women outside of family members, and to take an interest in sports.
My daughters have taken a liking to hockey thanks to a small video I took of a goal celebration at a recent New York Rangers game. And luckily, there is a local professional women’s hockey team, the New York Riveters. I made up my mind to introduce them to the sport of hockey and purchased tickets for a Riveters game against the Boston Pride. The Riveters play in Newark, New Jersey at the Barnaby’s Health Hockey House, which is attached to the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils.
Despite a snowstorm that made the roads treacherous, I was determined to get my girls to this game and make hockey fans of them while providing them positive female role models outside of the pop culture poison that’s being shoveled at women most of the time. I kept on checking the Riveters’ web site as well as on social media. I even called the Barnabas Health Hockey House (no one answered). Because I knew a long drive was ahead, I left home two hours before the game was supposed to start.
When I made it through the metal detectors and handed my tickets to the ushers, there was a problem. She told me that I needed to go to a different window to have my tickets reprinted.
Just then a man in a suit approached me and informed me that the New York Riveters game had been canceled. “But you’re in luck,” he said. “How would you like to go to the Devils’ game?”
I said I was up for that and he gave me three tickets to the game that was about to start against the Edmonton Oilers. He gave me the tickets despite the fact that I was wearing a New York Rangers hat and scarf.
This was an amazing stroke of luck. These seats were amazing—the second row behind the penalty box in the club section of the arena that came with free food and drinks. It was a very rare treat indeed. Each of these sets had a face-value ticket price that was more than four times what I spent on three tickets to the Riveters game. It was an amazing up-close view of the action from right along the center line of the ice.
The ushers were incredibly helpful and helped us get to our seats – not easy when you’re juggling concession stand food and two toddlers.
It was a great way to introduce the girls to hockey, though since they are three years old the game did not hold their attention as well as the ice cream and the M&Ms. It was a struggle to keep up with the game and try to stop the girls from climbing all over the seats. People around us were very understanding and it paid off that they are cute and adorable in every way.
The New Jersey Devils have a tradition of chanting “Rangers suck!” at random times during the game, even though they were not facing either New York team. Rangers fans have a tradition of chanting “Potvin sucks,” referencing retired N.Y. Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin.
While I can’t betray the Rangers, it was certainly a nice time at the Devils game and I can’t express enough gratitude to the executive who was so kind and generous and the people working there who were so helpful.
I made hockey fans of my girls, and while that may change next week, I remain a proud and lucky Dad.