Category: Hockey

3/9/13 at the Stockton Arena

More hockey!!!

I want to apologize, as this is much shorter entry than usual.

This time, the tickets were free! My old middle school science teacher is a huge hockey fan and when she found out that I loved hockey, she offered to give me her tickets to a gave she would be out of town for. Thanks Mrs. Smith!

My dad and I left town around 5:15 and got to the Stockton Arena around 6pm, half an hour before the doors opened for reusable water bottle night!

We immediately went to get in line, and the half hour flew by!

Shortly before the doors opened, this was the scene in front of us:IMG_1744

And behind us:IMG_1745

And I was just chillin’ ready to get inside!IMG_1746

When we got in to the Area and received our water bottles, I headed over to the team store to look around for a little bit.

Inside, they had $5 bobbleheads, but believe it or not, I decided against it, as I am saving money for minor league games this season.

My dad and I then took walk around the concourse where I noticed this table set up.IMG_1751

This was the view of the ice from where we were standing.IMG_1752

After walking around for 10-15 minutes, we headed down to get some food.
IMG_1754

We took that food down to our seats, were the Thunder and Wranglers had just taken the ice to warm up. IMG_1759

My dad got some really good shots of their goalie warmin up!IMG_1763IMG_1774IMG_1775

This one is probably my favorite!IMG_1784

The warmed up for 15 minutes or so.IMG_1805IMG_1818

Before the ice was cleared and the rink was prepared for the game.

In the first 5 minutes, the Wranglers took a 1-0 lead.

My dad did get some really good pictures during the first period

IMG_1831IMG_1858IMG_1866IMG_1901

In that first period, a fight broke out between two players.

IMG_1974IMG_1981

VERY entertaining.

I honestly am having a hard time remembering a lot of the action from the game, but like I said, my dad got some AMAZING photos.

IMG_2005

IMG_2031

IMG_2063

IMG_2069

IMG_2070

In the first few minutes of the second period, the Thunder countered back, tying the score at 1-1!

IMG_2092

IMG_2100

IMG_2106

IMG_2113

IMG_2117

In the first minutes of the third period, the Thunder added on a second goal, making the score 3-2.

IMG_2144

IMG_2154

In the last minutes the Thunder were still down 3-2. The action was down at the Las Vegas goal for the last bit of action and the Thunder came very close several times, but unfortunately were unable to come back. Once the game ended, I looked for a way to get a puck, but had no luck whatsoever, so I walked around looking for leftover souvenirs.IMG_2188

And right away, I found two boxes with giveaway water bottles inside!IMG_2190

After 5 minutes more of looking, I decided to call it good enough and my dad got a picture of me in front of the rink before we headed home.IMG_2201

It was certainly a great game, and again, I have to thank my dad for once again taking me and Mrs. Smith for giving me such great tickets!

Again, I apologize for the short entry. Since I didn’t wander around before or have any super exciting stories, the entry was unfortunately much shorter.

However… Tonight (March 17th) I will be going to Game 1 of the Semifinals for the WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC in San Francisco between Japan and Puerto Rico! 

Expect a LONG entry, LOTS of pictures, and a vlog from the game as well!

Thanks for reading!

300x50_mlblogs_top100

Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2/16/13 at the Stockton Arena

Sorry this post is up late guys!

It’s time for more hockey!

If you remember, a couple of months ago, I went to my first ever Stockton Thunder game.

This game was between the Stockton Thunder, the ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and the San Francisco Bulls, the ECHL affilaiate of my San Jose Sharks!thunder_bulls

Last year, the Thunder were an affiliate of the Sharks, but I guess this year, it’s the Bulls!

Of course, I’m a Sharks fan, but for me, the Stockton Thunder are my favorite Minor League hockey team!

Are you ready for an exciting story about tickets?

*Due to the President’s Day Holiday, I had a 4-day-Weekend*

Do you remember my uncle? I went to this A’s game with him.

Well his birthday was this past Wednesday, and as a present, I thought it would be cool to take him to a hockey game, since I know he is a big sports guy.

Given the fact that he is in a wheelchair and visually disabled, my dad and I attempted to order a wheelchair accessible seat with 2 companion seats from the Thunder website.

Before that, however, we called the Thunder, who connected us to Ticketmaster.
We tried to go through the automated machine to get tickets and after that din’t work, we were on hold for 10 or so minutes before we actually got to talk to a real person, who was unable to help us.

At this point my dad submitted the request for for the 3 seats online. He then soon got an email back saying that they had 2 open where we requested, but they had to have a 3rd seat in the back of the section.

Yeah… Awesome…

At this point, my dad called the ticket office, where he was helped by a ticket person.

He got off the phone and told me he had gotten seats 8,9, and 10… ON THE GLASS?

How awesome is that???

Up until the game started, I made a point to often pull out my phone and make quick video updates. I put them all together to make this video…

So my *Awesome* dad and I left the house around 4:00 PM to pick up my uncle and head out to Stockton for the 7:30 game.

We quickly stopped for gas, picked up my uncle, and we were on our way to Stockton!

Right next door to the Stockton Arena is Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports!
20130309-105537.jpg

After the 45-minute car ride, we pulled into the parking lot across the street from the arena, and after seeing only 20 or so people in line, we decided to walk around the area a little bit.
IMG_1398IMG_1399

We walked past this table set up for Military Appreciation nightIMG_1403

This is where we were at this point
IMG_1404

I got a few good pictures of the ArenaIMG_1406IMG_1415

My dad and uncle headed closer to the water, but I immediately headed over to Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports, where I was able to get this photo IMG_1421

I then took a picture at a different angle to capture the amazing sunset
IMG_1422

I had to get a picture of myself as well!
IMG_1426

This was the scene behind the stadiumIMG_1416

Yeah. And I wonder how whenever I go there, I don’t get 20 balls every game!

I then went over to meet them at the far side of the marina, where we started to walk back towards Banner Island Ballpark, as my uncle wanted to go check it out.IMG_1434

On our way over, we found this cool thing.
IMG_1432

Then from the same area, I was able to get a few more pictures of the sunset over the marina
IMG_1438IMG_1447

From here, we decided to head back and get in lineIMG_1436

We got in line at about 6:00, so we still had a half-hour until the doors opened
IMG_1452

So my dad went to go pick up our tickets!
IMG_1454

This is the ticket office areaIMG_1465

The line was quickly getting *very* longIMG_1461

Soon enough, it was 6:30, and we headed inside, where we were handed these snazzy Thunder hats

We walked into the entrance that said floor access only, where we found our seats! As soon as we walked in, I took a picture of the curtains we had walked through
IMG_1467

The view from our seats
IMG_1469

If you can come up with ANY view that is better than that, let me know!
20130309-105507.jpg

I decided that I wanted to walk around and check out the full concourse, so I headed up these stairsIMG_1472IMG_1473

And I walked along the upper concourse areaIMG_1474IMG_1476IMG_1477IMG_1478

I soon found myself in what seemed to be a larger concourse area
IMG_1480

This was how I got thereIMG_1483

You know how baseball stadiums have speed pitch? Well at the Stockton Arena, they have a similar thing, but you hit a puck into holes in a screen and it records your speed!
IMG_1484

This was my view of the ice!
IMG_1481IMG_1487

I quickly found my dad and uncleIMG_1485

They had these booths set up along the concourse areaIMG_1486IMG_1488

I decided it was time to head back down to the lower concourseIMG_1492

Here it is!IMG_1493

Their team store is called the “Fan Attic”
IMG_1494

I kept going along the concourseIMG_1496IMG_1499

To find this guyIMG_1497

From here, I headed back to my seat, where I found the Bulls and Thunder were warming upIMG_1521IMG_1529IMG_1546

Soon enough, the players cleared the ice, with no pucks tossed into the crowd
IMG_1564

In the first period, the Thunder scored two goals within the span of a minute, just 6 minutes into the game, ending the first period with the Thunder ahead 2-0! IMG_1628IMG_1648

Other than that, the first period was quiet.
IMG_1602

IMG_1604

IMG_1611

The first intermission started off with a 10-minute tribute to the fallen soldiers from the Stockton area. Great video.

In the second period, just a minute in, the Thunder scored their 3rd goal of the night, followed by a fourth goal less than two minutes later! IMG_1620

In the second intermission, they held the Chuck a Puck, where you can buy foam pucks and throw them onto the ice. If you land it in a certain spot, you have the chance to win a prize! I bought two and both of them were really close to landing on the mat!

IMG_1660

After that, I went up and met a reader, named Austin! I didn’t get the chance to get a picture with him (Stupid Me, Right?), but I did talk to him for a solid 10-15 minutes! He is a Giants fan that is slightly younger than me and ballhawks mostly in Stockton at Banner Island Ballpark, but he often goes to MLB stadiums as well!

The third period was VERY exciting!

IMG_1671IMG_1676

This is why…
20130309-105526.jpg

20130309-105609.jpg

20130309-105619.jpg

20130309-105619.jpg

Yep. Halfway through the period, after a hard hit, both teams broke out into a huge fight, which sent 8 guys to the locker room.
20130309-105629.jpg

As for the rest of the game…

IMG_1718

Neither team scored, giving Thunder goalie Oliver Roy his 5th ECHL shutout, with the final score being 4-0.

After the game, due to numerous requests on Twitter, I decided to go behind the penalty box to try and score a puck!20130309-105518.jpg

I was unsuccessful, but came close several times!

IMG_1721

From there, the three of us headed home.

I had an absolute blast!

Again, I apologize for taking so long to get this entry out but TONIGHT (3/9/13) I will be going back to the Stockton Arena for yet ANOTHER game! I seriously CANNOT wait for the baseball season to start!

300x50_mlblogs_top100 Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

12/29/12 at the Stockton Arena

Baseball? No… Basketball? Nope. Football? No. It’s time for some hockey! But wait, isn’t the NHL in a lockout? Yes, the NHL is in a lockout, but I decided to see some minor league hockey, in the ECHL! ECHL is basically Double-A Hockey.

My dad and I were going to see the Stockton Thunder, affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.

My dad and I left the house around 4:45, getting to Stockton at 5:30.
IMG_0084

I decided that I wanted to walk around the outside, before we got in line. Once we got to the front, we headed towards the ticket office, then to the parking garage.
IMG_0091

We walked around the garage, then out towards Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports. It was dark enough that I couldn’t really see anything, but I MISS BASEBALL SO BAD!!! It was hard for me, as I am very, very anxious to get back to ballhawking.

You may remember from this entry that the Stockton Marina is located right behind Banner Island Ballpark. My dad and I then headed out there to take a few pictures.

I took out my phone and recored a quick video.
IMG_0099

My dad got some beautiful pictures of the Marina, including this one.
IMG_0104

We finished walking around, then headed to get back in line. I would say there were 20 or so people in front of us.
IMG_0108IMG_0114

I looked inside, and on the concourse, I saw this:
IMG_0115

The players were volleying a soccer ball back and forth to warm up for the game! How cool is that?

The doors opened at 6:30, at which point I found out it was Mini-Thor bobblehead night. BTW, Thor is the mascot for the Thunder.

I was all excited to be getting a bobblehead when I found out it was for kids 12 and under. I’m older than 12. When I got my ticket scanned, the lady asked if I was twelve, and when I said yes, she said no. This means I didn’t get a bobblehead. Sad Nick.

My dad and I decided to walk around the concourse and see some of the different food options.
IMG_0119

I headed into their team store, the Stockton Fan Attic, to get a hat, while my dad walked around some more to get some more pictures.
IMG_0122

50 minutes before the game was scheduled to start at 7:30, the rink was pretty empty.
IMG_0124

After purchasing a hat, my dad and I found some food, then headed to our seats.

I think the weirdest thing for me in all of this was the fact that I wasn’t trying to get a ball. It was uncomfortable for me, but I liked it!

I had gotten many recommendations to try to snag a puck, but with the netting all the way around the rink, I had to clue as to how I would be able to get much of anything.

When my dad and I got to our seats, the players were focusing on warming up, in a very intense mood. Unlike baseball players, they were taking warm-ups seriously. WOAH!!!

There were about 30 pucks being used, and I had no clue as to how I could get one.

Once the players had cleared the ice, a few people came on to gather up all of the pucks. There was a cute little boy sitting on the glass who was really excited to be there. One of the guys tried to toss a puck to him and missed the first 5 times. On his 6th try, he got the puck right against the net, and it slipped through, hitting the little 2 year old on the head!

He started crying and the man who had tossed the puck flinched.

He was holding that puck for the entire night
IMG_0137

A few minutes later, the pre-game introductions of the players started. It was very impressive. The lights dimmed, then the 3 referees skated onto the ice.

After that, the Las Vegas Wranglers skated on, followed by an introduction of the Thunder starters.

They took the ice and at 7:30, the game was underway!

I did a pretty good job following along with the game, however, I didn’t understand everything that was going on the entire time.

Within the first 5 minutes, the Thunder had scored a goal!IMG_0152IMG_0154

My dad got some pretty awesome pictures for this being his first hockey game!
IMG_0156 IMG_0181IMG_0191IMG_0222

Since I don’t know much about hockey, I was surprised how violently players were slammed against the walls!
IMG_0233IMG_0418

It was cool watching the substitutions happen so quickly.
IMG_0437

During the final seconds of the second period, a bunch of the players began fighting, and it took a few minutes for the referees to break it all up. Everyone loved it!
IMG_0466IMG_0535IMG_0556IMG_0557IMG_0564

During the break after the 2nd period, the Thunder held “Chuck a Puck,” where people could purchase pucks, them throw them onto the ice, trying to earn money. It was very, VERY entertaining!
IMG_0566

As they were cleaning the pucks up, they did a T-Shirt toss. I came pretty close to a couple.
IMG_0572

Going into the final period, the game was very close; the Thunder were winning 2-1. The entire period was very intense! My dad got some amazing shots, showing just how intense it was getting. IMG_0577IMG_0593IMG_0594IMG_0658IMG_0671IMG_0694IMG_0695

In the final minutes, the Wranglers tied it up, 2-2, sending the game into overtime. It was then that the attendance was announced at 6,431, which is about 2/3 full for the Arena.
IMG_0709

With about 1 minute left in overtime, the Wranglers stuck in a game-winning goal, with the final score 3-2.

My dad and I immediately left our seats. I made a quick stop to the team store to buy a t-shirt, and we were on our way home.

Before we left, I thought about trying to get a puck or a stick that had broken earlier in the game, but I decided not to.

Wow! The whole experience was a lot of fun!

You can count on me going to more hockey games in the future, and ideally a few basketball games too. As of right now, A’s FanFest is only 28 days away!

I haven’t gotten anything in the mail lately, so I have a few entries for the forthcoming days, but for now, that’s it. Thanks for reading!

Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.