There’s something pretty exciting in the world of sports that’s unfolding in
which spans two U.S. states and four Canadian provinces.
The league is comprised of “kids” between the ages of 15-20, most of whom are from Canada. They’re all here for the same reason: to impress coaches and
other hockey decision makers and land a gig in the big show, the National Hockey League.
I’ve always admired people who play hockey with all of the speed, strength and hand-eye coordination that’s required to do so at a high level. Heck, I’ve
always admired people who can just plain SKATE on ice. I’ve tried but, as my podiatrist tells me, my ankles are made out of strands of uncooked spaghetti.
Our Everett Silvertips have been in existence since joining the WHL in 2003. In their first season they were immediately successful in winning the Western
Conference title before losing to the Medicine Hat Tigers in the championship series. They’ve never made it that far since that unlikely inaugural
season. Could this be the year?
It had been quite a while since I’ve gone to a game at Xfinity Arena in downtown Everett, so I decided to attend a mid-week game versus the Tri Cities
Americans. With one of the promotions offered by the team, I was able to get a good seat for nine bucks.
Almost immediately, the 3,464 fans in attendance that night were ringing their cowbells and giving high fives to one another as the home team scored two
goals in the first period to take the lead. But expectations of an Everett win eventually came to a screeching halt with the visitors shutting down
the Silvertips and winning the game 3-2 in an exciting overtime finish.
If getting caught up in the skills and hard hits of hockey doesn’t appeal to you, you’re still in luck. Beside the usual arena food offerings such as nachos,
hot dogs and popcorn there’s the Arena Grill, a full sit-down restaurant on the upper level of the building. Then there’s the made-to-order pasta stand
on the main concourse. I spotted two
During the intermissions there is also plenty of entertainment. I watched two combatants in sumo wrestler suits knocking each other down at center ice.
Pure slapstick entertainment. In the second intermission the Silvertips run the “Chuck a Puck” contest in which anyone in attendance can buy a foam
puck for a dollar and toss it on the ice with the hope of it landing closest to the target at center ice and winning some cash.
If you like museums they have one of those also. Take a lap around the arena and you’ll encounter a large display with memorabilia pertaining to individuals
and teams that are in the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame. You’ll find dozens of tributes and sports artifacts. Major League Baseball hall-of-famer
Earl Averill is represented as is Olympic figure skater Rosalynn Sumners.
If you haven’t been to a game yet this year and would like to, there’s still plenty of time left as the regular season goes through mid-March with the
playoffs following. And if things go our way, the Silvertips will be hoisting that elusive championship banner at Xfinity Arena in September of 2017.
For more information on the Everett Silvertips, go to www.everettsilvertips.com.