Kat Goes to a BU Hockey Game…Alone

There is one thing about Rochester that I’ve always loved and that I always miss, and that’s the sheer number of ice rinks, hockey teams, skating clubs, and the like–if it has to do with ice, we have it. I mean, we have at least 10-12 ice rinks in the area, and every one is always booked. There’s always all this worry when new rinks open up, that older ones are going to feel it, but they never do. Everyone knows someone who plays hockey or figure skates or even curls (as in curling). My cousins play hockey, I’ve figure skated recreationally since I was young, and my father’s tool shop has fourth row off center season tickets to the Amerks game that they divy up among the workers. This is a town where everyone my mom knows rushed to get digital cable after the Empire Network was moved from basic cable to the digital sports package, because you can’t see Sabres and Amerks games anywhere else.

I hadn’t seen a hockey game since last May, and while I was home, I didn’t get to go because my father had to work late. I would of gone alone, but if he was working late, that means the car was called. (It stinks to have 1 car for 4 drivers. Really kinda does.) So, when someone illegally posted a flyer about a Binghamton University club hockey game on one of my bullitian boards, I was interested. It would cost less than a B Sens game, and direct transportation was available–the team was renting a bus to take fans to the rink. (Let me take an aside here and say that there are 3, count them, 3 indoor rinks in the Binghamton area: the Arena–which is just for concerts and the B Sens, the new BCC rink, and the Polar Cap in Chenango Bridge, 15-20 minutes outside of Binghamton, where the game was. There is one seasonal rink, but I don’t have a clue where exactly it is. Now, compare this to Ithaca, where there were two indoor and one seasonal–which means, proportionally, I think Binghamton is out of wack.) So I decided this was how I was going to spend my Friday night.

Now, I tried to recruit people to come with me, but hockey isn’t really a downstater thing. Actually, it’s not really a “anyone not from Western NY, Minniesota, Michigan, and Canada” thing. So I went alone. I felt a bit odd–but then again, I’ve attended several sporting events alone, especially since moving to Binghamton (Binghamton is not the biggest sports campus in the world, unfortunately for me, apparently fortunately to everyone else on campus.)

Here are my most pressing observations about the game:

-The bus driver was late, old, a townie, and disgusting. He also charged us more than had been advertised.

-In talking with a girl who was also alone, but was going because her boyfriend was on the team, these games are popular among freshmen and sophmores under the age of 21 because the Polar Cap has a bar and their bartender must be especially bad at being able to pick out fakes. Hooray. My little orientees running around with NO KNOWLEDGE OF HOCKEY WHATSOEVER getting wasted on bad beer. It was true–most of the people there stayed in the bar area and drank the whole time with their backs turned away from the game. The bar area, however, was nicely heated…

-…but the arena was colder than outside. My aunt had warned me about this. Her sons (my cousins) play travel hockey, and have played in tournaments at the Polar Cap several times. “That is the coldest arena I have ever sat in–it’s at least ten degrees colder than outside,” she always says. It is–I was shivering and was forced in the bar area at times because I was chattering so much that I wasn’t able to focus on the game.

-Note to all: PLEASE DO NOT MAKE OUT AT A HOCKEY GAME. I know that you need to keep warm, but please, don’t do it that way. I am sitting in the stands, watching the third period, and this couple in front of me starts necking. Now, don’t get me wrong, dinner, a hockey game and an evening of making out sounds pretty darn good to me. But don’t mix the making out with the hockey game. I beg you. It’s awkward.

-Funniest comment of the night: “I don’t know about hockey. I do think we should win because we have prettier uniforms.” -one of the many drunk freshmen. (And you thought I was shallow with my “5 Hottest QBs” List, but I have been beaten.)

-Second best: BU fans were seriously jeering the Syracuse goalie. A few rows up sat two girls cheering for Syracuse, and I think they had to be girlfriends of players. One girl yells down at the jeering fans at one point, “Can’t you guys say anything NICE?!”

-Oh, the game. Okay, for one, this is seriously club hockey. These guys are…okay. I’m being nice. They are…obviously not ready for non-club hockey. But the game wasn’t bad. Binghamton was on a nice scoring streak for a while in the second, and then the rhythm was broken by a BU guy crossing the crease and just completely leveling the Syracuse goalie. However, Syracuse is a pretty dirty team themselves, and those officials aren’t exactly ready for prime-time work either. I haven’t seen more blantant offenses not being called since the Cowboys used to beat up on the Niners in the 92 and 93 seasons. We won, 3-2. Binghamton totally mailed in the last period and was lucky to pull it out, because Syracuse came dangerously close with 30 seconds to go.

-On the way back, the bus stopped at the clubs downtown and house parties. Gotta love the drinking culture of this campus. Remember when I used to worry that Ithaca was becoming a party school? Well, gosh darn it, Binghamton has them beat by a ton. It’s sad. Glad I only have 100 days left here.

All in all, it was enjoyable. I got my hockey fix, which was important. Next time, however, I’m wearing four layers instead of three, and I’m dragging someone–ANYONE! I don’t like having to face my little drunken orientees by myself.

And next year, me and the Beanpot tournament have a date. GO TERRIERS…or wherever I end up going.

****

On this tangent, I must bring up a point. I was seriously checked out tonight by two Syracuse guys. Very flattering, because they were both pretty nice themselves. But it reaffirms my new theory. See, I go home to Rochester, and I get checked out. Guys seriously hit on me. New Year’s was a prime example. So is going to Wegmans (Wegmans is a prime pick-up location in the Rochester area, in particular the one on East Ave.) At Ithaca, I had several interested guys. Whenever I’m up in Boston, I seriously get hit on and checked out.

And then I come here, and nothing. I couldn’t get a Binghamton guy to look at me if I walked by offering free beer. And my theory is this: Bing guys just don’t like me. I’m definitely a Western New Yorker–from what I wear and my lack of serious blonde highlights up to the minute I open my mouth. Unless I want to walk around doing my Allie Hilfiger impression (which, I must say, is quite good–for those of you not aware, there was a show on MTV called “Rich Girls,” and it followed the daughter of Tommy Hilfiger and her best friend around for a summer. It was the best show MTV has ever made. My family had “Rich Girls” nights over break. My father loves the show because he thinks I look like Allie Hilfiger. I really don’t, but I’ll take what I can get.) and get blonde highlights and not snarl anytime someone mentions how absolutely wonderful Manhattan is, I don’t think I will ever appeal to these Binghamton guys. They want downstaters. Even the upstaters want downstaters. And they have downstater radar or something. I’m obviously attractive to guys in a number of other geographic areas, just not here.

Something to think about…

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