written by: Maxx Chan photos courtesy of: The Grizzlies
When to Go
It’s all about ice and physical combat, winning and ill-fitting outfits—basically Game of Thrones. Hockey has long been overshadowed by more richly sponsored team sports like basketball, football and baseball, but, if you want the most catharsis for your buck, you can’t beat thugs in padded uniforms with clubs and sharp skates. Personal and professional rivalries add fascinating subplots, and for absolute novices, there’s the sheer wonder of how these guys maneuver, collide, pass and strategize while ice-skating. Weekend games are the most exciting because watching the crowds of bloodthirsty spectators is a big part of hockey. Tickets are $13, but beware of parking traps. Your wallet will thank you.
What to Bring
The Grizzlies website—utahgrizzlies.com—will clue you in to any special game-time events or promotions. You must pick a team (obviously, the Grizz) then commit by berobing in your team’s merchandise; Grizzlies affiliates include the Anaheim Ducks and the San Diego Gulls. Remember: It’s an ice rink, so it will be correspondingly cold in the stands. Jeans and a tank—bad choice. Dress like winter is coming: hats, scarves—buffalo fur, if you’ve got it. A pair of binoculars or a telescope is recommended for nosebleed seats—you’ll want to lip-read the profanities on the ice. Remember, card for concession, cash for vendors.
At the Game
Best vantage points are the blue line seats, 5 to 10 rows up, or a spot up against the glass to enjoy the face-smearing collisions. Helpful Tip: Watch the players, not the puck—players will see it before you, so if you follow the players, you’ll see the puck. Don’t sweat it if you can’t comprehend the penalties—there’s a million and even seasoned hockey fans can’t always keep up. You’ll know when a penalty is happening because a player will stalk off to the time-out box for two minutes accompanied by significant booing.
After the Game
After the game, mosey on over to The Puck Restaurant and Sports Bar next to the stadium. It’s open until 1 a.m., and you can decompress with a game of pool, some tangy wings and a few beers.
Know the lingo
SLAP SHOT /slap SHät/
Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick from a full backswing.
BLOODY CHICLETS /blədē Chiclèts/
What you get in your mouth when you block the biscuit with your face.
FREEZING THE PUCK /frēziNG THē pək/
Holding the puck against the boards of the rink to stop play.
POWER PLAY /pou(ə)r plā/
A team taking advantage of the opponent’s penalties.
See more inside our 2017 November/December Issue.