Drop the Puck, it's Thunder Time
For many Wichitans, October just means colder weather and shorter days. For me, October begins the season of bleeding blue. Tonight is the night. Thunder Hockey returns to Wichita.
I grew up watching and playing the sport. Hockey is in my blood. But truthfully... anyone who has attended a Thunder game at Intrust Bank Arena should understand my enthusiasm. It's a fun night out.
Passionate fans, cold beer and concession snacks, great conversations with friends/family, and of course- good ole' fashioned, high-intensity stick and puck. That's why I love Thunder Hockey.
You see, it's not just about "hockey"... it's also about the atmosphere and the people. It's about Wichita pride. Nothing holds a flame to seeing the Thunder crowd jump to its feet, making noise, and backing up their home team. It's a sense of community. Common ground.
Having not moved to Wichita until the turn of the millennium, I unfortunately missed those foundational years of Thunder Hockey, which first stormed home ice at Britt Brown Arena in 1994. However, I've significantly made up for my tardiness over the last decade. And I still can't get enough.
In 2010, the Thunder began playing in the newly built Intrust Bank Arena. If you haven't been to this state-of-the-art venue- it alone is worth the ticket price. Comfortable seating, great fan experience. It is no wonder it has claimed Central Hockey League's "Best Arena" four consecutive seasons.
I'm not one to make ridiculous predictions and sweeping statements, but I cannot hold back on this one... After advancing to the CHL finals two straight seasons and falling just short - this is the season. That's right. I'm calling it. The Thunder are bringing home a championship.
But first, as fans, we need to do our part in supporting our team. Our guys need their 7th man on the ice. The infamous Wichita crowd.
Let's make our way downtown and jam-pack the seats of Intrust Bank Arena. Let's get rowdy and fight for our guys as they fight for a win. Let's start this season strong.
Puck drops vs Rapid City Rush at 7:05pm. I'll see you there.