Lei and I wound, literally, our way through the will call line to get our tickets. There was a slight problem as they had been purchased using Ed’s credit card but he was not there so we had a copy of it. He had spoken to the ticket company and they had said this would not be an issue. Only problem was, they didn’t tell the box office that.
The first game, which the students who came from Niagara didn’t go to as they were waiting for a pep rally at the team hotel, was Clarkson versus St Cloud State. I have known a lot of really smart engineers who have come out of Clarkson but hadn’t really thought much about their hockey team until last night. I didn’t realize that there were one of the 10 (I think that is the right number) at-large bids to this tournament of 16. Niagara has played some of the same teams that both St Cloud and Clarkson have played. Lei and I couldn’t decide who we wanted to win. Fortunately, there were a few obnoxious Michigan fans behind us who had bet on St Cloud so we decided Clarkson was who we would cheer for.
The game was not particularly great hockey. Neither team was very fast. Neither team was very physical. My father, who had tickets on the other side of the arena, called it “finesse” hockey. I am not sure if either of these “finesse” teams can beat a Michigan or a Niagara.
I was introduced to a new hockey “thing.” I have never heard a hockey pep band until yesterday. Of the four teams at the Times-Union Center, three brought pep bands. Niagara brought theirs, though it didn’t seem to understand it was not like basketball and there were no cheerleaders.
The game ended with Clarkson advancing to play the winner of the late game – Niagara versus Michigan.