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Awards & Recognition

2016
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

2015
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

2014
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

NHL Game Experience: Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

NHL+Game+Experience%3A+Tampa+Bay+vs.+Columbus

On Feb. 10, I attended an NHL game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. This was my second NHL game I went to, but it was my first at Nationwide Arena. I have a few categories that I am going to discuss, including stadium quality and fan experience.

Getting to the Stadium

First, let’s start with getting to the stadium itself. The drive to the stadium is not bad. There are quite a few signs that continually point you to the stadium. There are several large parking garages near the stadium, so parking is not an issue. After a short walk to the arena, you are greeted with a large mural of a few of the Blue Jackets players. The doors did not open until six o’clock, but security was very efficient, so we were in the stadium within about five minutes.

Stadium Quality

The inside of the arena is very well designed. There were plenty of food options and restrooms to accommodate all of the attendees. I tried some of the pizza from a vendor and it was definitely better than I thought it would be. The outside ring of the arena was very well designed and looked nice. The issue comes when we went to our seats. The floor near our seats was very sticky. It was not pleasant. The seats we had were directly behind the Lightning bench. They were quite narrow and close together. I found myself apologizing to the people sitting next to us a lot because I kept accidentally hitting them when I moved my arms. Everything else at the stadium was great, so it is just a bit of an oversight to have gross floors and crowded seats.

Fans

The fans of both teams were very civil. There were some friendly jabs made, but that is to be expected when you are a fan of the visiting team. Since we were seated behind the Lightning bench, there was a fair amount of Lightning fans sitting around us. It was fun when the Lightning scored because we had our own cheering section. Despite not being a sold-out crowd, the fans of the Blue Jackets were very loud and very supportive of their team.

The Game

The game itself was a bit one-sided until the last five minutes. The Lightning had a power-play goal in the first and a breakaway goal in the second to make it 2-0 after two. The third period is where the game got very entertaining. There was a fight after the buzzer in the second, and the Lightning were going to come out with a power-play to start the third. Steven Stamkos would score on the power-play to make it 3-0 Tampa. The period was back-and-forth until Boone Jenner scored to make it 3-1. After a pretty blatant slash by the Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, the Blue Jackets got a power play. Boone Jenner would score again to make it 3-2. Columbus would pull the goalie with about 90 seconds left. Lightning forward Brandon Hagel would then take all the tension out of the game when he hit the empty net to make the final score 4-2 Lightning.

Closing Thoughts

I really enjoyed the opportunity to sit directly behind the Lightning bench. It was fun to hear the players and coaches talking to each other. I took tons of pictures and videos. This is definitely a memory that will last me a lifetime. I hope that I get the opportunity to go to another game next year!

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About the Contributor
Dominick Scarpino, Managing Editor
Dominick is the managing editor for The Rambler. This is his second year being on the staff. He enjoys watching sports, reading, and writing. He is planning on attending Penn State Behrend for a 4-year English degree.
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