Hockey at the Pegula: Oh What a Night
The amazing thing about Penn State’s first-ever Division 1 hockey game in the brand-new Pegula Ice Arena was how it felt so amazing and yet, at the same time, perfectly normal.
From the cars jamming University Drive, to the thousands of people streaming into the arena, to the roars of the crowd, to the rowdy student section pounding on the glass after every goal … somehow it all felt as if Penn State had been playing big-time hockey in a 6,000-seat arena forever. As if hockey just belongs here.
And the Nittany Lions made sure they opened the new era with a win, defeating Army 4-1.
I got to the arena about 45 minutes before the game and spent some time just wandering around with my camera to see what I could see—and to try to figure out where everything was. I happened to be on the top level just as they were getting underway; here’s a short video clip I shot with my iPhone of the Penn State players taking the ice:
Someone clearly put a lot of thought and time into the whole game-day experience—the videos, the lights, the music, even the ads on the light boards ringing the arena. And they did a terrific job. Here again, it was as if big exuberant hockey extravaganzas are just what we do around here.
Below are some photos I took throughout the evening of the action on—and off—the ice.
I have a feeling that Penn Staters will be enjoying this new arena—and the student-athletes who compete in it—for many years to come.
Tina Hay, editor